Gorman: Pitt transfers reflect culture of D-I hoops
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 10:59 p.m.
Panic accompanied Thursday's announcement that sophomore center Malcolm Gilbert was transferring from Pitt.
After all, Gilbert is the fifth player to leave the Panthers in the past two years and the fourth recruit from the talented Class of 2011.
One recruiting analyst doesn't believe it's time to sound the alarms just yet, noting that 40 percent of players don't make it to their junior year at the school with which they signed.
“Pittsburgh wouldn't be the first team to have that much attrition in one class,” ESPN's Dave Telep said. “We're at the highest transfer rate in the history of college basketball right now. It's happening to almost everybody.”
Telep's take echoes the concerns of NCAA president Mark Emmert, who has called the attrition rate “a significant lack of persistence” that is “really detrimental to kids getting an education.”
Dixon is undaunted about losing Khem Birch (UNLV), John Johnson (Penn State) and Gilbert, who was released to Fairfield, where his brother, Marcus, plays.
“I think it's reflective of that class,” Dixon said Saturday. “There was a real good class before that and a real good class after that. Something's gotta give. There's only so many minutes.
“They weren't in the top 10, let's put it that way. You can read into however you want to; the realistic person is going to see that playing time was a factor.”
Where Birch was Dixon's highest-rated recruit ever, it was based more on his high ceiling than his production. His decision to reclassify and enroll in 2011 caused Jaylen Bond to go to Texas instead.
Gilbert, a 6-foot-11 defensive specialist, was expected to redshirt this season. Johnson left after he fell behind freshman James Robinson. Only swingman Durand Johnson remains at Pitt.
“If you really look at the makeup of that class, two were potential guys and two were career role players,” Telep said. “It's unfortunate for Pittsburgh that four didn't work out. That's not the norm. Usually, three of the players work out as good players for you.
“This is the thing college basketball coaches will tell you: Nobody wants to be losing this many kids.”
Pitt now has two scholarships available for the Class of 2013 but not many high-end options left.
“Wait until somebody gets fired and go after their players,” Telep said. “If I'm Jamie Dixon, I'm scanning the waiver wire.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Host of Steelers veterans look toward career survival mode
- Early-morning snowstorm hampers Western Pa. commuters
- Steelers film session: Polamalu not at fault on long run
- Pirates notebook: Huntington narrows team’s offseason targets
- Expert: KO doesn’t mean ‘worst’ concussion for Pens’ Orpik
- Young defensemen lift Penguins to win
- UPMC doctor killed trying to help at 50-vehicle pileup
- ‘Sound of Music’ actress Eleanor Parker dies at 91
- Monroeville police officer kills man in shootout
- Penguins’ Neal suspended five games for Marchand hit
- Pirates will shop while starting pitcher Burnett makes his decision