The ex-Chicago Bulls player and current Bulls expert for CSN starred at suburban Rich South before taking his talents to Champaign-Urbana for the “Flyin’ Illini” of the late 80s, earning a Final Four berth in 1989. He’s quintessentially Chicago basketball through and through.
I had an exclusive with Gill this off-season. For part one on Bulls insights go here.
Welcome to part two, discussing the 2010-11 Fighting Illini.
As a senior in college, Gill led the Big Ten in scoring and was named a first-team All-American (UPI). Gill left Illinois as the 7th all-time leading scorer in school history. Gill’s Illini earned NCAA bids each year he played. Gill also won the college basketball Slam Dunk championship at the Final Four his senior season.
He was pretty high on his alma mater’s chances this winter.
“With Demetri McCamey and Mike Davis coming back, Jereme Richmond coming in, D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul, they have a great nucleus to win the Big Ten. I know Purdue is going to be strong again, they’re going to be up there; they always are. Michigan State is going to be right up there, they got their point guard back, but you’ve got some young horses there that can get it done,” Gill said before making this bold statement:
“I look for Illinois to finish one or two in the Big Ten.”
Very confident words indeed. He believes McCamey and Davis will be well served from declaring for the NBA draft, getting feedback from scouts on how to improve their game, and returning to school.
“I was disappointed they didn’t get into the NCAAs, but McCamey and Davis need to take it up on themselves. I think their going back to school will help them. It let them know that they still have work to do, they still have to work hard, and they should try to prove all the scouts wrong who said they weren’t ready, and that will make the team a whole lot better,” Gill said.
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.comFollow paulmbanks