Florida Gators land 2020 Russian wing player

Photo: FIBA

Four-star recruit Samson Ruzhentsev verbally committed to the University of Florida on Friday (Oct. 4).

Ruzhentsev is a 6-foot-7 wing out of Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee and he is a native of Moscow, Russia.

Ruzhentsev talked to 247Sports about his commitment: “I’m going to Florida,” Ruzhentsev said. “It really came down to Ole Miss and Florida. It was a really hard choice for me. At first, before I visited Florida, my favorite was Ole Miss, but then after I visited I just felt like it was the place that I wanted to be. I had a better connection with the players.”

Florida’s coaching staff reportedly aggressively recruited Ruzhentsev for over a year and they were able to build a strong relationship with him.

“They offered at the beginning of my junior year and started recruiting me end of my junior year hard,” he said. “They’ve been down multiple times and they talk to me. It wasn’t really hard to build a relationship with them. They are really good people.”

Ruzhentsev is Florida’s first verbal commitment of the 2020 recruiting class, as he ranks No. 110 overall in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, but No. 53 overall in the Top247.

This summer, Ruzhentsev competed for Russia in the FIBA U18 European Championship in Greece, where he led Russia in scoring with 12.3 points per game and helped them to a sixth place finish.

Per 247Sports, here is Ruzhentsev’s evaluation: Good size for a wing. Physically immature frame with solid base, OK length and plenty of room to get stronger. Confident scorer with ability to put up points from all three levels. Streaky/inefficient shooter at this stage, but solid mechanics. Should improve efficiency with reps/strength. Plus athlete with impressive body control. Should be a versatile defender with added strength. Improving feel and shot selection will be important for hitting ceiling. Has NBA upside, but reasonably safe floor as high major starter with normal progression.