2015 forward Noah Dickerson, a top-50 player who attends Montverde Academy near Orlando, has committed to Florida. After CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello reported Dickerson's commitment, Dickerson himself shared it on Twitter.
Excited to say I have committed to the University of Florida #GatorNation— Noah Dickerson (@NDickerson41) August 17, 2014
Dickerson is a skilled 6'8" forward who profiles as a big-time presence in the low post, where his polish outstrips that of his peers.
And while Dickerson, rated the No. 52 player in the country in the 247Sports Composite, lacks great size or superlative athleticism, he fits in well for Florida's frontcourt of the future, which should have those two things covered in lanky 2015 commit Kevarrius Hayes and menacing South Florida transfer John Egbunu.
The most salient question about Dickerson's commitment, in fact, isn't about Dickerson at all: It's about which Florida player currently on scholarship is going to be departing the Gators program to make room for him in 2015-16.
As we detailed in May, when KeVaughn Allen committed to Florida, the Gators were set to be full up on scholarships for the 2015-16 season. When Egbunu announced he would transfer to Florida, the scholarship situation got even more packed. Now, with Dickerson committed, Florida's got 15 players set to receive scholarships in 2015-16, two more than the NCAA-mandated cap of 13.
|Michael Frazier II|
Egbunu's transfer made Chris Walker's widely expected leap to the NBA after 2014-15 all but a lock, but Walker heading to the pros would only open up that 13th scholarship for Egbunu; for Dickerson to receive a full scholarship, someone other than Walker is going to have to depart Florida's program.
While it's unclear who that would be, at least at this point, no Florida player other than Walker is a sure first-round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Kasey Hill sits at No. 30 in Chad Ford's most recent top 100 for the 2015 draft at ESPN, but will need to show improvement, especially on his shot, to merit a first-round pick, and Michael Frazier II and Dorian Finney-Smith, listed at No. 66 and No. 68, are far from locks to be drafted at all.
And that lack of a surefire second NBA player points to the distinct possibility that Florida's going to have a player transfer or be medically disqualified in the near future to free up a scholarship for Dickerson. With Eli Carter and Dillon Graham having spent the 2013-14 season out of commission for medical reasons, they will be the two primary candidates for such a departure.
I have a hard time believing that Florida would accept Dickerson's commitment if it didn't know it had a spot for him, and I'd heard Florida was still pursuing him and sleeper forward Keith Stone, something Borzello also notes — but it's going to be a surprise to many observers, and not the pleasant one that Dickerson's commitment is, when Florida has to part ways with a player that it promised a scholarship.
And though I'm not surprised, and understand the logic behind taking Dickerson with pieces still yet to settle, I'm not entirely pleased with this development.