As the transfer dominoes begin to fall, one of the more intriguing ones was South Carolina’s Anthony Gill. Last night he made the call and went with the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia was one of Gill’s finalists coming out of high school so he was comfortable with the staff. He just completed his freshman season, and will have three years of eligibility left after he sits out a year.
Being forced to sit a year will be highly beneficial to Gill and the Hoos. The system run by Darrin Horn and the system run by Tony Bennett are not at all similar, and Gill will need a season of practice to get used to the intricacies of the pack-line defense. The good news is that he’s 6-8, 235 pounds, and highly athletic. He’ll easily slide into a similar defensive role as played this season by Mike Scott.
Gill was a borderline top-100 recruit coming out of high school, and barely missed making the consensus top-100 at RSCI hoops.
Offensively, what to expect? Is he another Mike Scott clone?
The short answer is no. The long answer is a bit more complicated.
Gill was a starter for the Gamecocks, and played 63% of the team’s minutes. His 100.2 offensive rating was very solid for a freshman, and was higher than three Virginia starters (Sammy Zeglinski, Jontel Evans and Akil Mitchell). But most important for Tony Bennett’s offense, Gill can step out and hit the three. He didn’t take many (28), but he made 39% of them. Bennett and staff are excellent shooting coaches, and they’ll have an entire season to find spots (on the floor, and in the flow of the offense) where Gill is comfortable from. This will open the rest of Gill’s game, and he had the highest free throw rate on the team. Ideally, he’s an inside-out forward with the ability to pick-and-pop. Think Kenny Kadji, but a little smaller.
The other thing Gill does well is to hit the offensive glass. He rebounded 9% of USCe misses when he was on the floor, which was only slightly behind the rate of Mike Scott. His defensive rebounding was also solid. The only real downside was that he sometimes had a hard time finding shots in Darrin Horn’s offense, and he had the propensity to be foul prone. But those are minor issues that should be fixable.
Overall, this is a great pickup for Virginia. Not only are they getting a very talented player, but he’s entering a system he’s well suited for, and will have a year to learn it.