Can UF coach Billy Donovan convince Broward County's national player of the year to play with Boynton Jr.?
GAINESVILLE -- Florida recruiting target Brandon Knight was named the Gatorade Boys' Basketball National Player of the Year on Tuesday.
A junior, Knight is considered one of the top recruits for the class of 2010. He has a 4.28 GPA at Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest. The 6-3 point guard could play for any team in the country. Will it be Florida? If you think Knight is a lock to sign with the Gators, then you'd be wrong. The truth, it seems, is far from it.
According to Knight's former AAU coach, Knight is far from committing to the Gators. In fact, Team Breakdown coach Kenny Gillion believes Knight will choose "anyone but the Gators." Duke, UConn and Syracuse are considered the frontrunners.
Gillion coached Knight and future Gator Kenny Boynton Jr., a shooting guard, in the summers of 2007 and 2008. During that time, Knight and Boynton won a pair of AAU national championships.
"You'd think it would be a perfect fit," Gillion said. "They play great together and they complement one another's skills. They're already familiar with each other, so you'd think it would be something Knight would consider."
But Knight, according to Gillion, might not want to play in the same collegiate backcourt with Boynton. Gillion says that's not a knock on Boynton or the Gators. "Brandon is a different kid," Gillion said. "He might want to make his own way."
Florida coach Billy Donovan will spend this summer convincing Knight that there is plenty of room in the Gators' backcourt for both Knight and Boynton. As for Boynton, he has said several times that he wants nothing more than for Knight to be his teammate in college. Boynton is close friends with Knight and the two former AAU teammates still communicate daily, according to Boynton.
"I talk to Brandon about Florida but I don't want to overbearing," Boynton said.
The problem, according to Gillion, is that the people surrounding Knight have always considered the comparisons between Knight and Boynton to be a rivalry. Knight is not playing for Team Breakdown this summer. Instead, Gillion says Knight will likely play with an upstart AAU team formed by Knight's de facto handler, Johnny Fleming, who is a longtime friend of Brandon's father.