Virginia Basketball Recruiting: Justin Miller Signs, When Will Anthony Gill?

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2012

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16:  Head coach Tony Bennett of the Virginia Cavaliers supports his team against the Florida Gators during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Virginia Cavaliers have been on the market for a transfer player since their season ended on the first Friday of the NCAA tournament.

Their first attempt at T.J. McConnell fell to the wayside when the point guard from Duquesne chose Arizona over Virginia.

Then the Cavaliers set their sights on two Gamecocks, forward Anthony Gill and center Damontre Harris. Landing both of these players will be a tall task as well.

Gill has a weekend trip to Columbus this weekend to meet with coach Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Harris apparently has been contacted by both Florida and Kansas to join their squads.

With that stiff competition, Virginia still hopes for a home run. They have hedged their bets though with an unexpected but potentially beneficial signing of Justin Miller as a walk-on.

Miller, a native of Missouri, was developing into a college basketball prospect when a horrific leg injury cost him the final two years at his prep school.

That left Miller with few options on the table. He ultimately decided to go to the University of Missouri purely for the opportunity to go to school there.

Little did he know, Virginia would offer the 6'1'' guard a chance to come to Charlottesville and compete to be on the team. Even better, with an accepted walk-on position, Virginia has not used one of their scholarships and are still in the hunt for all these other big name targets.

So yes, could the Miller hire prove to be inconsequential?  Of course. Miller could fall into the Majestic Mapp or Will Harris category of a Cavalier whose injuries really never allowed him to make it back on the court again.

Yet, if he can restore some of his former glory, Virginia has at the very least a solid scout player and potentially someone who can make it into the rotation as former walk-on Will Sherrill did for Virginia coach Tony Bennett in his first two years as coach.

Miller could bring depth to the point guard position for next year—a position that looks to be pretty thin behind current starter Jontel Evans. 

Considering that Miller was known for his three-point shooting and steals, Virginia could definitely use both attributes in trying to fill some holes on their roster.

But thankfully, Virginia is not content with just this signing.

Coach Bennett and assistant Ritchie McKay were in Columbia, South Carolina earlier this week to meet with freshman forward Anthony Gill one more time before the big man heads to Ohio State.

If he were to sign with the Buckeyes, it would be the second big recruiting target Virginia has had poached by Ohio State University in the past two years.

Last year, Curtis Grant, the top rated linebacker in the country and a Virginia native, signed with Ohio State after having Virginia highly rated on his list.

Will Virginia be heartbroken again?

Gill has clearly been in no hurry to make decisions. North Carolina's impatience probably cost the Tar Heels a chance to sign the prospect according to Virginia beat writer Whitelaw Reid.

Still, expect Gill to make a decision to sign sometime next week. If he does, he could be Virginia's best tool in luring fellow Gamecock Harris up to Charlottesville.

However, another missed recruit could make this spring a rough one for Virginia basketball fans.