Florida redshirt freshman Brandone Francis-Ramirez will transfer from the program after a summer semester, as he announced with a series of tweets early Wednesday evening.
I thought about it long and hard and I decided that it was best for me to transfer from UF. I'll sincerely miss this school— Brandone Francis R. (@Brand1F) May 4, 2016
School is fine. I'm taking a summer class here, continuing to train all summer and take my time to properly choose the best fit for my style— Brandone Francis R. (@Brand1F) May 4, 2016
I appreciate and love coach white for supporting my decision and assisting me and my family with the process of finding my next team.— Brandone Francis R. (@Brand1F) May 4, 2016
Florida confirmed the news through staff writer Chris Harry later in the night.
"I want it to work out for him," Gators coach Mike White said Wednesday. "We really appreciate what Brandone did here and wish him the best."
Harry writes that Francis-Ramirez will look to transfer to a junior college instead of finding another Diviaion I school, a route that allows him to play non-practice ball in the 2016-17 season, then be eligible at the Division I level in 2017-18.
Francis-Ramirez was a top-50 player in high school, and a fringe five-star recruit who chose Florida over Louisville in June 2013, becoming part of Billy Donovan's last full recruiting class, but sat out the 2014-15 season after being ruled academically ineligible, a product of his transfer from a school in his native Dominican Republic to Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville.
In 2015-16, as a redshirt freshman in a new offense under Mike White, Francis-Ramirez — who added Ramirez to his surname last summer, earning him the distinction of the longest surname in Florida men's basketball history — struggled to make an impact while playing as a fourth guard behind a three-man rotation of Kasey Hill, Chris Chiozza, and KeVaughn Allen or an undersized fourth smaller forward behind Dorian Finney-Smith, Devin Robinson, and Justin Leon.
Despite winning a three-point competition that included Gators greats Lee Humphrey and Jason Williams at Florida's first "Gators Madness" in the fall and purportedly dead-eyed shooting in practice, Francis-Ramirez couldn't get his shot to fall, making just 10 of 59 threes on the year — a 16.9 percent clip that was almost as wretched as Hill's own 14.3 percent rate from behind the arc as a freshman — and a mere 11 of 45 two-pointers.
Given that inefficiency, it's not hard to see why White sat him more and more often as the year wore on and Allen emerged as Florida's obvious best option at shooting guard. And given that he played all of four minutes in six Gators games in March, it's not hard to point to playing time — along with an up-tempo style of offense and defense that doesn't quite fit his more bruising game — as a primary reason for his departure.
Francis-Ramirez is the second transfer from Florida in the wake of a 2015-16 season that ended in the quarterfinals of the NIT after a second consecutive near-miss of the NCAA Tournament, joining graduate transfer DeVon Walker.