Savon Goodman has a week to make a decision about Pitt. I’d put it at about 55-45 that he picks Pitt over the others based on what tidbits I’ve noted. The issue of eligibility is completely unknown to me — so don’t rule out prep school and Pitt taking a run at him in 2013. Goodman and his family are not saying much, and he has been out of the news as most of the late recruiting news is all about speculating on where Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad choose to be one-and-dones.
Meanwhile, it may be that Coach Dixon is more determined than we realized to add a power forward to this class. Last week or so Sheldon Jeter, the senior forward from Beaver Falls, made some tweets indicating that Pitt was trying to contact him again. He dismissed Pitt as being too late. It wasn’t a big deal. Yeah, he’s “local” but he’s a mid-range prospect with some upside. And I don’t begrudge him being tired of Pitt apparently playing coy with him: showing some interest then backing off. If we, as fans, get tired of high-level recruits playing games; how do you think mid-level recruits feel about major programs appearing to do the same.
6-5 Sheldon Jeter of Beaver Falls, PA could have a decision by early next week his father said Tuesday. Jeter will visit either Vanderbilt or Pittsburgh this weekend his father said. And on Sunday, he will have an in home visit with Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan. Jeter met last Thursday with USC coach Frank Martin while Pitt’s Jamie Dixon was in last Saturday.
So there’s that.
Honestly, I don’t really buy it. Coach Dixon may have gone to see him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dixon paid a visit, solely to smooth over any hard feelings Jeter may have had regarding his recruitment/non-recruitment by Pitt. But at this point, I would say he’s really not coming to Pitt –especially for some official visit now. A visit to Vandy makes more sense, but never say never I suppose.
Now, on to Trey Zeigler and his prospects of getting eligible right away. I noted the one precedent that exists for the son of a fired coach to get an immediate waiver. Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo!’s college basketball blog, The Dagger actually looks into things.
The hardship waiver traditionally has benefited athletes who transfer because of financial hardship, injury or illness to themselves or a member of their family, but historical precedent suggests Zeigler has a better chance than some may think.
Infielder Cade Kreuter transferred from USC to Miami after the Trojans fired his father Chad following the 2010 baseball season. A Miami spokesman confirmed the school applied for a waiver for Cade on those grounds and it was granted, enabling him to contribute right away in 2011 rather than sitting out a full year.
The only similar scenario in men’s college basketball in recent years was guard C.J. Reed’s transfer to Central Florida last year following the dismissal of his dad at Bethune-Cookman. A UCF spokesman said the school did not apply for a waiver for Reed, so the reigning MEAC player of the year sat out all last season.
Somewhere in Orlando, Donnie Jones is kicking his desk and wondering why no one told him there could have been the possibility of a waiver.
That said, there is no guarantee Pitt and Zeigler will get the waiver. This is the NCAA, after all, and it is a discretionary thing. Right now, I’d put the chances at 50-50. Which is actually better than what I thought when I first heard of the precedent.
As an aside, this sets up the possibility of a Tray-Trey backcourt. Eisenberg and others think the two would form one of the best backcourts in the Big East and the country.
This may be a stunner to those who want to turn the team over, immediately to incoming freshman James Robinson, but I’m actually inclined to agree. Two factors that worked against Woodall this year will be much better. A lack of a low-post presence and better talent/ball-handlers with him.
Last year was the first time with Dixon’s teams that there was not — at a minimum — a player that could command attention and hold position on the blocks. No Troutman/Taft. No Gray. No Blair/Young. No McGhee. That was a huge change to Pitt’s offense and what Pitt point guards have had to do. Next season Steve Adams will be down low.
Then there are the guys who will be out there on the court. If Zeigler is eligible, along with James Robinson — who I believe will average at least 15 minutes a game. Patterson and Moore are both good with handling the ball. Even Talib Zanna is surprisingly sure-handed with only 29 turnovers in 751 minutes this past season. Less time on the court for John Johnson and Cam Wright definitely helps in that way.
When you throw in the injury to Woodall from which he never completely recovered upon return, and it isn’t that outlandish a notion.