College coaches are beginning to hail Gill-Caesar

College coaches are beginning to hail Gill-Caesar


College coaches are beginning to hail Gill-Caesar


Montaque Gill-Caesar's name was misspelled in the program for the Peach Jam tournament last week in North Augusta, S.C., and again misspelled, in an entirely different way, in the program for the Nike Global Challenge in Washington, D.C.

It won't be long, though, before his name may be as familiar as another Canadian, Andrew Wiggins.

Gill-Caesar, a 6-6, 205-pound guard in the 2015 class, is taking the same path as the top 2013 recruit. He went to Vaughn, the same Canadian secondary school, then last year, played alongside Wiggins at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep. Playing against the older Wiggins in practice may have paid off. He's averaging 16.3 points through three games.

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"Playing with (Andrew) rubbed off a lot," Gill-Caesar said. "Just the aggressiveness, the intensity, having to work harder, both offensively and defensively in practice. It makes you better."

Some of the schools that have offered scholarships to the 17-year-old include Illinois, Purdue, Xavier, Ohio State, West Virginia and Missouri. On Thursday, he was eating dinner when he got a call from Kentucky coach John Calipari. No offer yet, but some encouragement.

MORE: Montaque Gill-Caesar draws comparisons to Wiggins

"I missed the first call and when I saw it was Kentucky, I called back and thought it was (Kentucky assistant) coach Orlando (Antigua), but he said, not, this is Cal's phone and put him on. He just said he likes the improvements I've made, how I handled the ball and how I handled pressure. I was surprised."

Gill-Caesar is part of a trend of top Toronto hoopsters that includes Anthony Bennett, the top draft choice in the 2013 NBA Draft.

"I think the first impression (of Canadian players) is that we're soft," Gill-Caesar said. "That's not true at all. I think we've kind of proven ourselves. We're definitely getting more attention. South of the border people are starting to see what we're capable of. I wouldn't say they didn't take us seriously before, but they're giving us a little bit more recognition."

Carolina dreaming: North Carolina coach Roy Williams was courtside at the Nike Global Challenge and he had to like what he saw. Three players in the 2014 class have said they will sign with North Carolina and all three were instrumental in getting their team to Saturday's championship. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) point guard Joel Berry had 19 points and three assists and Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) forward Theo Pinson had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead USA South to a 130-122 defeat of USA Midwest on Friday night. In today's championship, USA South will face USA West, which behind a 17-point, five-rebound effort by Justin Jackson, defeated USA East 99-82.

MORE: 5 things about Justin Jackson

Buckeye bonanza: Two Ohio State recruits had big days. Montverde (Fla.) Academy guard D'Angelo Russell had 28 points and five rebounds to lead USA South in its defeat of USA Midwest, which was led by Pickerington (Ohio) Central forward Jae'Sean Tate, another Buckeye commit, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds.


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