Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon landed 6-foot-7 Duquesne graduate transfer LG Gill May 9 after an official visit to College Park, Md. The power forward committed to the Terps over Marquette. Afterwards, we spoke to the Chesterfield, Va., native to give UMD fans more insight into the fifth-year transfer.
Our audio interview can be heard above, while the transcribed quotes are below.
On Choosing UMD over Marquette
I just felt like this decision was going to be a huge decision as far as my future. So not only was this a basketball decision, but one for my career after basketball. I just believe that Maryland is a place for me where I'll have the best opportunity for basketball and afterwards in whatever grad program I choose to pursue. I know that D.C. area, that DMV area, there's so much networking done there with the school, the alumni and the connections. As far as my career, I feel like [Maryland] will help me with that.
On the Majors Gill Is Looking At
Right now they're showing me business and journalism. At Duquesne, my minor was communications and my major was criminal justice. So right now I'm looking at the business school and the opportunities there, but I was interested in the journalism school as well. I'm not sure which one I'm going to continue in, but those are the two I'm looking at right now.
On The College Park Official Visit and What Sold Him
What sold me was basically how they just showed me [what I could do there]. I had a great relationship with Coach Turgeon throughout this process. He basically just reiterated everything we talked about over the phone, and he came to visit me at Duquesne and showed me all the things he would like to do and what he would like me to do for the program. And when I got to Maryland, it was the same thing he told me when he visited me. Basically just showing me how I could help the team and how I could continue to be successful in my last year.
How He Fits In and His Role
I sat down with Coach Turgeon with my family, and we talked about the success he's had with graduate transfers and the vital roles they've filled for his teams in the past, and how he wants me to fill their needs coming in next year. As of right now, I can be anywhere between a stretch-4 and a '3', but I just call myself a swingman. As far as creating various mismatches, I can cause problems with my athleticism. But one thing Coach Turgeon wants to work with me on is my postgame, because that's huge for me especially with my size, although I never really got that experience down in the post [at Duquesne]. So he really wants to help me become a better post player. That's one thing he really discussed with me, as well as my guard skills. He really wants to develop me in those aspects of the game.
On Defense and Rebounding
With my athleticism, I definitely can help this team rebound. And I like to get offensive rebounds as well. As far as defense, I'm long and athletic, and as long as I keep working on my lateral speed I feel like I have the capability to be a force defensively. Even with my length to contest shots on guards, and using my length on quicker guards that might be faster than me, just using my strengths to lock down on defense.
On UMD Being Close To Hometown Chesterfield, Va.
That really wasn't a factor at all. I don't want anyone to think it was, either. When I went into this process I wanted to find the right fit for me, where I could be most successful my last year. It just so happened that Maryland was close, but I didn't go into it looking at it being a positive thing [UMD] was close to home. I was mainly looking at player-coach relationship, somewhere I could develop my skills and also a chance to be successful.
On Chance To Play In NCAA Tournament Being A Factor
That was definitely a highlight. That's definitely something that stuck out. I know Maryland is always one of the top contenders in college basketball, and that's a great stage to play on. And to be able to come in and help that team, it definitely played a part for me too.
On Success With Transfers At Maryland
The coaches pretty much just told me about that. The players weren't on campus at the time, because they were doing the NBA camp thing, but I talked to some academic advisors, and she was telling me the things the [past transfers] struggled with and liked the grad program. But as far as the past transfers at Maryland, I really didn't get a chance to talk to [players about] being in the position I'm in.
On Role Next Year
I'm not going to say I'm going to come in and start. I know I'm going to have to work my butt off next year to earn a spot. Being a 4, the minutes are there, but nothing is guaranteed. I have to go in there and earn it. Nothing in life is guaranteed, and, like I said, I have to work my butt off, so I want to go in and prove myself.