With the Louisville basketball team on an eight day break in conference play coach Rick Pitino decided to have a scrimmage Saturday. In the game, according to Terry Meiners who seems to be the only media who watched the scrimmage, freshman guard Anton Gill had at least five threes and helped keep the backups close with the starters most of the game. So my question is, why not more minutes for Gill?
— Terry Meiners (@terrymeiners) February 8, 2014
As I write this I am fully aware that Rick Pitino knows more about his players than I and that he is a hall of fame coach for a reason. I just wonder if it would be worth losing some defensive skill for his ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor.
Quote from Pitino in a recent press conference:
“Anton (Gill) and Akoy (Agau), and I have said many times, are going to very good basketball players. They are just behind at the defensive end, but offensively, they can play. They are as good as any of our guys, but defensively, they’re behind.”
The 6’3″ guard from Hargrave Military Academy made a mockery of teams in high school. With his ability to get hot quickly from deep, there was no way the opposing teams to keep up with him. He scored more than 50 points in a game twice last year for Hargrave and averaged more than 28 points per game.
There is no doubt that Russ Smith, Chris Jones and Terry Rozier are better guards to have on the defensive end, but at least five more minutes from Gill a game could really make Louisville a new type of threat heading into the end of the season. Gill currently averages around five minutes per game.
What if he played 10 minutes per game? What if he was played just enough to see if he could get hot in a game? If you play Smith, Gill, Hancock and Blackshear at the same time for just a few minutes per game, that is a crazy good shooting team. Short, absolutely. But teams, especially some in the AAC, would have a hard time keeping up with all the three point shooters.
The truth of the matter is I completely get why Gill is not playing much. If you cannot play the hard pressure defense in Pitino’s system it makes it harder for the other players, which wears them down quicker. Anyone can figure that out. I just really think Gill’s lack of defensive skills would be overshadowed by his ability to get points in spurts.
Some made this argument for Angel Nunez when he was here. Nunez could also score, but struggled to grasp some of Pitino’s defense. Pitino was probably right in that decision and he is more than likely right about Gill, but I say try it once and see what happens.
Here are some highlights from his senior season at Hargrave.
Am I crazy? Comment below and let me know what you think.