PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers leading scorer Mike Rosario is transferring to Florida.
Rosario said in a telephone interview Monday that he visited the university in Gainesville, Fla., over the weekend and told Gators coach Billy Donovan he would join the program.
"It's a total different atmosphere," Rosario told The Associated Press. "It's a great school to go to college to. They just take care of things the right way and that's the environment I want for myself and my future. I chose to make that decision."
Rosario was impressed with Donovan, who led Florida (21-13) to consecutive national titles in 2006 and 2007, and an NCAA berth this past season.
"Billy D the great, that's the only thing I can say," Rosario said. "He is a great person, a great guy. He has a wonderful heart. He knows the game and he is passionate and he just has everything I want."
Rosario gives the Gators a proven scorer. The former Saint Anthony High School star led the Scarlet Knights in scoring each of his first two seasons, averaging 16.2 points as a freshman and 16.7 this past season. His 517 points as a freshman was a school record.
Rosario said having the next year off will allow him to improve his game. He can practice with Florida but cannot play in games until the 2011-12 season.
While he enjoyed having the chance to stay at home and play at Rutgers, Rosario said the lack of success as a team convinced him to transfer.
"The hard part was losing," Rosario said. "Basketball is something I love to do and that comes first besides school. If you are not happy playing something you love, then a lot of things aren't going the right way and you're not happy."
Rosario said he planned to transfer before Rutgers told Fred Hill recently that he would not be returning to coach the team next season.