Florida's basketball recruiting for the class of 2014 is heating up, and with the 2013-14 roster all but sealed — Eli Carter is officially in as a transfer, as Florida announced Friday afternoon — there is more certainty to what the Gators need in that cycle. Memphis point guard Chris Chiozza would be a very big pick-up, and his commitment might be coming soon for the Gators.
2014 White Station PG Chris Chiozza will announce his decision Tuesday. Florida, Memphis, Ohio State, UConn, Auburn. Story coming to the CA.— John Martin (@JohnMartinCA) May 10, 2013
Class of 2014 PG Chris Chiozza, barring a change of plans, will announce next week he's committing to Florida, a source told @cbssports.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) May 10, 2013
If you're looking for a better source located at the nexus of Memphis and college basketball than CBS Sports' Gary Parrish, you're going to be hard-pressed to find one, given that he lives and works in Memphis. And Florida was thought to be right in the mix for Chiozza, with some significant worry that the hometown school would be able to keep him around.
But Chiozza's apparently not meeting with Memphis this weekend as planned.
Chiozza was scheduled to meet with Memphis coach Josh Pastner tomorrow, but canceled the meeting due to "family coming in town."— John Martin (@JohnMartinCA) May 10, 2013
And that would seem to tip the talented point guard's hand, at least a little.
Update, May 11: The same John Martin of the Commercial Appeal has a story confirming Parrish's report, which cites "a source close to the family."
I don't want to delve too deeply into Chiozza's game without knowing whether he's committed, but this highlight video does a good job of showing how, despite being under six feet tall, he can control a game.
There's also a major bonus to getting Chiozza on board for whichever team gets his commitment:
Look for Chiozza's decision to help exponentially with his high school teammate, Leron Black.— John Martin (@JohnMartinCA) May 10, 2013
Black, a 6'7" power forward, is considered a five-star prospect by most, and among the top 25 of the class of 2014. And he and Chiozza play for Thaddeus Young's Team Thad (Young went to high school in Memphis), so there's definitely some familiarity between them.
If Billy Donovan can get Chiozza to commit, he's got one four-star point guard in the fold for 2014, and would have his foot well over the threshold of the door for another five-star frontcourt player. Update, May 11: Only Gators' Adam Silverstein reports that a source close to the Gators tells him that Florida believes that Black will follow Chiozza to Gainesville.
That would be huge for Florida, which has to prepare as if it will need to replace as many as seven players from the 2013-14 roster, and will probably take a large 2014 class regardless of how many players depart.