And ... the retooling of the frontcourt continues.
Richmond transfer Alonzo Nelson-Ododa told @CBSSports he has committed to Pitt. Immediately eligible. Averaged 6.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG. 6-9.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 24, 2015
Nelson-Ododa confirmed that on his own Twitter account:
Nelson-Ododa is the latest big man to join the Panthers. The team already had secured Rozelle Nix and recently added transfer Rafael Maia. Last year, Nelson-Ododa averaged 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He also brings some shot-blocking ability with 1.7 blocks in 23 minutes of action per game.
This move is clearly one to create some depth so it's hard to get too excited here. He actually played less at Richmond last year than he did the season before - his 23 minutes per game were down from the nearly 27 he got the year before as a sophomore. He was more accurate from the field, making about 45% of his shots (up from 42%), but again, all of that was done at Richmond. When you weigh in the better competition he'll see in the ACC, I wouldn't count on him having a monster season.
The important thing here is that Pitt continues to upgrade the frontcourt from last season. The Panthers didn't land a game-changer in Cheick Diallo or even Mike Thorne, who was more highly-regarded than Nelson-Ododa. But the trio of Nix, Maia, and Nelson-Ododa is certainly an upgrade from the guys that departed at forward/center - Tyrone Haughton, Derrick Randall, and, Joseph Uchebo, who is not expected to return. Nelson-Ododa brings some rebounding and interior defense to the table and that helps.
By my count, Pitt is all full as of right now. Gone are Randall, Haughton, Cameron Wright, Durand Johnson, and presumably, Uchebo. Added are Nix, Maia, Nelson-Ododa, Sterling Smith, and Damon Wilson. Nelson-Ododa isn't a huge pickup, but Pitt was just filling out the roster. And as a graduate transfer with only one year of eligibility left, this was a low-risk addition. If it doesn't work out, his scholarship reopens next year.