In 2013, one position that UofL will have a lot of talent returning in is at shooting guard. There are four primary players that can play this position that could return: Russ Smith, Kevin Ware, Wayne Blackshear, and Luke Hancock. Out of these four players, there is a chance Blackshear could declare for the draft if he and UofL both have the type of year people are anticipating. This would leave 3 very solid contributors returning and with Anton Gill’s commitment Louisville should be set at shooting guard. While at one time UofL had interest in shooting guards such as Sindarius Thornwell and Isaac Hamilton, Pitino appears to be narrowing his focus down to just a couple of targets. Here is a brief rundown on shooting guards UofL has targeted.
#1. Anton Gill – 6’4″ 180lbs
Committed to UofL. Anton Gill has been slowly climbing in the rankings after battling through injuries his junior year and again in the summer evaluation period. Rated as the #37 overall player in the class by ESPN, Gill has a diverse skill set as stated by ESPN “Gill plays above the rim on the break with ability to run the floor and catch lob passes. Gill also can receive the outlet and push the pace off the dribble where he can find the open man when a second defender arrives.” As a shooting guard, Anton’s strengths are defense and athleticism, both of which fit into Pitino’s style of play perfectly. He is a southpaw with a nice looking jump shot.
#2. JaJuan Johnson – 6’5″ 185lbs
A talented wing from Memphis, Johnson is known most as a pure scorer but his athleticism makes him a very good defender as well. At the Nike EYBL Boo Williams “Johnson was one of the breakout players of the weekend. He knocked down shots throughout the weekend, and his length and athleticism made him a factor off the dribble. He also forced turnovers defensively.” While Johnson might be hard to pull away from Memphis, he would be an excellent addition as he would be able to play both wing spots in Louisville’s offense. This versatility could be a reason that, despite Gill’s commitment, Pitino is still targeting Johnson.