Three Players Join Virginia Men's Basketball Program
Sept. 25, 2001
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Three student-athletes have joined the University of Virginia men’s basketball program. Todd Billet and Nick Vander Laan have transferred to Virginia, and Bret Gladstone has also joined the UVa program.
Billet, a 6-0 guard from Middletown, N.J., played for Rutgers University the last two years, while Vander Laan, a 6-10 center from Sacramento, Calif., played for the University of California-Berkeley the past two seasons. They will not participate in any games for the Cavaliers during the 2001-02 season and will each have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2002-03 season. Gladstone is a 6-1 freshman guard from Greenwich, Conn.
Billet was a third-team All-Big East selection in 2000-01 after leading Rutgers in scoring (16.6 ppg.), three-point field goals (82), assists (114, 4.2 apg.), free throw percentage (.770, 77-100) and minutes played (37.6 mpg.) while starting all 27 of the team’s games. He shot 40.3 percent (144-357) from the field, including 40.6 percent (82-202) from three-point range, and also averaged 1.9 rebounds a game. He averaged 17.3 points a game in Big East games and his 82 three-point field goals during the season is a Rutgers’ record.
Billet scored a career-high 37 points against James Madison and had a career-high 11 assists against Pittsburgh during the 2000-01 season. He tied a school record with eight three-point field goals while scoring 36 points against Lafayette.
As a freshman during the 1999-2000 season, Billet started all 31 games for Rutgers and led the team in assists (132, 4.3 apg.), three-point field goals (76) and minutes played (36.3 mpg.) while averaging 12.8 points a game. His 132 assists and 76 three-point field goals are Rutgers’ freshman records. He scored 31 points against Notre Dame and tied a school record with eight three-point field goals.
Billet was named the Big East Rookie of the Week once and the Co-Rookie of the Week once during the 1999-2000 season. He was named to the All-Metropolitan Team and to the All-Tournament Team at the Hoop & Quill Classic.
In two years at Rutgers, Billet started 58 games, scored 844 points (14.6 ppg.), had 246 assists (4.2 apg.) and grabbed 118 rebounds (2.0 rpg.). He shot 40.4 percent (271-671) from the field, including 40.3 percent (158-392) from three-point range, and 79.6 percent (144-181) from the free throw line the last two seasons.
Vander Laan averaged 6.2 points and 5.3 rebounds a game, and shot 46.7 percent (70-150) from the field for California during the 2000-01 season. He started 21 of the 29 games he played in and missed two games with a sprained ankle. He had a double-double against Georgia with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and was the team’s second-leading rebounder for the second consecutive year.
As a freshman in 1999-2000, Vander Laan was an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman selection after averaging 8.5 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. He shot 45.2 percent (98-217) from the field and was selected to the Top of the World Classic All-Tournament Team. He scored a career-high 23 points against Oklahoma in the Top of the World Classic.
Vander Laan scored in double figures 16 times as a freshman and had five double-doubles. He averaged a team-best 7.6 rebounds a game in Pac-10 action and was the team’s leading rebounder in 15 of the last 23 games with a career-high 13 against Washington. He was just the fourth California freshman to total at least 200 rebounds and he received the team’s Hustle and Spirit Award after the season.
During his two years in the California program, Vander Laan averaged 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds a game while shooting 45.8 percent (168-367) from the field and 60 percent (126-210) from the free throw line. He started 37 of the 62 games he played in and averaged 21.6 minutes of playing time a game.
Gladstone is the all-time leader in points and assists at the Brunswick School. He scored 2,468 points (an average of 24.8 points a game) and had 425 assists during his high school career. He scored in double figures in every game of his high school career and had 29 games of 30 or more points.
Gladstone was named to the All-Fairfield Athletic Association Team four times and was the leading scorer each year. He was also a three-time All-New England Prep School selection and was the MVP of the New England Championship in 2000. Brunswick School won the Fairfield Athletic Association Championship in 2000 and 2001, and was the New England Prep Champion in 2000.