With Jaquan Lyle verbally committing to attend Louisville on Wednesday, many felt that decision would impact the thinking of Jacksonville, Fla. (Arlington Country Day) shooting guard Brandone Francis.
On Thursday Francis made his decision, with it being reported by multiple outlets that he has verbally committed to attend Florida.
Francis, a Top 30 prospect in the eyes of many scouting services, joins point guard Chris Chiozza in Billy Donovan’s 2014 recruiting class. Whether the Gators have two or three newcomers on the perimeter in 2014 depends on the status of Rutgers transfer Eli Carter, who may pursue a waiver to be eligible to play immediately based on the circumstances surrounding his decision to transfer.
In recent weeks Louisville and Florida emerged as the two programs pursuing Francis the hardest, with the guard rising up the rankings due to his play in the spring. Francis’ versatility will allow coach Donovan to use him in a variety of ways once he arrives in Gainesville.
After the 2013-14 season the Gators will lose guard Scottie Wilbekin and wing Casey Prather, and that doesn’t account for possible early departures to the NBA (Kasey Hill?), so landing Francis is certainly a positive development for the program.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Hofstra tries to keep pace with the conference’s elite as they travel to Delaware on Saturday afternoon. You can watch this CAA battle live on NBCSN at 5:00 p.m. EST.
The Pride (17-8, 9-4) are currently two games behind conference leader UNC-Wilmington and they’re trying to make a run to close out the season. Senior guard Juan’ya Green leads the Pride in points (17.7 ppg), assists (7 apg) and steals (1.8 spg) and he’s surrounded by a dangerous supporting cast.
Delaware (6-18, 1-12) had lost 15 consecutive games before beating Drexel in their last game. The Blue Hens have struggled in CAA play but Kory Holden (17.5 ppg, 4 apg) will try to help lead the upset.
These two teams met on Dec. 31 with Hofstra winning that one, 90-80, at home.
CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.
Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.
Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.
And they picked up a top 25 win.
So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.
But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.
LeVert isn’t done for the season.
And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.
That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.
So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.