The Terps secured Duquesne graduate transfer LG Gill May 9, and afterwards we spoke to his former high school coach at Benedictine (Va.), Robert Churchwell, to gain more insight into the 6-foot-7 power forward. Our question-and-answer session with Churchwell is below:
Terrapin Times: Coach, we spoke to LG about his transfer earlier, and wanted to get your reaction. Thoughts on Maryland?
Robert Churchwell: First off, I’m very proud, happy and excited for him. He loved his official visit, he loved the staff there, and the overall educational and playing opportunities for him. He really felt like Maryland was the best fit.
TT: How close was Marquette for him? Did Maryland really separate, or was it a pretty close race?
RC: We honestly didn’t really talk about that. Obviously Marquette and Maryland were his top two schools, but we really didn’t get into what the separation was. But he did seem pretty clear on his choice. He wasn’t wavering.
TT: What was this process like for him, just the past few weeks going through this? Was it stressful, just having to find another college in just a couple weeks?
RC: Well, he’s a very, very grounded kid. I think that first week he was a little overwhelmed because so many school were on him. But he took it in stride, and I told him constantly to enjoy the moment, and he told me he was doing that. He seemed to meticulously go over all the opportunities and I think he did a good job breaking it down and finding the best fit for him.
TT: LG explained how Coach [Mark] Turgeon sees him at Maryland, but how do you sort of see him fitting in and what he can do there?
RC: The way Maryland plays, I think he’ll be able to spread the floor like he has been, but I think he’ll also have some opportunities to put it on the deck. He’ll have some opportunities to catch it on the wing and showcase some half-court ability. They run the floor, they push the ball, but also in the half-court offense they give freedom to the players. I think that’s a really good fit for him.
He has really good footwork, really good athleticism and really good length. Pick-and-pop, where to move, where to roll, where to pop… he gets his feet set, he sees the floor well, he talks on defense. He has a very, very high IQ. And without a doubt, he can rebound. When he was [at Benedictine] he averaged seven, eight boards per game, so he has the ability to be a very good rebounder.
TT: LG said he needs to work on his postgame, but what are some things you think he needs to do to be able to do well in the Big Ten?
RC: Knowing L.G., as far as him being a gym rat, just being in top physical shape. I just think for him now it’s more mental than anything. Just mentally going out there and playing and doing the things he’s capable of doing.
TT: How much did L.G. talk about Maryland’s past success with graduate transfers like Rasheed Sulaimon last year?
RC: That was apart of it also, knowing [transfers] have went there and had success. That had a major impact, for sure.
TT: Just during my brief conversations with L.G., he sounds like a character kid and very well-spoken. What’s he like around his teammates and does he carry that same mentality or demeanor?
RC: I haven’t been around him in that capacity in about three years, but I’m sure he hasn’t changed much. He was definitely one of our leaders, first by example with his work ethic, and secondly he became more and more vocal. He was one that set an example and other guys followed him. Also, he’s a very, very high-character young man, and LG has a very good basketball IQ. He knows what to do and where to be on the court.
TT: Does L.G. remind you of any other player, Coach, just to give fans an illustration of how he plays?
RC: I’m an old-school guy, so I guess I have to think of someone people today might know (laughs). If I had to say somebody, he’s kind of a Harrison Barnes type of skillset, but maybe with a little more length on him.