UF’s Golden scores first commitment from Will Richard

Todd Golden has landed his first target out of the transfer portal in former Belmont guard Will Richard.

New Florida head coach Todd Golden secured the first commitment of his tenure on Saturday when former Belmont guard Will Richard announced that he’s transferring to UF.

Richard just completed his true freshman season at Belmont. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 12.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the Bruins, who lost at Vanderbilt in the opening round of the NIT.

Richard started 30 of 33 games, averaging 27.6 minutes per contest. He made 46.8 percent of his field-goal attempts, 32.6 percent of his launches from 3-point range and 80.4 percent of his free throws.

Richard scored in double figures in five of his first six career games. In an 85-73 win at Samford, he scored a season-best 23 points to go with nine rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocked shots.

Richard finished the season with six double-figure efforts in Belmont’s last seven games. He had 22 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and one steal in the loss at Vandy.

The Woodward Academy High School (Atlanta) product chose the Gators over UConn, South Carolina, Ga. Tech and Wake Forest.

Florida still has a pair of three-star commitments from power forward Jalen Reed and combo guard Denzel Aberdeen. Golden is hoping that star center Colin Castleton will return for a fifth season. Myreon Jones also has another year of eligibility remaining.

Starting point guard Tyree Appleby entered the transfer portal last week, in addition to reserve forward Tuongthach Gatkek. Phlandrous Fleming and Brandon McKissic have used up their eligibility.

Kowacie Reeves had a promising true freshman campaign, while sophomore Neils Lane came on strong late in the year. Other players remaining on the roster include center Jason Jitoboh and forward CJ Felder.

Golden will undoubtedly continue to work the portal hard. Another target is former Georgia guard Kario Oquendo, who listed several potential transfer destinations in a tweet on Friday. Kentucky, Alabama, Oregon and Florida were among the schools listed along with a school with Bulldogs as its mascot (Mississippi St. or Gonzaga?).

Oquendo averaged 15.2 PPG for UGA this past year. He’s got ups:

Here are some other targets on UF’s radar (below, bottom portion of tweet). The one that stands out to me is 3-point marksman Sean McNeil, who has started at West Virginia for the last two seasons. He averaged 12.2 PPG in 2020-21 and this past season.

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