It wasn’t exactly a secret that dynamic 6-1 point guard Kasey Hill of Montverde (Fla.) was favoring the Florida Gators in his recruitment. The high school junior listed Louisville and Kentucky as schools he was considering, among others, but it was long believed to be only a matter of time before coach Billy Donovan gained his pledge for the future.
After a trip to catch Florida’s shellacking of Yale on Saturday, Hill decided to make his intentions known, and announced he was committed to Florida.
Hill is a national top-25 prospect in the Class of 2013, and a teammate of current Florida signee Michael Frazier at Montverde Academy. Among his many talents, Hill can get to the basket and finish over anyone, and possesses a burst in the open court. Montverde is among the elite high school teams in the country, and could be a pipeline of future Gators.
Its current head coach is Kevin Boyle, who was hired at the school after leaving New Jersey power St. Patrick’s for the warm Florida weather and a college coach level salary. The last notable point guard prospect that Boyle mentored at St. Patrick is none other than current Cleveland Cavalier lead guard Kyrie Irving, so Hill has an able coach leading his squad.
Hill is also associated with two of the best underclassmen post prospects in the country. His AAU team, the Florida Rams, gave him the opportunity to partner with a top-10 prospect in the junior class, Chris Walker, a 6-9 power forward from Holmes County (Fla.). Additionally, another of Hill’s teammates at Montverde, 6-10 sophomore center Dakari Johnson, is among the top prospects in the land. Johnson followed Boyle from St. Patrick to Montverde.
Though Florida may not ultimately get either Walker or Johnson, the tie to Hill certainly doesn’t hurt. While he has a season and a half left of high school competition, Hill is likely to contend to start from the time he hits campus. The only pure point guard on the roster for Florida when Hill hits campus will be Scottie Wilbekin, an unspectacular program player to date. Florida has signed combo guard Braxton Ogbueze for next year, but he’s capable of playing either guard slot.
New Year’s first pledge is Luke Fischer to Indiana
It’s possible that 6-9 power forward Luke Fischer would have committed to Indiana, regardless of the result of their contest against Ohio State. When the Hoosiers toppled the Buckeyes, it certainly didn’t make Fischer’s decision any harder as he told coach Tom Crean after the game that he intends to play college basketball at Indiana.
Fischer is a face-up power forward from Germantown (Wis.) who many consider to be a lesser talented version of current freshman star Cody Zeller. It remains to be seen just how long Zeller will play in Bloomington, and Fischer could be pressed into service earlier than expected if Zeller makes the jump to the NBA.
Fischer runs with the Wisconsin Swing on the AAU circuit, and is the third commitment for Indiana in the 2013 recruiting class. As a reminder, their 2012 class, which includes five signees, is ranked among the top-5 in the country. Fischer joins two in-state players in 6-6 combo forward Devin Davis and 6-5 wing Colin Hartman as verbal commitments for Indiana among high school juniors.
At around 200 pounds, Fischer will have to add strength to effective in the Big Ten, though he can run the floor, his quickness can improve as well. He’s a skilled and disciplined player that possesses developing post skills and a decent shooting stroke. While 2013 rankings aren’t formulated yet by all scouting services, it’s a safe bet that Fischer’s will be a borderline top-100 prospect.
South Florida wraps up 2012 class with AAU teammates
With two full rides still remaining in their 2012 recruiting effort, South Florida snared pledges from two teammates from the Dallas Mustangs traveling team on Monday to complete their class.
Both 6-7 forward Zach LeDay and 6-2 guard DeMarcus Holland took in Tampa over the weekend on an official visit, before returning to their home state of Texas. Within 24 hours of the end of the trip, both LeDay and Holland are set to be Bulls.
While neither LeDay nor Holland is ranked nationally, the five player class that the Bulls have for next year is a good one, especially given what is likely to be a diminished Big East talent pool going forward.
Center Waverly Austin is considered to be one of the better JC prospects in the country, and the same can be said for guard Musa Abdul-Aleem. In the Texas two, as well as Michigan native Javontae Hawkins, South Florida has a crew of three high schoolers with decent upside.
Global prospects draw attention
There isn’t a deep pool of prospects remaining uncommitted in the United States with high-major talent, so some schools are looking beyond the borders for talent to fill out their recruiting classes. Two hot names now are guard Amedeo Della Valle, and 7-1 center Boris Bojanovsky.
Playing for one of the most talented high school teams in the country, Findlay Prep (Nev.) Italian import Amedeo Della Valle may not be a household name, but the 6-4 point guard has already drawn scholarship offers from Arizona, UConn, Gonzaga, UCLA, and Kansas, with interest from many other high-major schools from across the country. With no prior allegiances in the college ranks, Della Valle will be a hot spring signing in the 2012 ranks.
Also, Boris Bojanovsky is drawing plentiful recruiting interest, primarily from the ACC, while spending the year at the Canarias Basketball Academy, in the Canary Islands, Spain. The native of Slovakia already holds scholarship offers from NC State, Virginia Tech, Miami and Florida State.
Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.