Florida took a big step toward improving its backcourt this weekend, and the Gators aren’t done recruiting yet.
Former Rutgers guard Mike Rosario will transfer to UF after visiting Gainesville this weekend, a team source confirmed, saying it was a “done deal.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard, who averaged 16.7 points per game as a sophomore with the Scarlet Knights, will have to sit out next season but will be eligible to play during the 2011-12 season.
Rosario becomes the program’s second Big East transfer in the last three years, joining junior center Vernon Macklin, who came to UF from Georgetown.
While picking up Rosario will go a long way toward fixing the Gators’ lack of backcourt depth in the future, UF coaches were also working this weekend to add more guards for next season.
Matt Carlino, a 6-foot-2 guard from Bloomington (Ind.) South High, came to Gainesville on an unofficial visit with his father.
J.R. Holmes, Carlino’s high school coach, said UF assistant coach Richard Pitino visited Carlino last week, attempting to persuade the high school junior to graduate this summer, skip his senior year and commit to the Gators for next season.
“I think they’re looking to try to get him to come, from my understanding, now,” Holmes said. “That possibility is there, and I think that’s one of the things they’re looking at. I think he’d be smarter off staying in high school and getting another year of experience.”
Holmes said Carlino will also visit UCLA, Butler and California in the near future. Carlino originally committed to Indiana in 2008, but reopened his recruitment in late March and has not yet made a decision about his future.
“I think he’s just testing the waters,” Holmes said. “It was just a situation he wasn’t 100 percent sure of, and he wanted to make sure he was 100 percent sure before he committed to going somewhere for four years.”
Florida coach Billy Donovan is planning to travel to Bloomington, Ind., sometime this week to follow up on Pitino’s visit, Holmes said.
Holmes added that, while Carlino is a talented scorer, he might not be ready to play point guard at the college level yet.
Given the Gators’ current allotment of guards for next season — not including Rosario, who can only practice with the team — Carlino could find playing time at either backcourt spot if he joins the team for the 2010-11 season.
“I’ve only had him for one year, but he’s really athletic. He can shoot the three, take the ball to the basket,” Holmes said. “In our program, he’s trying to become more of a point guard. Another year of that will make him a much better prospect for the college level.”
Rivals.com lists Carlino as the 122nd-best overall and 30th-ranked shooting guard in the 2011 class, from which UF has already gained a commitment from highly touted guard Bradley Beal. The Gators are also still in the running for 2011 guard Austin Rivers.
Chris Denson, a 6-foot-2 senior point guard from Midland (Ga.) Shaw High, also visited Gainesville this weekend on an official visit. Denson has already received scholarship offers from Western Kentucky, Buffalo and North Carolina Greensboro.