I don’t know what this does for the recruitment of Savon Goodman. Whether it helps land Goodman because of the talent coming and on the roster along with the potential for big minutes early — if not starting at power forward — or if it means Pitt backs off on Goodman because it would mean either pulling the offer to Chris Jones or forcing another player off the team.
Frankly the issue is not comfortable either way. It bothered me when Pitt had to encourage Jaylen Bond to review his options after Khem Birch reclassified last year. It is one of the most unseemly thing about College basketball. Treating kids recruited and promised to be treated as family abruptly as commodities.
Some of it is simply the one-sidedness of it. Kids are locked into the program. They can have restrictions placed on them if they want to leave, along with sitting a year; while the scholarships are one-year deals with school options only. A coach can abruptly shift from “family” to “it’s nothing personal, just business” based on the performance. And yes, I know everyone does it, it’s necessary, and all of that. It doesn’t mean that it is right or okay.
But shifting back to Trey Zeigler coming to Pitt.
There is no question that Pitt got a player that upgrades the position.
Pitt could certainly use Zeigler, a shooting guard, next season if he is eligible. The Panthers lose Ashton Gibbs, the school’s No. 8 all-time scorer, to graduation. Two freshmen — Cameron Wright and John Johnson — started games at shooting guard this season when Gibbs had to play the point, but both struggled.
Zeigler would add scoring punch and rebounding to the lineup. He led Central Michigan in both statistical categories this past season. He averaged 15.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2010-11.
It seems a lot like a Mike Cook situation as far as being the guy to carry a team. Mike Cook played two years at East Carolina before transferring to Pitt. He was the best player on the team, and had to do everything. After a coaching change, he wanted out. He wanted to be on a better team and a team that did not have to have him do everything.
Zeigler’s freshman and sophomore seasons show a player that immediately had to carry the load. As a freshman, he led the team in minutes played and scoring. He was second in rebounding (and the leading defensive rebounder) and steals. He had the most assists on the team — as he also had to take some point guard duties when the starting point guard quit the team in January.
In his sophomre year, he was second on the team in minutes played, but led the team in scoring and rebounding (offensive and defensive). He was second on the team in assists (by a difference of 6 assists). He was also second on the team in steals and blocks. I mean, how many teams have a shooting guard that is second on the teams in blocks. Yes he also led the team in turnovers, but considering how much the ball was in his hands and he was the focal point of the offense it is hardly a shock.
As for his eligibility, he is applying for a sort of hardship waiver to play immediately. Owing to the nature of his father being fired as head coach at CMU. No one really knows the answer on this one. Someone has noted an example in college baseball. Cade Kreuter was allowed to transfer and play right away at Miami after his father was fired as baseball coach at USC. No idea whether the same rules apply.
Regardless, Zeigler will be enrolling at Pitt for the summer classes and will be taking part in the Greentree Pro-Am league. He’s not going to waste any time getting to know and playing with the other Pitt players.