One of the recent transfer commitments to USC was 6-8 forward AJ Wilson of George Mason. He will graduate May 14th and plans to enroll at USC for a graduate school season no later than June 1st. Wilson will not blow you away with his offensive numbers, though he says he can score in the mid-post, from the elbow and he can spot up from three. What he will impress you with, and Frank Martin has to love this, is his devotion to defense.
“I have a high motor, a rare motor at that,” Wilson said. “I pride myself on defense. I would say a lot of basketball today is scoring heavy, but a lot of people in today’s game aren’t two way players, and I take pride in myself in saying I’m an effective two way player. I can defend the rim at a high level. I can defend multiple positions at a high level. And I can score when needed to. When I talked to coach Martin and coach Bruce, the expectation coming in is just to be what I’ve always been, which is a two way player with a high motor.”
Wilson is leaving George Mason as the school’s all-time shot blocker with 212. He was named to the A-10 All Defensive Team this past season. Wilson knows shot blocking is an art, and it’s an art he’s worked to refine.
“I always liked to block shots out of bounds,” Wilson said. “As I got better in being a shot blocker, keeping the ball in play or blocking a shot to start a fast break brings me great pride because not only did you get a stop, but you’re also giving your team an opportunity to get open in transition. That’s where I feel like I thrive best, in the open court. Blocking the shot is just a strategic way to help my teammates get out in open transition better.”
Wilson is a Maryland native, and it was during his run with an AAU team there that he met a coach named Bruce Shingler, now an assistant on the USC staff.
“I’ve known coach Bruce since I was a teenager playing for DC Premier,” Wilson said. “I was in the Portal for maybe a week at the most before my dad told me that they had reached out. I was elated due to the fact that I knew coach Bruce, so I felt like I was going to be in good hands if I decided to go there. Once I talked to coach Martin and coach Bruce, and then weighing my options and talking to my family, I felt like it was a good option for me because I knew I would be in good hands.”
Wilson will have just one season with the Gamecocks, and he’s prepared to d whatever it takes to make it a successful one.
“Whatever voids that need to be filled, I’m more than happy to do what I have to do to help the team win,” Wilson said.
Wilson played 114 games in his career at GM and averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He shot 45% from the floor and 57% from the line.