The Kentucky Wildcats have seemingly decided to explore all options when putting together their basketball team. From five-star recruits, to JUCOs, and now to graduate transfers, whatever it takes to put together a title contender.
While John Calipari will likely make a big push for Virginia Tech grad transfer Kerry Blackshear, Jr., he’s now also in need of some backcourt help.
Jemarl Baker announced Wednesday that he would transfer from the program. The Cats will return Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley, as well as bringing in Tyrese Maxey, so it wasn’t shocking that Baker decided to look elsewhere for playing time.
However, now there’s a hole to fill on the roster. UK is going to need another guard for both depth purposes and shooting. The frontcourt is obviously a concern, but the Cats are going to need another shooter on this team.
That’s where Admon Gilder comes in. Gilder is a former four-star recruit, who has spent his last four years playing for Billy Kennedy and the Texas A&M Aggies.
He missed all of last season due to injury and when Kennedy was let go, Gilder decided he would graduate and play his last year somewhere else.
The 6-4, 200-pound guard was pretty darn good when he was healthy. During his sophomore season, he averaged 13.7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
Gilder actually declared for the NBA Draft following that season. He ultimately returned to the Aggies, but he had a very good chance at getting drafted.
His return didn’t go exactly according to plan as his numbers dropped slightly in his third season. He averaged 12.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game that year.
The drop-off was probably due to a slight decrease in playing time and all the talent around him. He simply didn’t need to do as much with Robert Williams, Tyler Davis, and DJ Hogg on the floor with him.
Gilder brings talent and experience in one of the most important positions. He helped lead A&M to two Sweet Sixteen appearances. He played pretty well against Kentucky every time they faced off, so the Cats should know him well.
But not only that. Gilder shot nearly 40 percent from three his junior season in College Station. He can shoot, rebound, and pass, and all of those things are good to have in a veteran guard.
My only concern is the reason he sat out all of last season. Gilder was diagnosed with a blood clot in his bicep. He was initially ruled out indefinitely before being forced to sit all year. There was worry that he may not even be able to play basketball again.
I’m glad he’s back, but it’s certainly something to be wary of. Regardless, he’d be an excellent player for Coach Cal to target next on the transfer market. Cal is friends with Billy Kennedy, and Gilder can really help out a team with national championship aspirations.
Gilder is a veteran guard, who can really shoot the ball and contribute in a variety of ways. He’s also a leader, as his teammates referred to him as “Coach Gilder” last season when he was sidelined. Hopefully, Cal will give him a call before it’s all said and done.