Expectations were high for the former top 50 high school recruit and Louisville transfer, perhaps too high after the success the Huskers had with a similar transfer the year prior in Andrew White III. However, Gill struggled to find his game with the Huskers and suffered a knee injury after just 12 games that ended his season, cutting short what could fairly be described as a disastrous first year for Gill.
Gill was a big-time bucket-getter in high school, scoring over 28 points per game as a senior, but he found himself buried on the depth chart during his two seasons at Louisville. After a year off to work on his game in Lincoln, Gill made his Husker debut this season off the bench. It did not go well.
Gill scored three points on 1-of-11 shooting in his first three games against the likes of Sacramento State, the University of Mary and Louisiana Tech. He recorded his first double-digit scoring performance against Dayton in game four, but it proved to be fool’s gold as he shot just 1-of-10 for six points the next game against UCLA. He scored 13 points on 7-of-28 with two scoreless games over his next six. Tim Miles decided to switch things up after the loss to Gardner-Webb and inserted Gill into the starting lineup, and the 6-foot-3 junior closed out his season with a 10-point game on 3-of-5 shooting against Southern before suffering a significant knee injury in practice.
Gill got plenty of looks from the perimeter, some good and some not so much, but he hit just 27.6 percent of them (8-of-30). That falls in line with what he shot at Louisville, which was 25 percent (17-of-68). This is all still quite a small sample size, and Gill was reportedly a good shooter in high school, but it certainly doesn’t inspire any confidence that he’ll be able to find his stroke in college. He’s just 16-of-39 (41 percent) from the free-throw line for his career as well, which is another worrisome stat in terms of what kind of a shooter Gill could be for Nebraska.
Gill wasn’t any more successful inside the arc, unfortunately. In fact, he was slightly worse form 2-point range with one more miss then he had from the 3-point line, shooting 8-of-30. Gill flashed an impressive move here and there, but for the most part he displayed a lack of touch as a finisher and forced many of his shots rather than letting the game come to him.
Gill didn’t provide much outside of his scoring either. He dished out six assists compared to 11 turnovers and grabbed 23 rebounds in 208 minutes on the floor. His offensive rating was 76.8 and his defensive rating was 110.
To be fair, the knee injury that cut his season short wasn’t the only one he had to deal with. Gill also missed a lot of time leading up to the season because of another injury, and that probably contributed to his struggles out of the gates.
Best Performance: In an 80-78 win against Dayton on Nov. 24, Gill scored 10 points on 4-of-5 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep with two rebounds and an assist in 23 minutes.
Gill’s initial recovery time estimation was six to eight months, which would have him back in plenty of time for next season. However, he’ll be out through the summer which robs him of even more development time which probably had a lot to do with the degree to which he struggled this season. Gill is facing an up-hill battle first to get back to full strength physically and then to regain the form that made him such a highly-regarded prospect in high school.
With Tai Webster gone, Nebraska is going to need some production from the backcourt; namely, Gill, James Palmer Jr. and/or freshman Nana Akenten. At this point, expecting Gill to become a star is pretty, well, optimistic. Even if he’s only able to be a consistent bench scorer with decent efficiency (and that means above at least 43 percent from the field), that would hold a great deal of value for this team. There will be plenty of opportunity on next year’s team for any of the newcomers (and after just 12 games, I’m going to include Gill in that group). What remain to be seen is who grabs onto that opportunity and runs with it.