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After emergence, Pitt guard Trey Zeigler struggling to find rhythm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

After it was expected he'd be a big contributor for the Panthers, guard Trey Zeigler struggled early in the season. You can probably thank a significant drop in minutes from being a star for Central Michigan before coming to the program and a new offense/environment for that.

But in the middle of the year, Zeigler had a bit of an emergence. He started looking more like the player most of us thought he'd be and was turning into one of Pitt's more reliable bench players in January. After going scoreless against Rutgers in only six minutes of action, Zeigler averaged just over nine points and three rebounds a game in that month. He also shot over 50% in those games and posted 18 points against DePaul.

But after playing well against Syracuse early last month, Zeigler's been on a bit of a slide. He hasn't scored more than two points in any game since then, he's shot only 4-23 from the field - good for 17%.

As a result, his minutes have been cut. In those aforementioned January games, Zeigler was playing about 20 minutes per contest. But in the last eight, he's played fewer than 15 each game.

In a way, Pitt can live with a guy like Talib Zanna not scoring a ton of minutes since he oftentimes contributes by grabbing rebounds. But while he's capable of grabbing a few rebounds, Zeigler's primary role is really as a scorer off the bench. The Panthers need bench points on nights when J.J. Moore is struggling and Zeigler's one guy who can provide them. He doesn't have to get into double figures, but Pitt would be a better team if he can drop in five to seven points a game.

He's really had an up and down season when you think of it. There were the early struggles, the Fall DUI, the resurgence, and now another slump. It would be nice to see Zeigler get into a good rhythm in the postseason to have something to carry over to next when, as I've gone over before, he'll be expected to contribute even more with the loss of Tray Woodall.

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