Virginia basketball landed one of its top transfer targets today, when Anthony Gill pulled the trigger in favor of the Cavaliers. Gill, a transfer forward from South Carolina, will have to sit out the 2012-2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining after that. Gill made the decision to transfer after South Carolina fired head coach Darrin Horn after another disappointing season in Columbia. In addition to Virginia, a bunch of other schools, including UNC, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Clemson and NC State contacted Gill after he made himself available for transfer. Gill chose Virginia after visiting both UVA and Ohio State in recent weeks.
In his only season at South Carolina, Gill was one of the best players on his team. Starting 26 of 31 games, the freshman big man averaged 7.6 points per game, good for third on the team. Gill also averaged 4.7 rebounds per game, tied for second best on the squad. The 6'8'' forward took the occasional long ball as well. Gill averaged 39.3% from three on the season, making 11 of his 28 attempts. For comparisons sake, Mike Scott, a decent outside shooting big man, was 6 for 20 on the year from 3, or 30%. Gill also shot 64.6% from the free throw line last year, which leaves some room for improvement. Overall, these numbers are really respectable for any freshman big man, especially for one playing on a team that was 2-14 in the SEC last year.
From the moment it was announced that Gill would seek a transfer, Virginia was the team to beat. Virginia was interested in Gill during his high school career in Charlotte, where he played alongside current Cavalier big man Akil Mitchell. Gill's friendship with Mitchell, along with the fact that Virginia offered Gill an opportunity to play meaningful playing time surely contributed to his decision. Gill can now fill the scholarship that was vacated when James Johnson transferred to San Diego State in December. Even though point guard is the biggest need for Tony Bennett and company these days, Gill is a really solid addition to a young nucleus already forming in Charlottesville. With impressive production at South Carolina, coupled with the fact that he has three years of eligibility remaining, Virginia's pursuit of Gill was a no-brainer.
UVA might not be done in the transfer market, however. There are still a few hoops transfer targets on the market for the Hoos, so be sure to stay tuned to Streaking the Lawn for all the latest Virginia football and basketball recruiting news and analysis.