Gary Flowers, a 6-9, 205-pound power forward from Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., was seated in the recruits section watching Seton Hall, one of his top two options.
"Flowers is a heck of a player," Chipola coach Greg Heiar said by phone. "He's long, he's got a 7-3 wingspan. He's very versatile. He can shoot and score on the block. He can impact the game defensively. He runs the court. He can guard five positions on the floor. He's a special player."
Flowers. a native of Dallas, initially committed to Oklahoma State out of Genesis One Christian in Mendenhall., Miss. He averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds during the 2004-05 season and was ranked the 43rd-best player in the country according to Rivals.
"Gary is somebody we’ve always liked,” OSU Head Coach Designate Sean Sutton said then. “He’s always been a very talented player, and he’s a tough competitor that plays with a lot of energy. He’s a tremendously gifted athlete that plays multiple positions. He’s improved his skill level and has always been able to shoot the ball well.”
“If you compare him with players still out there, Gary Flowers is one of the top four or five prospects in the country,” added recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons. “He was rated as one of the five best power forwards in our top-100 NBA Camp in June of 2004. He had a great senior year. Now, he’s gaining more experience at a prep school.”
“Gary Flowers is a very bouncy, live body, athletic guy who can play both forward spots to bring some versatility,” said Dave Telep of Scout.com. “He had a really strong summer and has gotten better since his senior year.
Still, Flowers' tenure at OSU did not last long. He was suspended from the team in September 2006 for violation of team rules. He was reportedly arrested then in Stillwater on a marijuana possession charge. He also was reportedly ticketed that summer for speeding and did not have a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance. He transferred to Chipola in January 2007.
Flowers cannot sign with any school this fall because of an NCAA rule stating that a player must be in his third full semester of JUCO before committing. He could commit at any point, but could not sign until next spring.
Heiar said Flowers was basically down to South Florida and Seton Hall, and that he enjoyed his visit to Newark on Sunday.
"We're keeping it pretty tight-knit. South Florida, Seton Hall. There's not too many schools right now," he said.
"He seems to like what Seton Hall has to offer," he added. "He really enjoyed it. The important thing is for Gary to get with the right people.
"We met (Seton Hall assistant) Coach Derm Player a couple years ago and stayed in touch with him. He did a good job of staying in touch with one of my assistants. We've talked to Coach (Bobby) Gonzalez a few times on the phone."
Heiar and his staff dealt with Gonzalez before when 6-8 sophomore Joey Cameron transferred from Seton Hall to Chipola. Cameron recently committed to Fresno State and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
"They were great getting us the transcript on a timely basis," the coach said.
Seton Hall has one scholarship remaining for 2008, two if Chris Smith does not return to the program.