COLUMBIA — As new South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin rebuilds the Gamecocks’ roster, one of their former players has decided where he will transfer.
Anthony Gill is heading to Virginia, according to a Twitter post from his former AAU coach, Rick Lewis, who previously tweeted that Gill would pick Virginia or Ohio State. Gill, a 6-8, 235-pound power forward from Charlotte, will sit out next season because of NCAA transfer rules and have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013-14.
As a freshman last season, Gill ranked third on USC in scoring with 7.6 points per game and tied for second in rebounding, with 4.7 per game.
Gill was ranked the No. 29 power forward and No. 144 overall player in the Class of 2011 — a nice recruiting pickup for coach Darrin Horn, who was replaced by Martin after last season.
Gill is one of two USC starters from last season who are transferring. The other is Damontre Harris (6-9, 226), who as a sophomore last season led the team with 5.5 rebounds per game and tied for fourth with 6.8 points per game.
He also led USC with 71 blocks.
On Thursday and Friday, Martin picked up four commitments from recruits for next season, including two Lithuanian forwards: Laimonas Chatkevicius (6-10, 230), who previously signed with Martin at Kansas State, and Mindaugas Kacinas (6-7, 205). Martin also got small forward Thaddeus Hall (6-5, 180) and 6-2 point guard Tarik Philip.
USC has not officially announced the signings of any recruits, and Hall still has to academically qualify, according to the New York Post.
Martin now has one scholarship spot remaining in the Class of 2012, with point guard Bruce Ellington still on a football scholarship for next season, because he will again play both sports.
Or Martin could save the scholarship for 2013. USC will have just one senior next season, small forward Lakeem Jackson, just as it had one senior this past season — wing player Malik Cooke.
Martin’s first recruiting class includes five players right now, because Tyrone Haughton (6-9, 205) signed with Horn in November and is scheduled to still attend USC.
If Martin uses the sixth scholarship spot, USC would begin next season with six newcomers and seven returning players, because football will force Ellington to miss the start of the season. The only returning starter at that point will be sophomore shooting guard Damien Leonard.