Now that making the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 is the new Gonzaga baseline, it won’t be a new experience for Admon Guilder if it happens again. He’s played in it twice.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Admon was a three-time All-State selection at Dallas’s James Madison High School. In 2015, his senior year, he was named the Gatorade Texas Player of the Year and Parade All-American. Recruited to Texas A&M with two other Dallas area stars, they led the Aggies to two Sweet 16’s in three years (2016 and 2018), a first in school history.
In his three seasons at Texas A&M, he played in 98 games starting 58 over his last two seasons. Guilder is primarily a shooting guard but can also play the point. As a freshman, he played in 37 games and was 5th on the team in scoring at 7 points per game. The four players who’d score more than he did would all spend time in the NBA. He played a lot of point as a starter during his sophomore season averaging 3.9 assists per game to go along with 13.7 points per game. As one of the team’s stars his junior season, his 12.3 points and 2.6 assists per game averages were both 2nd on the team as the Aggies returned to the Sweet 16. During the season, he shot 51% from inside the arc and 40% from deep
Besides the scoring and assists, Admon is durable averaging 34.6 minutes per game his sophomore year and over 32 minutes per game his junior season. Known as the Aggies best on- ball defender, he led the team in steals both seasons he started.
Before his senior season with the Aggies, a blood clot was discovered in his right bicep. Part of the treatment was removing one of his ribs. Gilder looked set to return to A&M but his coach since his recruitment, Billy Kennedy, and his whole staff were fired. Gilder had several conversations with the aggies new coach, Buzz Williams, but eventually determined it was time to explore other options.
He chose the Zags over half a dozen other schools because of the family environment and history of winning. Upon signing with the Zags, the Spokesman-Review released to following quote: “We are thrilled to have Admon join the program,” Head Coach Mark Few said. “He is a great young man, that comes from a great family. He is a high-level guy, that brings a lot of experience. He is an all-around player that will be a great fit to our team. We are excited to have him as a Zag.”
Watching his highlights, you see a lot of offensive similarities with Nigel Williams-Goss. He’s got a great floater in the lane and body control around the rim with the ability to post up smaller guards. Like Williams-Goss, he attempts more 2’s than 3’s. For comparisons sake, Norvell took almost 2/3 of his shots from beyond the arc. Listed at 6’4” and 200 lbs, he’s about the same size as Silas Melson and his defense compares favorably to Melson’s. Not a bad combination, offense similar to Williams-Goss, defense similar to Melson.
Gilder’s point guard skills may be very important to this team. Mark Few likes playing two point guards and the team currently doesn’t have a clear backup for Ryan Woolridge. Joel Ayayi had an incredible summer as a FIBA U19 All-Star and Brock Ravet has a great pedigree but neither are proven at the D-1 level. If either one has a breakout season, the Zags will be tough to beat. Guilder should provide consistent excellence. Kispert, Tillie and Petrusev are proven commodities and there is a literal embarrassment of young frontcourt talent.