In response to the slew of comments on my first article chiding me for leaving out redshirt sophomore Anthony Gill, I have decided to dedicate an article to the University of Virginia Men’s Basketball transfer.
Gill is a 6-foot-8 forward, weighing in at around 231 pounds. He transferred from USC (the phallus, not the prophylactic) in the spring of 2012 after the firing of South Carolina’s then coach, Darrin Horn. As a freshman at USC Gill averaged 7.6 points per game (third on the team) and 4.7 rebounds (tied for second). He played in all 31 games and started an impressive 26 times. Gill shot 45% from the field and a somewhat misleading 39% from beyond the arc. In reality he only sunk 11 threes in 28 attempts and this video of him working on his range gives me pause (he misses his first 8 attempts in the video, which sounds like it’s narrated by stand-up comedian Brian Posehn).
Gill is a strong, physical player. He’s solidly built with great athletic ability. He has a good mid-range game, and the ability to put the ball on the floor. The latter, coupled with his jumping ability lead to exciting dunks like this one where he skies over the most formidable team in Spartanburg, SC, the Wofford Terriers.
Gill, known to his teammates as “AG,” will be a huge addition to the team in the 2013-2014 season. He adds great depth to UVa’s front court (which Seth Greenberg listed as #6 in the nation pre-season on ESPN Insider), and there is a definite possibility that he will be in the starting lineup at the outset of the season. His presence will allow UVa to successfully go big more often, which is a luxury the team has been sorely missing for quite some time.
Everyone is excited about what Gill will add to the team. Daily Progress writer Whitey Reid likened his redshirt season to “stashing a DeLorean in the John Paul Jones Arena parking garage.” Keep in mind, leaving South Carolina Gill had offers to join UNC and Ohio State.
After practicing with the team for a season, and even playing on the same high school team as UVa senior Akil Mitchell, Gill should be able to jump into the mix comfortably and excel right away. Additionally, with his physical style of play he will be a big help to Mitchell on the boards.
Some are trying to compare Gill to former UVa star Mike Scott, but I think, other than his size, they are different types of players. Scott had a better jump shot than Gill, utilizing his turn-around to distance himself from defenders. His shot was indicative of his style of play, seeming to shy away from contact. Gill, according to his teammates, relishes contact and will force himself inside more than Scott. Of course, with a penchant for contact comes a greater chance of free throws, a facet of Gill’s game that was sub par at South Carolina (64.6%). Hopefully during his season off he has improved from the line.