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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Florida adds defensive enforcer in Hayes

By Reggie Rankin

The Florida Gators are on the board in the Class of 2015 after receiving a pledge from ESPN 60 PF Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, Fla./Suwannee) Monday night. Hayes chose to play for Billy Donovan over interest from Alabama, Kansas State and Miami (Fla.), among others. Hayes recruiting was really starting to pick up of late but when the Gators stepped up with an offer, he knew it was time to pull the trigger on his decision.

“Florida was my dream school; it is close to home and it has a great medical program because I want to be a doctor. And the basketball program is great,” Hayes said.

At 6-foot-9 and around 190 pounds, Hayes is a long and athletic post with a love for cleaning up the glass – something he did to the tune of 15 rebounds a contest during his sophomore season. He competes for loose balls in and out of his area and gets his share of putbacks on the offensive glass. Hayes is an excellent shot-blocker as he uses his solid frame to patrol the lane and protect the rim. On offense, he runs the floor well and finishes on a consistent basis.

"He has all the tools," said Suwannee head coach Jeremy Ulmer.

Hayes’ shot-blocking prowess should help him thrive in both the Gators press and zone defensive schemes. He gives Donovan a relentless rebounder and an enforcer in the lane to anchor the defense. His rim presence will allow Florida’s perimeter players to extend and apply intense ball pressure knowing they have an eraser watching their back. As he adds strength and develops some post moves, his offense will catch up to his high-level defense, giving the Gators a more complete frontcourt contributor.