24 February 2012
Technically, the season isn't over yet. There's still two weeks of the regular season, the Big East tournament and some sort of post-season assuming Pitt can win another game or two. But really, it's over. Chas wrote up a fantastic obituary of the season over at Pitt Blather, so check that out if you haven't already. Because I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy, I'll just ignore that this season is still hobbling along on its last leg and begin focusing on 2012-13 and beyond.
Pitt still has one scholarship available for 2012 due to the Khem Birch departure. Pitt could also get another scholarship if there's a JJ Richardson / Dwight Miller situation where there player is nudged out in favor of an incoming player. Whether there's enough talent left available in the class of 2012 to justify the move is unclear, but Pitt could possibly have two scholarships remaining after Steven Adams and James Robinson for next season.
Here's Pitt's current roster broken down by class.
Easy to forget how young this team was with only four upperclassmen. Next season, Pitt will be replacing graduating seniors Taylor and Woodall. After that, there's the possibility of a player being nudged out and the open scholarship not being filled in 2012 and pocketed for 2013. Plus the whole Adams thing.
So assuming no early departures, which will probably not be the case, here's what Pitt's scholarship board broken down by position looks like.
A big man is going to be a huge priority for 2013, particularly if Steven Adams is as good as advertised. In fact, with the very real possibility of Gilbert and Zanna being the only two post players on the team for 13-14, two of the three or four open scholarships should probably be big men. The good news is that if Adams is a one-and-done lottery pick, Pitt should have a lot of help recruiting a second big man.
That would leave two more open scholarships for 2013. Isaiah Epps was particularly underwhelming this season, despite having a year in the program and being two years older than his class. Epps could surprise me and develop into a solid contributor, but I'm not counting on it. So assuming James Robinson as the only true ball-handler, a point guard should be a big priority for 2013, if not 2012.
Small forward doesn't seem to be much of a concern, although Beaver Falls' Sheldon Jeter for 2012 or one of the 2013 prospects below would be nice to round out the class. With Patterson, Moore, Wright and D. Johnson all able to man SF, there isn't the need that's there at point guard or under the basket. But once Moore and Patterson graduate in 2014, that would leave Durand Johnson as the sole small forward on the roster, although Cam Wright can fill in in a pinch. So Pitt needs to get another small forward in the system soon, but it shouldn't be a huge priority.
So who's available? Well for 2013, center BeeJay Anya seems of Maryland like he'll be a top target. He's a teammate of James Robinson, so that certainly can't hurt (although he's also teammates with current 2012 Syracuse commit Jerami Grant). Another early top big man in Pitt's traditional recruiting grounds is New York's Jordan Washington.
At point guard, in-state product Rysheed Jordan and Jaren Sina of New Jersey are early top prospects in the Northeast. Virginia's Stanford Robinson could be a solution for Pitt at shooting guard if they don't add a two guard in 2012.
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