2011 forward Anthony Gill has been in the gym this summer. Whether it was playing with his home-based AAU squad Team Charlotte, or playing with nationally recognized Team Loaded in Las Vegas, Gill spent countless hours on the court, not to mention the time spent working out individually with former North Carolina standout Jeff McInnis.
"I really think I improved my game this summer," Gill told GamecockCentral.com. "I played against some of the top talent in the country and held my own. It was fun."
Gill may have surprised some when he committed early to South Carolina last fall, but he knew it was the place for him. "South Carolina had a family feel to it," the three-star prospect said. "The coaching staff has been straight up with me from day one. They didn't make any false promises. They told me if I work hard I can come in and help them win. I also fell in love with the campus and the facilities."
The North Carolina standout has formed a strong bond with the South Carolina coaching staff.
"They came to every single one of my AAU games this summer during the open period," he said. "It meant a lot to see them there. I have a good relationship with all of them, especially Coach (Neill) Berry and Coach (Darrin) Horn."
Gill's former AAU coach Rick Lewis described the type of player Coach Horn will be getting when Gill heads to Columbia.
"AG has a great understanding of the game of basketball," Lewis said. "He will more than likely be a face-up power forward for South Carolina. He is very effective around the basket. Anthony can shoot the mid-range jumper that troubles many players today. He has soft hands and is very active on the offensive and defensive glass."
Coach Lewis has seen his share of talent over the years, but he believes Anthony has the ability to be a special player, and one that USC was smart to jump on early in the process.
"I truly believe that had he not been committed this summer, he would have been one of the hottest prospects around. South Carolina did a great job recruiting him. They saw something in him at an early stage and he formed a bond with the coaches."
As things stand, Gill is the lone member of a 2011 signing class (which could change), but is already familiar with several players from the 2010 class that he will be teammates with at USC.
"I used to play AAU with Brian Richardson," he said. "I played against Eric Smith and Damontre (Harris) in high school. They told me they've been working hard this summer in the weight room and in the gym. I expect them to bring a big spark to the team this year."
Anthony intends to sign with the Gamecocks in November, and has never wavered since his pledge last fall.
"I'm not thinking about any other school but South Carolina. I'm looking forward to it. I plan on going hard every time I step on the floor. I will push my teammates and hopefully make everyone better."