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Pitt Basketball Recruiting: Incoming Freshman Malcolm Gilbert Working On Getting Better

With the losses of Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown, Gary McGhee, and maybe Ashton Gibbs, there's going to be plenty of opportunity for minutes next season. I do think the starters are somewhat set - Travon Woodall at point, Lamar Patterson at shooting guard if Gibbs doesn't return, J.J. Moore at SF, Nasir Robinson at the four (or maybe Khem Birch), and Dante Taylor at center.

But after that reserve minutes are going to be plentiful and some freshmen could contend for playing time. Malcolm Gilbert is one of those freshmen, but with Birch and Dante Taylor on the bench, it could be tough for Gilbert to earn minutes. But that doesn't mean he's not going to try.

Gilbert played in last weekend's Capital Classic and had a pretty good showing with a near double-double. Project number one? Get stronger:

Pitt pickup Malcolm Gilbert may not hail from Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon, as he’s a Philly area guy, but he still brings much to the table: Standing 6’11" and pretty strong, Gilbert combines that size with quickness and good feet. Ten points and eight rebounds were tallied by him.

Going forward, the thoughtful Gilbert understands he must continue getting stronger, for which he’s "in a weightlifting program right now" and will report to Pittsburgh in early summer. He also indicated "I have to get my drop step better. Just (make) quick decisive moves", as well as work on going over his right shoulder for jump hooks.

If Zanna or Birch don't play center, then Gilbert could see some time (with J.J. Richardson departed) as the backup to Taylor. But if Jamie Dixon looks to avoid a logjam at power forward and allows Birch or Zanna to play some at center, then Gilbert may be headed for a redshirt.