Tony Gill played only one season in the WCC, but in that one season Gill showed why he was a force to be reckoned with.
As a senior, Gill emerged as a primary leader for a team that boasted seven other seniors, a testament to the quality of player he really was. In his two seasons at Pacific, Gill will be best known for his stellar play in crucial situations, ones that the Tigers needed him the most.
Gill started out his college basketball career at Consumes River College in Sacramento, Calif., Gill’s hometown. The 2011-2012 season is what put Gill on the map, where the 6-foot-8 forward averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds and was named first team all-state.
The former Consumes River College player was courted by several schools, but eventually picked Pacific over offers from Long Beach State, Cal Poly, UC Riverside and Northern Arizona, according to Verbal Commits.
It took a little while for Gill to get acclimated with division I college basketball. Gill was getting inconsistent minutes, and was struggling to put up consistent offensive numbers.
That all changed towards the end of the season, where Gill really started to make some strides. He became one of the Tigers most important pieces off the bench in the Big West tournament, scoring 20 points against Cal Poly in the semifinals and 19 against UC Irvine in the championships, which was a team-high in both categories.
Despite only scoring a single point in the Tigers NCAA tournament loss to Miami, the expectations for Gill for his senior season were high. The senior beat out fellow upperclassman Ross Rivera for the starting power forward spot under new head coach Ron Verlin at the very start of the 2013-2014.
Gill was able to increase his production in the increased role. The senior posted double-digit points in 21 out of the Tigers 34 games. In total, the senior averaged 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in his second and final season with the program.
The Tigers might never see a better-rounded player than Gill for quite some time. Not only was he an above average basketball player with his ability to shoot the long ball and crash the offensive glass, he is an auspicious student, who is a Biology major with plans of being an orthopedic surgeon.
No matter which way you cut it, the Tigers will miss Gill and the six other seniors the program is losing.