HIGH-FLIER, LOW PROFILE
Many of Anthony Gill's favorite plays begin with a miss. He's in some hostile ACC environment, fans riled to ear-splitting decibels, when one of his teammates clanks a shot off the rim. The 6'8" senior forward grabs the rebound, then converts the putback or kicks it out to another Cavalier for a second-chance jumper. The effect: a satisfying atmospheric deflation. Says Gill, "I love to take the energy out of the building."
Few players in college basketball are more adept at initiating such crowd-displeasing displays than Gill, whose offensive rebound rate last season (15.5%) ranked 13th nationally and second in the ACC. "He's got the heart of a warrior on the glass," says coach Tony Bennett. "He won't be denied."
Gill's flash-free game does little to bolster his name recognition, especially on a team whose methodical pace limits his scoring (11.6 points per game last season) and that's best known for its stifling Pack-Line defense. Gill was only third-team All-ACC, but kenpom.com's advanced metrics placed him seventh in its national player of the year standings. He also ranked fourth in the country in win shares per 40 minutes, which measures a player's wide-ranging contributions to his team's victories. "I think he's gotten noticed by the right people," Bennett says, "and I think he will get more [attention] if he continues to play at that level."
PROJECTED TEAM STATS
OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY 111.9 (33rd)
DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY 90.3 (2nd)
ACC RECORD 13--5 (T-1st)
Sophomore Marial Shayok's case for earning minutes will be helped by his jumper. His 38.0% shooting from deep in 2014--15 is the best of any returning Cavalier after UVa lost last year's three-point leader, Justin Anderson.
With 2015--16 projections for the top six scorers
Coach Tony Bennett (7th season)
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Malcolm Brogdon* 6'5" Sr.
Anthony Gill* 6'8" Sr.
Mike Tobey* 7'0" Sr.
London Perrantes* 6'2" Jr.
Marial Shayok* 6'5" Soph.
Evan Nolte 6'8" Sr.
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
ROUND OF 32
ROUND OF 64
CHRIS KEANE FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (GILL)
JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES (SHAYOK)