Last season Gilliam averaged 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and led the PCAA with 40 blocked shots. And he'll only get better. "The game is still new to me," he says, which may also explain his enthusiasm for defense. "That's what wins games for you. I like it when we get teams flustered, when we make them hurry up. I like it when we get them out of sync and make them do things they didn't do in practice."
Gilliam will need help picking up the offensive slack caused by the departure of Anthony Jones (18 points per game), and he, should get some from Freddie Banks and Gerald (Furniture) Paddio. Point guard Mark Wade doesn't score much but keeps the Rebels runnin', He had a superb 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season.
And for those who still think of the Runnin' Rebels as a sort of athletic Hole in the Wall Gang, take note: Gilliam is the only player from last summer's U.S. world championship team to write a thank-you letter to coach Lute Olson.