Malcolm Gilbert made a surprising decision Thursday night by transferring out of the program to play with his brother at Fairfield. This leaves a huge hole at center for next season and even hurts the team this season in terms of practice. Pitt will need to add a center before next season, one way or another.
We all know John Johnson also transferred, but that came as less of a surprise. Johnson was backed up behind a good stable of guards, and he was pretty open about his disappointment about not playing. Johnson's transfer opens up a slot for another scholarship player as well, but it is still a matter of who it will be.
Dixon has already signed two impressive recruits in the 2013 class. Josh Newkirk is a 3-star point guard that will likely see significant minutes with Tray Woodall moving on, and James Robinson being the only point guard on the roster. Mike Young is a local kid that was playing his prep ball in New Jersey. He is a 6-8 4-star forward that may not be quite strong enough to play center. Still, his value will be high in the future as a post player for the Panthers. That leaves two spots to fill in for next year, so who can we expect to Dixon to recruit?
It seems as though Jamel Artis has been near committing for quite some time. He is a 6-5 wing player from Baltimore. He seems to be a mix between Lamar Patterson and Nasir Robinson. Dixon loves having those type of players on the roster, and Artis would fit in nicely as he would redshirt during the senior seasons of Lamar Patterson and JJ Moore.
Pitt must recruit a true center because the chance Steven Adams leaves early is still out there. According to Pantherlair, Pitt is not in the mix currently for any of their center targets, but Jordan Washington is a 3-star 6-8 forward that has yet to eliminate the Panthers. This would also point to Pitt trying to get into the mix with some more prospects they have yet to offer. Dixon may have to scout the junior college ranks as well. Pitt is looking to have a big season, and with the lack of depth at the position, it may not be all that hard to still attract a top center. Either way, Pitt will have to make some moves over the next few months to fill out next year's roster.