It has been a rough couple of years for Derrick Randall. The transfer from Rutgers has been through the Scarlet Knights' scandal, a transfer, and some injuries, but Friday night was well worth it all. In a season that has started with more questions than normal for Jamie Dixon, one more was added before last night's game: Senior center Talib Zanna was told he was suspended for the season opener for violating team rules and that made the already-thin frontcourt that much thinner. Randall got the start in his place and gets our nod as Panther of the week in Pitt's only game of the week, a 88-55 victory over Savannah State.
Randall responded with a great game and he put the Panthers on the road to victory right from the opening tip. He helped Pitt on the boards and in the paint early on his way to putting up a double-double in his first game at Pitt. Randall's final stat line was 12 points, 12 rebounds and one block. Randall did have help as Pitt's Lamar Patterson made this choice a difficult one with his all-around great game. Patterson dished out seven assists, grabbed seven rebounds, and contributed 11 points to also pace the Panthers.
The win was nice in many ways as there is not a ton we know about these Panthers yet. One thing we did learn is that Randall could help in more ways than a lot of people expected and that is a welcome sight at the center position, where Pitt will need some depth.