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Catching up with recent Pitt basketball transfers

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's basketball program has had a lot of transfers over the past few years, but I haven't really had much time to check in on them. Spent some time earlier this week, though, so here are some updates on a few of Pitt's recent transfers that are playing this season:

J.J. Moore - Moore is having a pretty decent season at Rutgers after transferring from Pitt and getting a waiver to play right away. He's also not lighting the world on fire, though. Moore is getting his wish and playing a lot Moore (see what I did there?) than he did last year. He averaged about 18 minutes the past two seasons at Pitt but is playing 27 minutes per contest so far this year. The extra time is resulting in a few more points (12.3 ppg this season) and an additional rebound per game (3.8 rpg this year) but Moore isn't really breaking out the way Pitt fans thought he would for years.

Despite showing a world of promise at times, he's virtually been a pretty stagnant player for the third year in a row now. There wasn't much improvement by him last season and this year appears to be the same. On offense, he's been a 42-44% FG shooter and at 43.5% this season, that aspect of his game hasn't gotten any better, either. I have no doubt that Moore could have helped Pitt this year, but he's not having a huge year with the extra playing time.

Malcolm Gilbert - Gilbert transferred to Fairfield (3-9) from Pitt, presumably to join his brother play there. His brother, Marcus, is having a big season at the school leading them in scoring (14.8 ppg), but Malcolm is only contributing sparingly. Despite the step down in competition playing in the MAAC, Malcolm is only averaging 2.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. To his credit, he's also averaging about two blocks per contest, but as a 6'11" center playing in a much weaker league, I'm surprised that he's not doing more.

Gilbert's departure certainly hurt Pitt as the Panthers were forced to move Talib Zanna to center and bring in transfer Derrick Randall after Steven Adams bolted for the NBA after a single season. If he were around, he'd be playing at least some. But with what he's shown in the MAAC so far, it's hard to make a case that Pitt's frontcourt would be much better with him.

John Johnson - Johnson left Pitt for Penn State (reportedly over playing time) and truthfully, a transfer was the best thing he could have done. After seeing time as a freshman with injuries playing a factor, he had fallen behind Cam Wright, who's now a major contributor for the Panthers. James Robinson stepped right in at point guard and would likely be ahead of him as well. Pitt also has Josh Newkirk and Durand Johnson, and potentially Detrick Mostella coming at some point. Not much room for playing time there.

Johnson had a heck of a debut at Mount St. Mary's, scoring 20 points in 22 minutes in his debut against Mount St. Mary's. He came back to earth a little bit lot against Michigan State in his second game, scoring only two points in 20 minutes, but he had 18 in a season-high 27 minutes against Illinois last weekend. He's been more than a solid contributor for the Nittany Lions and is helping to make that backcourt even better.

As an aside, Trey Zeigler transferred from Pitt to TCU, but is sitting out this season.

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