UALR freshman Gillon fits successful Trojans profile


We think freshman guard John Gillon will be successful at UALR.

It’s not because we’ve got a crystal ball. It’s because he fits the profile.

He’s an undersized point guard with a good three-point shot who has a high basketball IQ and enough quickness to penetrate into the lane to score.

Sounds a lot like Solomon Bozeman. Or maybe even D’Andre Williams. Both were first team all-Sun Belt Conference players during their senior seasons. And while there’s no way to know whether or not Gillon can achieve those accolades, his game gives him a shot.

Gillon is the third Trojan profiled in our Burn The Horse summer series on incoming UALR players.

He’s a 5-11 guard (we’ve also seen him listed anywhere from 5-8 to 6-0) from Houston Strake Jesuit in Texas who helped his team to a 26-4 record last season. And he might be best known for being the teammate of Duke signee Rasheed Sulaimon. But if you watched Strake Jesuit closely last season, there were times when Gillon took over those games.

For what it’s worth, Gillon was named the District 19-5A offensive player of the year.
ESPN graded him a 75 and called him “an undersized point guard. He has range out to 23 feet and has a good release point to get his shot off over bigger defenders. Gillon has a good basketball IQ and feel for the game.”

“John is someone who is very difficult to keep in front of you as a defender. He’s very quick and can get the ball from one end of the floor to the other extremely fast,” UALR Coach Steve Shields said. “He’s a very versatile player with his ability to get it to the paint and stretch it to the three-point line. He is very explosive from that standpoint.”

UALR also has another freshman point guard on campus in Josh Hagins. You’d think there might be some animosity between the two. Instead, it appears the opposite has happened. Both visited UALR the same weekend, committed to UALR the same week and are roommates this summer.

Shields said Gillon and Hagins are “two guys that we can play together and really solidify the point for us in the future.”

Both figure to plenty of opportunity to play. The only other point guard on campus right now is redshirt freshman walk-on Casey Wilmath.

Upside: Gillon is a streaky scorer who can light it up when he gets hot. We’ve seen a lot of film on him and it looks like he plays really hard. That can only help him transition to Division I.

Downside: Gillon is another small guard, the type that UALR used to have a fleet of.

Outlook: Gillon’s a different type of point guard than Josh Hagins. And that would seem to work in his favor. He’s definitely going to get an extended look throughout the fall. And his ability to score the ball might create some situations where he and Hagins play together (a la D’Andre and Solomon in ’11).