College Basketball Recruiting: Anthony Gill Signs with Virginia

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IApril 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 26:   Dewayne Dedmon #14 of the USC Trojans dunks in front of Anthony Gill #13 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during the fourth round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena November 26, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. USC won 63-60.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Virginia coach Tony Bennett knew the importance of this month.

His Cavaliers had reached the NCAA tournament for only the second time since 2001, but they did so with a roster that was razor thin by March.

Whether it was the injury to Assane Sene, the foot problems of Malcolm Brogdon or the transfers of KT Harrell and James Johnson, Virginia finished the year with seven scholarship players available.

With the losses of Mike Scott, Sammy Zeglinski and Sene, Virginia needed to bolster the coffers of a program that had been gutted by transfers over the past few seasons.

The Cavaliers went after T.J. McConnell on the transfer market only to lose out to the Arizona Wildcats. They could not afford a similar strikeout on Anthony Gill.

So coach Bennett and his assistant Ritchie McKay put on the full-court press. They were the first to contact Gill when he requested a transfer from South Carolina. They were his first official visit and they followed up the Wednesday afterward by coming to him.

Sure, people had to expect that Ohio State was a worthy suitor. The Buckeyes are clearly the better program right now and had a great deal to offer the 6'8'' forward.

However, Virginia picks up the official word today that Gill is no longer a Gamecock but a Cavalier.

Gill will have to sit out next season, one that will include four true freshmen and only one senior on the roster.

That means the 2013-14 season has the potential to be one of the deepest teams in quite some time for the Cavaliers.

Gill brings just what Virginia needs. His size and athletic frame will pose a problem in the paint for teams and complement the talented Darion Atkins and former high school teammate Akil Mitchell.

Being the third-leading scorer on the Gamecocks as a freshman, Gill can provide some inside punch to hopefully complement some of the shooters Bennett will cultivate in his Blocker-Mover offensive scheme.

Gill helps provide clarity for the future of this program and is the second addition to the roster since March after Justin Miller walked on the team after leaving Missouri.

No one knows how Gill's career will shape up for Virginia, but the signing gives Bennett a boost in his overall perception.

Bennett is making the Cavaliers a program worth noting and the scary part is that he is not done yet.