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Brandon Knight not favoring Florida Gators

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.



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isn't that absurd. adults "handlers" creating conflict where there isn't one. Knight and Boynton play different positions ..have different games .. and Knight is on the NBA express no matter who he plays with while Boynton because of size..may take awhile. Both are good kids..good friends..and the decision for college should be made by the parents and the young athlete.

Brandon is a different kid," Gillion said. "He might want to make his own way."

If this is true, he shouldn't come to Florida, but he also shouldn't go to UConn, Duke or Syracuse either.

Since he appears to be an excellent student, why not go to Vanderbilt or Stanford, solid basketball programs with excellent academics and an opportunity to lead their program to the top.

oneatatime, I was about to say that EXACT same thing. (first two lines)

if the kid has a "handler" maybe we don't want him...sounds like trouble


That's quite common these days, unfortunately.


Jo - isn't the #1 rated (by at least one service) point guard, John Wall, still likely to attend Duke, particularly in light of the fact that Calipari has gone to UK and now Wall'as mom wants him closer to home (from Raleigh)? if that's the case, Knight would be foolish to go to Duke FOR BASKETBALL reasons, he'd be banging heads with Wall for his entire career. And if Calathes is taken in the first round, he's gone. Walker and Knight, that's it for PG.

(DISCLAIMER: Duke is a great school and i never fault any kid for seizing the opportunity to attend one of the best schools in the country.)

Brandon Knight is not only a great player but he is truly a great, great kid...

that being said, Goodman u should have never written this article.... its is UNFAIR to Brandon.

I've known Brandon for many years and he is VERY HIGH on the Gators, and a few others....

I understand everyone wants to be the writer who delievers "breaking news", but talk to the kid before publishing something ridiculous like this...

It seems to me like you heard one quote from a former aau coach and spun your entire article off of that with assumptions and pure speculation.

Once again, Mr. Goodman, THIS IS NOT RIGHT!! (and you know it)

Finally, for someone who seems to follow recruting pretty regulary (based on your previous football recruiting articles)... you know that what a former aau coach MEANS NOTHING and is in no way "breaking news"... and for you to write an article is silly and wrong. (once again, you know better)

PS: I hope Brandon makes the best descision for him and I have no doubt he will be a success wherever he may go.

I hope Brandon Knight goes where he will be happy. He needs to be fired up about going to a school, whichever it may be. That's the most important thing.

Not to intervene for Goodman (he's certainly capable of taking care of himself), but after the greg Reid episode in football - where the kid was a mortal lock for UF then went to FSU because the playing time was more realistically attainable - Gator fans need to understand these kids have options, and just because conventional wisdom says he's coming to Floirda doesn't mean he is and dopesn't mean he should be vilified if he doesn't. I personally don't hold it against Reid or Nukeese for not coming to Florid, why should i, or any of us, hold it against a kid for not choosing Florida?

This article is pure garbage. Kenny Gillion is upset because Knight no longer plays for his team. By the way, the ONLY reason Knight doesnt play for Breakdown is because Gillion didnt treat him right. Kenny and Brandon are friends, Knight is considering Florida. The author had no business writing this trash. Gillion is trying to diminish the charcater of a really good kid that doesnt deserve it. Lastly, Knight does not have a "handler".

Mark T.,

No one is questioning Brandon's character. We all know he's a solid kid. Just passing along what I've been told. That's part of what I do. Why wouldn't a former coach, who obviously speaks with plenty of college coaches, not know anything? Kenny Gillion seems like a credible source of his own opinions. And that is exactly what this post was.


Vanderbilt and Stanford are excellent academic institutions, however, neither of them hold anything over Duke University when it comes to academics. At Duke BK would have the academics and the chance to take a team to the national championship with all the players that Duke has coming in 2010. As for John Wall, even if Duke does end up signing him, everyone says he is one and done and won't be around when BK gets there.

My post will have nothing to with BK - more in reference to Duke. People tout Duke academics. And rightfully so. Hank Goldberg -formerly on WQAM for 20 years - went to Duke. On more than one occasion he mentioned that b-ball players at Duke take the same classes that they accuse UF or Miami football players of taking at UF and Miami. Duke is an excellent school. But I doubt BK stays anywhere 3-4 years for a degree anyway.

If he sign with us, fine but whether or not he signs, we still need to go after (and get) a couple of 250 lb. 6'10" to 7'0" tough kids to fight underneath. That's our problem - it's so obvious. Calathes would have been much better this year if he had that TOUGH presence in the middle. Billy, are you listening?

UF basketball is back to mediocrity where it belongs. Any serious basketball player would only go there to be close to home.

That kid needs to go somewhere with higher education standards and a better basketball program.

He should go to Uconn, far and away the best program of the ones he's considering with very very good academics and beautiful campus as well. Will play with many future pros with an excellent chance to make the NBA.
Playing for a current Hall of Fame coach as well.


Wait, wait, wait...I was agreeing with your argument until you got to the part about "a beautiful campus." I've been to Storrs. It ain't that beautiful.


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