Texas prep star G.J. Vilarino joins the 2009 Gonzaga recruiting class a few weeks after decommitting from Kentucky.
Well we know one thing for sure; G.J. Vilarino makes very quick decisions. Vilarino committed to Kentucky during his sophomore season right when his recruitment began taking off and now he has committed to Gonzaga just a few weeks after decommitting from the Wildcats following the hiring of John Calipari. Rumors had been circulating last night about Vilarino and his future as a Bulldog and it has been confirmed by his father that we will be getting to know G.J. quite well in the next four or five years. Here is what G.J.'s father Gerry told Kentucky's Courier-Journal about his son's decision.
"It's a great fit," Gerry Vilarino said, noting there is family that lives in the area. "He was born in Spokane. A fairy tale ending."
Although the situation has been thrust upon Gonzaga fans rather quickly, the idea of having G.J. in Spokane is very exciting. I have to believe that, much like Demetri Goodson, Vilarino is going to become a fan-favorite here at Gonzaga rather quickly. G.J. is very well respected by the Kentucky faithful as a player that they believe had been undervalued since his sophomore season and a guy that could develop into an excellent point guard later in his career. We've said the scouting report on Vilarino a number of times. It basically breaks down that his strengths are his speed, quickness, basketball IQ, and ability to see the floor and make plays and his weaknesses are his perimeter shooting, the fact that he needs to add strength, and the tendency to play recklessly at times. Long story short is that he'll need some time to develop but it sounds like he has a remarkable ceiling and is filled to the brim with athleticism. We did an interview with the best Kentucky blog on the Internet a few days ago and here is what they had to say about how G.J. measures up:
GJ's greatest strengths are his determination, competitiveness and his athleticism. He reportedly has a vertical leap in the 40" range, and is very fast getting up and down the court. His handle is good but he is very left-handed and needs to work on his weak side, and his jump shot is not too reliable. He also has trouble finishing in traffic due to a lack of strength, but does have an advantage going to the rim because he is left-handed. At a place like Gonzaga or even Kentucky, he could contribute some back-up minutes right away, but how many is largely situational. Until he develops a reliable shot and more mature game, teams will tend to lay off him and try to force him to go right.
There has been no indication to this point what this means as far as the scholarship situation is concerned. G.J. commitment, by our numbers, puts Gonzaga over the limit at this point. Whether it means that Austin Daye is leaving or one of Gonzaga's recruits is not coming or someone is getting taken off scholarship remains to be seen but it should present some interesting storylines for a while. However, the attention belongs to Vilarino who becomes the sixth member of a loaded Gonzaga recruiting class that includes the best talent from Canada, one of the best young German players, arguably the best player in the talent-laden state of Minnesota, and a former Kentucky commit.
Welcome to the fold, G.J. The 2009-10 season just got a lot more exciting!