Gators sign four for basketball
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published November 9, 2006
GAINESVILLE - The Florida men's basketball team picked up four new players in Wednesday's early signing period, and Alonso High standout pitcher Tommy Toledo was among eight players in the baseball team's 2006 early signing class.
Billy Donovan's class includes Lake Howell High teammates Nick Calathes (26.9 points) and Chandler Parsons (20 points, 10 rebounds); Milton High forward Adam Allen (20.9 points, 10.1 rebounds); and Hazelwood, Mo., forward Alex Tyus (18 points, nine rebounds).
"Those four guys we feel, in relationship to the country, I don't know if they ended up being McDonald's All-Americans, but certainly we feel like we got a good, solid class," Donovan said. "One of the focuses with our team right now is front-court players, and they're hard to come by. We're trying to do the best job we can to continue to improve in that area."
Toledo, a right-handed pitcher, earned honorable mention all-state and All-Hillsborough County recognition in 2006, finishing the season 6-1 with a 0.70 earned-run average and 45 strikeouts in 40 innings.
"Tommy is one of the top pitching prospects in the country," Florida assistant coach Ross Jones said.
Volleyball coach Mary Wise signed three players including 6-foot-1 outside hitter Callie Rivers, daughter of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. She is rated No. 13 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com.
USF signs RB
TAMPA - USF picked up an oral commitment from Rickey Anderson, a 6-foot, 190-pound running back from Cape Coral.
Anderson, who rushed for 729 yards and eight touchdowns last year, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the summer and had surgery last week. He was recruited by Auburn, Clemson and N.C. State but said USF was his only offer.
"They made me feel welcome, made it feel like home for me," said Anderson, who will join two former teammates, receiver Taurus Johnson and safety Nate Allen, at USF.
In men's basketball, 6-foot-4 guard Dominique Jones of Lake Wales signed, bringing a size that has coach Robert McCullum excited.
"I'm tickled to get him. It's a steal," McCullum said. "After a year of Big East play, we have a better idea of what kind of player can come in and be a Big East player. Dominique has the size, strength and skills to be that kind of player for us."
Also, Gianna Messina, a guard at Academy of Holy Names, was expected to sign with the women's team Wednesday night. The Bulls plan to announce their class next week.
Volleyball coach Claire Lessinger announced the signing of 6-foot-2 middle blocker Sommer Ivory, 6-foot hitter Erin Kracl, 5-10 hitter Allie Boaz and 5-6 setter Mariana Thon.
Clint Bowles of Tampa, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the nation by tennisrecruiting.net, signed with Florida State. A left-hander who also considered Florida and Georgia, he is scheduled to graduate from Florida Virtual School
"We have had him targeted for a couple of years as the guy that we really wanted," Seminoles coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "We really like his attitude, competitive nature."
The NCAA Division II National Tournament begins today at Tampa. The top-seeded Spartans face Wingate at 7:30. Eckerd makes its first appearance, facing Barry at 5 p.m. The Tritons (21-13) have the second-best record in school history. Saint Leo (21-10) faces Florida Southern at noon. Florida Gulf Coast faces USC-Aiken at 2:30. ... Host Florida beat Mississippi 3-0 (30-15, 30-16, 30-24) and improved to 23-2l, 16-1 SEC.