Former Pitt Recruit Jaylen Bond Playing Early And Often For Longhorns

Texas coach Rick Barnes is hoping former Pitt recruit Jaylen Bond will play a big role in 2011-12 (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Former Pitt recruit Jaylen Bond was expected to be a key contributor when he came to Pitt. The Panthers were deep and, sure, he may not have done that right away, but down the line...

If you'll remember, Bond decommitted to Pitt after the Panthers were over the scholarship. Forced out, decommitted on his own, whatever. He was gone.

He planned on heading to prep school, but when other D-I programs came calling, there really wasn't a point, so he headed to Texas. If he was good enough when he came to Pitt, then why go through the motions of proving that very fact all over again?

One thing Bond wanted was playing time right away ... and he's getting it.

Bond's been clear about just that:

Later, when Dixon's recruiting class was complete, Bond figured there was less opportunity for him than he had first thought.

"I wanted playing time right away," Bond said.

And he appears to have found a home in the Longhorns' rotation two games into the season. So far he's averaging about 15 minutes a game and about five points and five rebounds per contest. He's also being counted on to become a big-time rebounder - this year:

"(Bond) has been a great rebounder," Barnes said. "Those two guys have got to rebound for us." They better, or Texas is going to really struggle when it plays better opponents in the coming months.

Personally, I'm happy for him. He kind of got thrust into a bad situation since Birch reclassified and even if he was allowed to stay at Pitt, behind Lamar Patterson and J.J. Moore, it's hard to tell how much playing time he would have gotten in his first few years. Bond was not only able to go to a good D-I program, but play right away.

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