South Floridas third leading scorer as a freshman, Gus Gilchrist
had a solid start to his collegiate career, but there is much room for improvement, and his team could really use it after their disappointing 9-21 season.
Physically, Gilchrist has good size for a power forward at 610 with a frame seemingly capable of holding more weight, but there are questions about him projecting to the next level at both power forward and center. Athletically, Gilchrist has good mobility and balance despite looking a bit awkward in his movements. However, hes not an incredibly explosive athlete, not getting much height vertically and showing below average reactiveness around the rim.
Looking at his game, Gilchrist is not the most fundamentally sound player in the world, though he does show flashes of skills in many areas, and clearly has a good deal of natural ability. As a spot-up shooter, Gilchrist has range to the college three-point line and good touch, however his form is sloppy and inconsistent, especially when rushed, and sometimes he rushes things when he doesnt even need to. These problems are painfully evident at the free-throw line, where he shots a woeful 56%. His efficiency in general is a major cause for concern, as he had just a 45% true shooting percentage, a very low mark, especially for a big man.
In the post, Gilchrist is very much a work in progress, having raw footwork and not much in terms of post instincts, looking out of sorts when faced with help defenders. When he gets his man on an island, however, his natural tools shine through, as hes capable of pulling off some rangy moves, showing pretty good touch when he creates the space to get off a shot. Gilchrist is nowhere near his potential in the post, as in addition to his raw repertoire, he doesnt seem to have great base strength, struggling to finish through contact and not being able to power up very well. Hitting the gym hard to work on lower body strength should be among his priorities, as it could pay dividends for his post game, while it certainly wouldnt hurt his rebounding either, which is quite poor for someone his size at just 4.4 boards per game in 24.2 minutes.
Aside from finishing on the occasional cut or pick-and-roll, this is pretty much where Gilchrists offensive contributions end, as he doesnt have a noteworthy face-up game and he doesnt put much effort into passing the ball, averaging just half an assist per game.
Defensively, Gilchrist is below average in terms of lateral quickness for a power forward, but not awful. His high center of gravity and below average reflexes dont help his cause here, though, leading to issues in isolations on the perimeter. He does manage to keep up with his man when chasing him into the lane, but his lack of vertical explosiveness doesnt allow him to recover with the block very often. In the post, Gilchrists fundamentals need a lot of work, as he doesnt body up very well and gives up position easily, also in part due to his lack of strength.
While Gilchrist has a lot of warts with his game, there is cause for optimism, as he definitely brings some raw talent to the table, and it appears hes not at his peak physically. Becoming a more efficient and fundamentally sound offensive player will be key for him, and cleaning up his jumper and working on his post moves should be among his priorities, along with doing everything possible to maximize his athletic ability, especially focusing on his lower body. Looking forward, its clear Gilchrist is a ways away from thinking about the NBA, but with some work, it could be in his future.