College Basketball

Penn St. top scorer Jones picks Florida in transfer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Penn State’s leading scorer is heading to Florida and could be a huge help right away. Guard Myreon Jones announced his commitment to the Gators on Wednesday, joining fellow transfers Brandon McKissic from UM Kansas City and CJ Felder from Boston College as additions for men’s basketball coach Mike White in Gainesville.

The 6-foot-3 Jones averaged 15.3 points last season and scored in double figures in all but two of the Nittany Lions’ games. He closed the season with 10 consecutive games in double figures and finished as the Big Ten’s 10th-highest scorer.

He shot 39.3% from the field and 39.5% from 3-point range.

He chose Florida over Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss and others. The Birmingham, Alabama, native was the top prospect in the state in 2018. He landed at Penn State after decommitting from Memphis after Tubby Smith was fired.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Gators.

The trio of transfers likely will give Florida a starting lineup that consists entirely of players who started their college careers elsewhere. Teams across the country are dealing with defections and rebuilds as players take advantage of lenient NCAA transfer rules and a portal that’s ballooned to about 1,200 players seeking new places to play.

White has enjoyed more success with transfers than high school recruits, landing Jalen Hudson, Canyon Barry, Egor Koulechov and Kerry Blackshear since replacing NBA-bound Billy Donovan in 2015.

The core of Florida’s current team includes three transfers: big man Colin Castleton (Michigan), point guard Tyree Appleby (Cleveland State) and forward Anthony Duruji (Louisiana Tech). Castleton put his name in the NBA draft in hopes of getting feedback on ways to improve. He did not hire an agent and is expected to stay in school.

Florida turned to the portal again to replace six players who left the program following a second-round loss to Oral Roberts in the NCAA tournament.

Guards Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis entered the NBA draft with plans of hiring agents. Shooting guard Noah Locke, forward Omar Payne, backup point guard Ques Glover and reserve forward Osayi Osifo entered the transfer portal in hopes of finding more playing time or a more prominent role elsewhere.

The Gators signed one recruit for their 2021 class: talented guard Kowacie Reeves.

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