Performance Review: Gavin Schilling

Impact Izzone will be handing out performance reviews for each Spartan in the following weeks. The series will start with the freshmen and move up the classes. Stay tuned for the rest of our grades! Check out Alvin Ellis’ performance review here.

2015-16 stats: 12.5 mins, 3.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 50% FG, 61.5% FT

Blake Froling:

Schilling’s raw talent has been apparent throughout his Spartan career. Anyone following the team could see the flashes of pure athleticism that made fans hopeful for his future. But after three years, his raw talent has still remained raw.

He is physically dominant and athletically gifted, but his post moves are lacking. His defense went from pitiful to below average last year, not a big improvement but still an improvement. I expected him to make a huge improvement this season and was sorely disappointed. A toe injury hampered him early in the season, when he was seemingly poised to break out. When he returned to action, it was back to the same old Schilling.

I may be foolish to think, once again, that he is poised for a breakout season, but I still think it. Schilling is set to be the go-to big man in 2016-17 and the starting job is his to lose. At best, he could average close to a double-double and mentor the young bigs. At worst, he could fall behind freshmen Miles Bridges and Nick Ward and transfer Ben Carter and be relegated to the bench. Realistically, he’ll fall somewhere in the middle.

Final Grade: C


Davey Segal:

This is going to sound harsh, but if I had to pick one player on Michigan State’s roster this past season that was the most disappointing, I would probably choose Gavin Schilling. With that being said, if I had to choose one player on Michigan State’s roster this past season that has the most unused potential, I would also have to choose Gavin Schilling.

Schilling has extremely broad shoulders, is a freak of an athlete who gets you hyped out of your mind when he goes up for an alley-oop, yet can’t make free throws or jumpers, and his post-up game is shaky at best. Repeatedly on Impact Izzone’s weekly podcast, I compared Schilling’s game, and build, to Dwight Howard. A solid player with a defensive mindset who seems to struggle offensively. Yet, we still keep believing in him. Why?

Well, look no further than the man who started over him last year: Matt Costello. Schilling is almost a carbon copy of the recent MSU graduate, who signed a deal with the Atlanta Hawks. Potential as an underclassman and a disappointing junior season. Well, we know what happened in Costello’s senior season. He emerged as a perennial star offensively and defensively for the Spartans, and was a key factor en route to winning the Big Ten title.

As Blake so eloquently stated above, I think the starting center spot is his to lose. After averaging only 3.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG, those numbers must improve dramatically if he wants to keep the starting job. Past history and looks tell us that he will do just that — and more.

Final Grade: C-


Ryan Cole:

Gavin Schilling did not have much going for him in the 2015-16 season. During the preseason, the junior suffered a turf toe injury that kept him out of the first 11 games of the campaign. By the time he came back, Matt Costello had already emerged as an All-Big Ten contributor, so Schilling missed out on what was expected to be an even tandem at the center position.

Schilling’s production fell across the board this season, except for his free throw shooting. That statistic bumped up by 14 points to a still-mediocre 61 percent. But playing center is much more than drawing fouls, and I have seen Schilling only perform well at catching lobs and sending through wide-open dunks. It’s safe to say this summer is huge for Schilling’s future, both as a Spartan and as a pro prospect.

For Michigan State to become a national title contender in 2016-17, I believe Gavin Schilling must become a go-to center much like Costello did the previous year. Schilling is the tallest, most gifted rebounder on the team and will be counted on as a veteran leader in the frontcourt. Without him, the Spartans’ rebounding will depend on Miles Bridges (a freshman who prefers to drift to the outside), Ben Carter (a first-year Spartan with injury worries), and Nick Ward (a freshman who hasn’t developed his body). Can you see why Schilling’s development is so crucial to this upcoming season?

If Schilling develops a post game and becomes more comfortable with rebounding, Tom Izzo might have himself another national title contender. But until he does that, the head coach going into his 22nd year is likely pulling his hair out trying to figure out his big man situation.

Final Grade: D+


David Manion:

Out of all the returning veterans on MSU for the upcoming 2016-17 season, Gavin Schilling has the most potential and maybe the brightest future. The Chicago native, with his 6-foot-11 frame, has been blessed with unbelievable athleticism. His upper body is as brawny as Dwight Howard and is incredibly swift and nimble for a man his size. His long strides help him drastically in transition to outpace the defenders and throw down some vicious dunks. The man is also a fierce blocking machine and takes very good care of the basketball.

Schilling served as a great sixth man coming off the bench during the 2014-2015 campaign. He did a great job of providing a spark when the Spartans were stuck in reverse. He played nearly 17 minutes per game while shooting a stellar 58 percent from the field. Ever since the start of last season, however, Schilling has been going downhill. His numbers have been declining in almost every category. He was hindered by an early injury as it restricted his playing time. He went from playing 659 total minutes his sophomore year to less than half of that last year (301 minutes). Schilling was never the same as he appeared to be anything but sharp.

Very similar to Colby Wollenman and Javon Bess, Gavin took a back seat to the dynamic duo of Matt Costello and newcomer Deyonta Davis. Despite him being compatible with any big guy on the floor, he failed to deliver beyond his standards from the year before. Schilling went from a role player to an undervalued and somewhat forgetful player.

Dwight Howard 2.0 can increase his NBA draft stock dramatically if he can burst out of his shell this season. His raw talent has remained intact, which needs to quickly dissolve for him to get back on track. If Schilling can extend his shooting range while maintaining the intensity on defense, he can become a dangerous versatile player. It’s now or never for Gavin Schilling, as there is no better time for him to use that lengthy stride he possesses to take the next leap forward.

Final Grade: C