He's off to a good start with four-star Raleigh, N.C. shooting guard Anton Gill, who led Ravenscroft School to its first North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state title in 32 years with a 64-52 win over Greensboro Day last week. The 6'4 Gill had 14 points and six rebounds in the championship game.
Gill, who was hampered by a foot injury last summer and saw his stock drop nationally, is once again rising up the rankings - he's moved up to No. 37 nationally in the 2013 Scout.com rankings - after an outstanding junior campaign. Was he seeking redemption with his play this season? Without doubt.
"I guess you could say that," Gill told InsideTheVille.com. "Last year when I hurt my foot it took a whole lot for me to get back last summer. Scouts were at the games and I wasn't really at 100 percent to show what I can really do. When I got back I worked really hard before the start of the season and I knew I had to prove I was one of the top guys in the country. I have confidence and that was one of my goals to show that I belong with the top players in the country."
"It was fun," Gill said. "I watched the team shoot around (Sunday) morning before the game and got to talk to all of the coaches..Coach (Kevin) Keatts, Coach Piitno, Coach Richard Pitino, Coach (Wyking) Jones. I got to see the game against Pittsburgh and I was glad they pulled it out. I had a lot of fun hanging out with the players afterwards and then I got to see practice the next day before I had to get on the flight back home."
Gill, who was named All-State and Conference Player of the Year, said Pitino told him he can help the Cardinals right away.
"We talked about how my season went and he congratulated me on the state championship," Gill said. "We also talked about who we're looking to bring in in my class and he talked about where I'd play my freshman year, who would still be there and where I'd have a chance to help the team when I get here."
An athletic combo guard, Gill could play either backcourt position for the Cards.
"I think one thing they like is I'm versatile enough to score at both positions - on or off the ball," said Gill. "I play combo in high school. So I think I'll be able to be plugged in wherever I'm needed and help the team."
"He (Pitino) said this summer is really going to be big for me to keep improving and working on my game because he expects me to come in my freshman year and be a big help to the team…an impact player," said Gill. "In 2012 we have a good guard coming in in Terry Rozier and in my class their bringing in another big man and another really good player that can help us out."
When he competes on the AAU circuit and participates in the prestigious NBA Top 100 Camp this summer, Gill will be looking to convince other top 2013 stars to join him at Louisville, in addition to improving his skills.
"That's one of my jobs I'm going to have to be more of a recruiter now," Gill said. "The goal is to get the best class possible and try to come in with two or three really good players so we can make a run at the national championship."
Pitino is actively targeting several of the nation's top players, including five-stars Jabari Parker, Tyler Ennis and BeeJay Anya and four-star prospects Dominic Woodson, Moses Kingsley, Jarrell Martin and Greg McClinton.
"I talk to Greg McClinton and Malik Price-Martin," Gill said. "They talk about bringing in another big kid. They've talked about Tyler Ennis a little bit. So there's a couple guys that we're trying to get to."
Though he can't make his decision official for several months, Gill is firm in his commitment to Pitino's Cards.
"Without a doubt," Gill said. "I wouldn't have committed if I didn't feel like Louisville was the perfect fit for me. I love Coach Pitino, the style of play and the system they run. I'm excited and I can't wait to (sign) and get it over with."