Michael White won’t coach his first game at Florida for several months, but he scored a significant victory on the recruiting trail Monday. Multiple outlets reported shooting guard KeVaughn Allen has elected to remain with Florida.
Allen committed to the Gators in April of 2014 and signed his National Letter of Intent in April 2015. After former Florida coach Billy Donovan left to take the same position with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Allen’s stepfather said on radio that Allen would seek a release from his LOI.
As a senior at North Little Rock High this season, Allen averaged 25.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.1 steals per game and was named Arkansas’ Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year. At 6’3,’’ 180 pounds, Allen is highly regarded for his ability to slash to the basket and score in transition.
Rivals.com rates him the No. 67 player in the class of 2015.
Allen’s decision means Florida will keep three of the four 2015 players Donovan recruited to Gainesville. Three-star power forward Kevarrius Hayes and four-star small forward Keith Stone are will join the Gators this fall, while four-star power forward Noah Dickerson recently asked for his release.
Allen should have the opportunity to compete for playing time right away.
Guard Michael Frazier II decided to declare for the NBA draft, and guard Eli Carter is intends to transfer but reportedly has not ruled out a return to the Gators. Allen is set to bolster a perimeter rotation that should also include Kasey Hill, DeVon Walker, Brandone Francis and Chris Chiozza. Meanwhile, the Gators also will return forwards Dorian Finney-Smith, Devin Robinson and Alex Murphy.
Whether that group is formidable enough to keep pace with Kentucky, LSU and others in the SEC—or even improve on last season’s 16-17 (8-10 SEC), NCAA tournament-less finish—remains to be seen. But the Gators’ outlook in their first season under White is more promising with Allen than without him.