Gill said he grew up "idolizing" the UNC program and its players.
"I grew up loving North Carolina basketball – the program and the players," he explained. "Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, he was from the Charlotte area, I saw all of them and watched them progress through the NBA. UNC always has good players coming out to the league each year."
Gill, a top 100 recruit in the class of 2011 out of Charlotte (N.C.) Christian, began considering a transfer from South Carolina when head coach Darrin Horn was fired. New coach Frank Martin granted Gill permission to contact other programs late last week.
As a 6-8, 235-pound freshman this past season at South Carolina, Gill started 26 games, averaging 7.6 points, 4.7 rebounds (leading the team in offensive rebounds) and 1.1 assists.
As a transfer, he'll have to sit out the 2012-13 season and will have three years of eligibility left, beginning in 2013-14.
"I'm actually looking forward to the year off, it doesn't bother me," he said. "During that time I could get bigger, faster and stronger."
On the court, Gill said he likes to take advantage of mismatches created by his size and quickness.
"I like to back down smaller guys or face up on bigger guys," he said. "I definitely like to get out and run a lot and don't mind an up-tempo game."
Since being granted the partial release, Gill said he's heard from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, North Carolina and Clemson. He'll visit UVa this coming weekend, but has no other visits planned.
"I like the honesty throughout the coaches at Virginia," Gill said. "They're Christian and they run a Christian organization. I like that."
Gill said he'd like to have his decision made in two to three weeks. Days after news broke of his intention to transfer, several reports said Gill wanted to stay within close proximity to home. While he said he wouldn't mind being close, it's not a necessity.
"As soon as I started opening up my options, things changed a little bit," he said. "I haven't narrowed it down to a list or anything. I'm taking it day by day."
He said he's looking for nothing more than a winning program.
"I want to go somewhere with coaches that know how to win and a team that's willing to do anything to win."