First, coach Mike White and the Gators landed undergraduate transfer Anthony Duruji from Louisiana Tech. UF followed up by luring graduate transfer Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. to Gainesville.
It only took three weeks for Florida to continue the trend.
UF kept along with its busy offseason by adding undergraduate transfer Tyree Appleby to the team on Sunday. The 6-foot-1 point guard, who played his last two seasons at Cleveland State, announced his intention to enroll at Florida on his Twitter account. Appleby chose UF over Texas A&M, and as an undergraduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play during the 2020-21 season. Appleby was able to join the team after redshirt freshman Isaiah Stokes announced his intention to transfer.
Appleby was the centerpiece for Cleveland State last season. Averaging 17.2 points, 5.6 assists and shooting 39 percent from the 3-point line, Appleby is ranked 32nd on ESPN’s Top 50 sit-out Transfers. Despite his efforts, however, the Vikings had a disappointing season, finishing 10-21 and going just 5-13 in the Horizon League.
This will not be the first time White has coached an Appleby. When White served as head coach of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs from 2011-2015, he coached Appleby’s brother, Raheem, who averaged 13.2 points, 1.5 assists and shot 33.2 percent from 3-point range in his four years under White.
The Gators will look to Appleby to fill a roster facing numerous potential losses in 2020. Sophomore Andrew Nembhard has already declared for the NBA draft once before backing out to return, and he could potentially do it again once the 2019-20 season is over. On top of that, freshman guard Scottie Lewis could possibly leave the team after a year (as could guard Tre Mann), and Blackshear Jr.’s eligibility will run out after this season. Appleby and Duruji will fill the inevitable voids by the time they are eligible to take the court.
With the new addition, Florida bolsters an already impressive 2019 class that is ranked seventh in the nation and second in the SEC, according to 247Sports. UF’s active offseason looks to make it an immediate contender for a deep postseason run after getting bounced out by the Michigan Wolverines in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March of this year.
The Gators will begin their season on Nov. 5 when they take on the North Florida Ospreys in Gainesville.
Follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells and contact him at [email protected].