Jayden Gardner commits, Virginia adds impact post presence

Jayden Gardner is headed to Charlottesville. On Monday evening, Gardner announced his commitment to the Virginia Cavaliers.

As soon as Gardner announced his decision to leave East Carolina, the 6-foot-7 forward became one of the top names in the transfer portal. Ultimately, Virginia beat out four other programs to land Gardner: NC State, Miami, LSU and Arkansas.

During three seasons with ECU, Gardner scored 1,462 points (18 points per game) and grabbed 705 rebounds (8.7 rebounds per game).

As a junior, Gardner averaged 18.3 points (47.9 FG%) and 8.3 rebounds per game in the 2020-21 season. This campaign included a powerful performance in ECU’s upset of Houston: 21 points (6-of-13 2PA) and 15 rebounds.

Gardner is an excellent source of low-post offense, too. In each of the last two seasons, Gardner has scored better than 1.01 points per post-up possession, according to Synergy Sports. Gardner shot a combined 52.4 percent on post-up attempts over his final two seasons with the Pirates.

Along with the scoring, Gardner also adds an important rebounding element. Gardner posted a defensive rebound rate of 21.5 percent this season, one of the top numbers in the country. According to Synergy, Gardner shot 63.2 percent on put-back field goal attempts after an offensive rebound.

Virginia has now added two transfers this offseason; the ‘Hoos picked up a commitment from Indiana guard Armaan Franklin, a solid two-way player, late last week.

Tony Bennett has lost plenty to the transfer portal, too, though. Casey Morsell will head to NC State. Jabari Abdur-Rahim committed to Georgia. Hubert Davis and North Carolina landed forward Justin McKoy.


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