The Seminoles have apparently added a third member to their 2009 Signing Class: Jon Kreft a 6'11 260lbs Center from Marianna (FL) Chipola Junior College. I use the word apparently because as of yet Jon has not signed a letter of intent and all is hush hush from the Seminole front office.
Photo from here.
This is not the first time that the Noles have picked up a player from Chipola College. The other are Bert Deckel, Ken Bush, Danny Boltz, Dale Klay and Jerry Smith. It looks like most players use Chipola as a stepping stone to Division I programs.
This year the Chipola Indians went 34-2 overall and 12-0 in the Panhandle Conference. They were ranked #1 in NJCAA Poll for 9 weeks and were the Region VIII Champions and finished third in the NJCAA National tournament. The reason I mention all this is to give you some sense of what kind of JC program Chipola is.
Here is the full story on Jon's basketball and life history. I arn you, some of what you are about to read my be a bit surprising and unfortunate.
Jon was orginally a part of the 2006 signing class and was recruited to Florida State at that time by Stan Jones. At the time, Jon was a 6'11 240lbs center from Parkland Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. He was a 5 star recruit and was the number 5 center in the class and the 29th player overall. This was the class that included Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Brandan Wright, Chase Budinger, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, Ty Lawson, Brook Lopez and Gerald Henderson to name a few. In his junior year, Kreft averaged 18.4 pts, 9.8 rebounds and 4.3 blocks. Kreft was also invited to play at the Jordan All-American Classic at the end of his senior year.
Apparently, Hamilton was very interested in this kid as we did not have significant size on the interior at the time. They were about to potentially lose Alexander Johnson and Ryan Reid was still recovering from being academically inelligable. As you can see, signing this kid was a big deal.
Unfortunately, Jon made some poor decisions and was arrested in May of 2006 for drug charges. He was charged with a felony for cocaine possession and a misdemeanor for marijuana and drug-paraphernalia possession. However, this was not Kreft's first disciplinary problem as he was suspended half way through his senior season for "violating team rules." Four days after the arrest, Florida State rescinded it's scholarship offer.
Kreft pleaded not guilty to the charges and served a year's sentence at Broward County Jail and a boot camp. Since completing his sentence, Kreft has not had any disciplinary actions against him at Chipola College. This is encouraging and it seems that Jon has demonstrated a new focus in life. Here is a nice article about Jon and his reflections on his life. As Jon said in a later interview: ""A lot of people can read a newspaper and think bad things about you. It takes a lot to get your image back. I'm showing people who I really am now."
Here is Jon's highlight tape from Chipola. I have tried to contact the coaches at Chipola...but haven't been able to get through as of yet. Here is the 2009 Chipola Highlight tape that has a little bit of commentary on Jon. His clip is about half way through the video. And here is his original Rivals Video. It's hard to say from these short clips what he can consistently do throughout a game. It appears that he runs the floor well. It appears that he is aggressive around the basket. It appears that he has a turn around jump shot. Again, hard to know. I hope to hear back from their coaching staff. Jon was named to the Second Team All-Conference, despite playing only 15 minutes per game.
There you have it. Jon Kreft in a nutshell. If he does sign and can stay out of trouble. We have the potential to have Xavier Gibson, Solomon Alabi and Jon Kreft rotation through our front court. That is, of course, if Alabi sticks around long enough once Kreft is eligible to play. Three 7 footers on one team. I hope he can contribute and I hope he has turned his life around; it appears that he has. I know this is not the ideal story we want to hear about our recruits, but it is the reality of the situation and we want you to know the facts.
In other recruiting news, Michael Snaer's outstanding post season play has moved him up most recruiting boards to the number 2 shooting guard in the country. He really has had a phenomenal spring and is going to be a special player at Florida State.
Here is Michael at the McDonald's All American Dunk Contest:
And here is the video.
**My apologies to Evenflow who already posted this news in the FanPost section. I discovered that after I posted the piece. As you can tell, work has been a bit busy recently.