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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Gators transfer portal report: UF signed Tyrese Samuel, in contact with guards

Florida still in play for transfer guards Tylor Perry, Jared Bynum

Florida head coach Todd Golden coaches the Gators' men's basketball team during a practice the day before its Southeastern Conference tournament game Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
Florida head coach Todd Golden coaches the Gators' men's basketball team during a practice the day before its Southeastern Conference tournament game Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

After two of the top players in the transfer portal committed to the Florida Gators within a two-day span, head coach Todd Golden’s transfer recruiting class is ranked seventh in the nation, according to 247Sports.

The two players — Iona sophomore transfer guard Walter Clayton Jr. and Marshall freshman transfer center Micah Handlogten — joined Yale graduate transfer forward EJ Jarvis as a part of UF’s recruiting class. However, the Gators still need three more players to complete a 15-man roster for the 2023-2024 season.

The latest departure for Florida was sophomore forward Alex Fudge, who decided to forgo his remaining college eligibility and declared for the 2023 National Basketball Association Draft. He averaged 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season.

Fudge’s decision to enter the draft leaves six forwards for next year's team; freshman forward Aleks Szymczyk is the only returning big man.

UF is in contact with multiple big men still in the portal despite being overcrowded in the position. Florida recently met with Seton Hall senior transfer forward Tyrese Samuel, who committed to the Gators Sunday.

He was heavily recruited by UF throughout his time in the portal. Florida completed an in-home visit to see the Canadian in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, April 9.

The 6-foot-10-inch forward was a do-everything player for Seton Hall. He had 19 double-digit scoring games and six double-doubles last season — including one against DePaul in the first round of the 2023 Big EAST Tournament. Samuel for the Pirates averaged 11 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Samuel spends a majority of his time on offense down on the low block; he uses quick jabs and post moves to score near the rim. Samuel shot 55% from the floor last season — four of his 138 made shots last year were from 3-point range.

He rarely strays away from the paint, which helped him use his 235-pound frame to corral a career-high 73 offensive rebounds last season. Samuel had a 10.8% offensive rebounding rate.

One of the most valuable pieces to the Canadian talent’s game is his involvement on the defensive end. He gets steals and controls the paint and had 51 blocks through his past two years at Seton Hall.

Samuel is a versatile defender that moves his feet well on defense and doesn’t bite on hesitation moves.

The senior forward chose Florida over Wake Forest, the other team in his final two preferred destinations. Samuel’s official visit with the Gators was Saturday. He also visited the Demon Deacons the same weekend.

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After Clayton committed and signed to UF Tuesday, questions emerged regarding UF’s recruitment of transfer North Texas senior guard Tylor Perry and transfer Providence graduate student guard Jared Bynum. Some speculate if the recent signing of Clayton will affect Florida's chances to sign Perry and Bynum.

The Gators currently have freshman guards Riley Kugel and Denzel Aberdeen, sophomore guard Will Richard, redshirt junior guard Jack May, redshirt senior guard Alex Klatsky and Clayton for the 2023-2024 backcourt.

UF’s starting guard position got more competitive with Kugel’s hot end to last season and the addition of Clayton — who signed with UF Wednesday. However, Perry and Bynum could give the Gators a strong facilitator.

Despite only averaging 2.1 assists last season, Perry led the Mean Green offense to a 2023 National Invitational Tournament title. He executed plays with pick-and-roll options and had a 12% assist rate while on the court.

Bynum ran the ball down the court for the Friars for 27.4 minutes per game through his three years at Providence. The Maryland native climbed up the Friars’ rotation and started 24 of 29 games he appeared in last season; he produced career numbers from the charity stripe and in minutes played.

Bynum’s assists also increased; he averaged 4.3 assists per game. He recorded five or more assists 13 times this season in a game — including a career-high 10 assists against St. Johns Feb. 11.

Both guards averaged double-digit points in the 2022-2023 season and are capable of scoring in isolation late in games. Golden wants to bring this late-game scoring ability to UF next season, he said.

Perry's official visit with UF was from April 7 to April 9; and Bynum’s was from April 6 to April 8. Both players consider Florida as one of their options to transfer, but they’re still visiting other programs.

Perry, the Conference USA Player of the Year, recently finished an official visit with Arkansas Friday and is expected to visit other schools in the following days.

He trimmed his list of preferred schools to eight. Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisville, Ole Miss, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are his current final choices.

Bynum reportedly visited Stanford this past weekend. Pittsburgh is also involved in his recruitment.

The players mentioned previously are only a few of the players in the transfer portal that UF has contacted or signed this offseason. Here is an updated list of the Gators’ status in the transfer portal as of 2 p.m. Monday:


  • Clayton Walter Jr. (Iona): signed officially to Florida April 11.
  • Tylor Perry (North Texas): official visit was April 7-9.
  • Jared Bynum (Providence): official visit was April 6-8.
  • RJ Luis (UMass): contacted by UF.


  • EJ Jarvis (Yale): signed officially to Florida April 3.
  • Micah Handlogten (Marshall): signed officially to Florida April 10.
  • Tyrese Samuel (Seton Hall): signed officially to Florida April 17.
  • Clarence Daniels (New Hampshire): contacted by UF.
  • Bryant Selebangue (Tulsa): contacted by UF. 
  • Tyzhuan Claude (Western Carolina): contacted by UF.
  • Russell Tchewa (South Florida): contacted by UF.
  • Jamarion Sharp (Western Kentucky): contacted by UF.

Contact Brandon Hernandez at Follow him on Twitter @BranH2001.

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Brandon Hernandez

Brandon Hernandez is currently the enterprise sports writer and sports podcast host for The Independent Alligator. He likes long walks on the sidewalk and watching basketball tape in his off time. You can find most of his work @BranH2001 on X and on The Courtside Podcast on Spotify.

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