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).
— Jayden Gardner (@Jayy_Baller_1) April 12, 2021
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.