Augustus Gilchrist was the best player on USF’s team before his injury in mid-December.
Gilchrist severely sprained his ankle limited him to only 18 games this season. He was averaging 21 points and eight rebounds a game before his injury.
The road to recovery was a rocky one for Gilchrist.
He came back out of shape due to the fact he was limited on his conditioning. His season average dropped to 13.4 points and 5.9 rebounds a game. He never fully got back into full swing, limited the Bulls success in the NIT.
Gilchrist scored in double figures only four times in his last ten games. His rebounding suffered as well, he only had eight rebounds in two of those final 10 games.
USF will depend on the production of its star forward, much like it did with Dominique Jones last season. Gilchrist has proven he can step in Jones’ shoes without any problems. He will have to for the Bulls to have another chance at the NIT or possibly the NCAA tournament.
Gilchrist’s trying season was not only on the court this year for the Bulls.
He faced allegations of recruiting tampering during his transfer from Maryland to USF. The accusations were later dropped, but the questions still remain about his friendship with Terrelle Woody, a member of USF’s coaching staff.
Woody was accused of driving Gilchrist to several Orlando Magic games, along with having contact with players during quiet periods. He was also given a position on the USF staff after it was “guaranteed” that Gilchrist would sign with USF.
None of the accusations were proven completely true, but none were completely put to bed either. This leaves questions about Gilchrist off-court activities, some head coach Stan Heath doesn’t need. Gilchrist doesn’t need any distractions this year, he will be the go to guy and will need be fully concentrated on this new responsibility.
Gilchrist can easily become a 20 and 10 guy, even with the stiff Big East competition he will face every night. He was already well on his way to becoming just that before his injury. With a quiet offseason, Gilchrist will regain his true form and work his way into a leader for the Bulls on and off the court.