Gilchrist Flip-Flopping Shows Nasty Side of Hoops Recruiting

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For
those who know a little bit about Virginia Tech’s recruitment of basketball
player Augustus “Gus” Gilchrist, the announcement late last week that
Gilchrist wants to back out of his Letter of Intent to Tech isn’t a big
surprise. For the Hokies, recruiting Gilchrist, signing him, and getting him to
campus has been an uphill battle all the way, and this latest turn of events is
no exception.

Gilchrist, who goes by Augustus, Gus, Big Gus, or even Tony, wasn’t a
highly-rated prospect when he committed
to VT in early March of 2006
. He was playing for Friendly High School in
Fort Washington, Maryland at the time and was at the very end of his junior
season. Gilchrist visited VT and liked the support the fans showed to a Tech
team that was struggling at the time. He felt comfortable with local products
Nigel Munson (who had signed with Tech) and Jeff Allen (who had committed to
Tech), and Gilchrist committed to the Hokies.

Friendly High coach O. Brian Walker said at the time that Gilchrist had
improved immensely from his sophomore season to his junior season, and Walker
added, “Another off-season like the one he had this past year, and I think
he can really become a force.”

Gilchrist did indeed become a force. Basketball-wise, things have gone well
for Gus (as I’ll call him). Gilchrist bloomed into a four-star player and a Top
100 national player per the ACC Sports Journal (#97 and rising), Rivals.com
(#101) and Scout.com (#54). At 6-9, 240 pounds, Gilchrist was classified as a
power forward by some and the elusive true center by others.

From the time he committed in March of 2006, though, it was a battle for Tech
to get him signed in the

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