Kugel earned all-state honors this season from the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches and helped Dr. Phillips to a 2021 state championship and a 2022 state runner-up finish. The 6-foot-5, 175-pound Kugel is ranked the No. 46 player nationally and the No. 5 shooting guard in the On3 Consensus. He previously signed with Mississippi State but reopened his recruitment on March 22.
“We are very excited to add Riley to our program,” Golden said. “Riley brings all the tools to become an impactful play-making guard, in addition to great size. He has advanced ball-skills and a natural feel for how to play the game. We’re looking forward to his continued growth as he joins our team and Gator Nation.”
Kugel will reunite in Gainesville with Dr. Phillips teammate Denzel Aberdeen, who is also part of UF’s signing class. That freshman duo also joins four transfer additions to the Gators’ 2022-23 roster.
With the addition of Kugel, the Gators now have 12 scholarship players. Golden landed four transfers this offseason in forward Alex Fudge (LSU) and guards Trey Bonham (VMI), Kyle Lofton (St. Bonaventure), and Will Richard (Belmont).
Teammates Aberdeen and Kugel, along with the four transfers, will join a half dozen returning players: forwards Colin Castleton and CJ Felder, center Jason Jitoboh, and guards Myreon Jones, Kowacie Reeves and Niels Lane.
Kugel’s high school accolades and scouting report
- Second-team FABC All-State honoree in 2022, averaging 16.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
- Helped bring Dr. Phillips its first state championship in school history, scoring 13 points in the 2021 7A title game.
- Scored 27 points in the 2022 state semifinals, ultimately helping Dr. Phillips to a Class 7A state runner-up finish.
On3 national recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw provided Gators Online his scouting report on the newest signee.
“At 6-5, Kugel has long arms and a physically developed frame. He is comfortable on the ball, showcasing great vision to set up his teammates and his jump shot extends well beyond the arc. His explosion has become a weapon as he gets past his man and is a threat to get on the rim when he touches the paint. Plays with a competitive fire. Good in the passing lanes. Three-level scorer.”