Keith Stone followed up a strong spring with a very productive summer that included picking up offers from Alabama, Auburn and Florida before trimming his list to five schools -- Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech. Florida offered the Deerfield Beach (Fla.) Zion Lutheran Christian 2015 forward right before he cut his list, but Stone told Rivals.com that was a coincidence.
"I was pretty much waiting until after the July period to cut my list down," Stone said. "My coach wanted me to get it out of the way. (Florida Assistant) Coach (Matt) McCall texted me after the Peach State tournament and said he loved the way I play and they would come watch me in Panama City."
The Monday following the Gulf Beach Challenge in Panama City, Stone got the offer. The next day he cut his list to five schools and scheduled visits.
He is taking an unofficial visit to Florida on Aug. 23, an official visit to Alabama on Sept. 19 and an official visit to South Carolina on Sept. 28.
The three-star prospect played for the Florida Vipers AAU program and their coaches found ways to put Stone in a position to display his talents.
"I was used mainly as a three," Stone said. "Coach Brandon (McThay) put in a lot of ways for me to score because I can play multiple positions. So he put me at the two, the three and the four. After we had some success, I was being guarded by the other team's best defender."
At 6-foot-8, 238 pounds and athletic, Stone can play small forward if a team wants to use a big lineup or be used as a power forward that can stretch the defense with his face-up game. He has very good timing on rebounds in, and out of his area and he can knock down open jump shots from anywhere on the court. Since the travel season ended, Stone said two of the things he's been working on involve his athleticism.
"I've been working on getting quicker and more explosive," he said. "I'm already a little bit explosive but I want to get more explosive where I can get to the rim as quickly as possible so no one can stop me."
With his recruitment hitting the home stretch, Stone admitted to having mixed emotions, but he's very focused on what is in front of him.
"It's sad to see it come to an end but it's also a blessing since I'll know what school I'll be attending for the next four years," he said. I want a school that can compete for a national championship, a school with good academics and where I can get some type of playing time my freshman year."
Russ Wood is a basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com and Inside the Gators. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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