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May 1, 2014

McSpadden 'fired up' about commitment

Chance McSpadden is finally a Knight.

The Winter Haven (Fla.) guard was close to committing to UCF last fall, but decided to play out his junior season. On Thursday, the 6-foot-4 lefty felt the time was right, announcing the pledge via his Twitter account.

"I've been thinking about it ever since last season," McSpadden said. "UCF has been recruiting me real heavily since day one and kept in contact with me. The head coach, Donnie Jones, is a great coach. I really wanted to play for him. After talking to my family I decided I wanted to commit. UCF is where I wanted to go. Everything felt right."

McSpadden has visited UCF several times and attended a couple games this past season. He says he loved the campus and the vibe he always got from the coaching staff.

"Coach Jones was always just telling me about the program, how they were going to use me and everything," McSpadden said. "I loved everything. I talked it over with my parents and just felt it was for me. I called him and Coach Tillis tonight to commit. They were real excited and so am I. I'm real fired up."

He already knows a few members of the team, including 2014 signees B.J. Taylor and Adonys Henriquez. He's played AAU ball with fellow 2015 commit Chad Brown.

"I know B.J. real well," McSpadden said. "We've had some real good battles with each other."

Florida offered McSpadden at the Billy Donovan Camp last summer in part because of his strong defense of Taylor, who was a scoring machine for Boone this past season. Taylor finished second to Joel Berry in the Mr. Florida Basketball voting.

UCF sees McSpadden as a combo guard with the ability to take over the point at times. He's coming off a high school season in which he averaged 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists and he continues to play a major role for one of the nation's top AAU programs, Nike Team Florida.

Source Hoops caught up with his AAU coach following the 2013 summer season to break down his game.

"Chance is very tough to defend," Nike Team Florida head coach Tom Topping told Source Hoops. "He's very good at changing directions and getting to the rim, has a solid mid-range game, and has greatly improved his perimeter shooting during the course of the spring and summer. Chance was our leading scorer this year and he did a great job of filling that role."

Coach Topping compared McSpadden to former Florida State and Dr. Phillips star Jason Rich.

In addition to Florida, McSpadden's offer list included USF, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Harvard was also strongly in pursuit as he's also a standout in the classroom.

2015 is a key recruiting year for UCF. The Knights are looking to sign 4-5 prospects and have already issued offers to more than a dozen players in Florida, many of them from the Central Florida area.

"UCF is now in the American Conference so I know we'll be playing against high-level competition," McSpadden said. "I just want to help put UCF on the big stage and make the program take off. Let's build on this class with B.J. and Adonys coming in this year and then next year with me and Chad. We're trying to get some big men to come and join us. Let's build this thing and win some games."







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