I haven't really tried to keep up with the status of Pitt's basketball transfers. Mostly, the stuff about where they'd end up just didn't matter all that much to me. But when I opened up the Post-Gazette and saw that Kentucky was a potential suitor for Cameron Johnson, I practically lost the lunch I had a few hours ago.
Kentucky, and plenty of big-time programs, are after the former Pitt player:
Early indications are that Johnson might have his pick of major programs, for the most part. Friday morning, a Rivals.com recruiting reporter tweeted that Johnson has 20 offers already, including Arizona (coached by former Pitt standout Sean Miller), Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Michigan and even TCU, where former Pitt coach Jamie Dixon now resides.
But perhaps the most intriguing school to surface so far in the Johnson rumor mill is Kentucky, where John Calipari also has reportedly extended an offer for the immediately-eligible graduate-transfer guard to join his perennial power. Kyle Tucker, who covers Kentucky for SECCountry.com, even wrote that there’s a “good chance” Johnson lands in Lexington, citing a source.
Something tells me Jamie Dixon is going to have a harder time getting him this time around than before when Pitt had much less competition.
I don't hate Cam for this. I really don't. But given how much interest there is not only nationally, but from the kinds of programs there are, it's all just really kind of annoying. And yeah, if I'm being honest, it makes hate the Kevin Stallings hire that much more. Sue me.
That there's so much interest isn't all that surprising when you consider how late in the game it is for getting guys for next year. And consider the types of players you usually see out there as transfers. The kind of players, for example, that Pitt has gotten. Now, consider what Cam brings to the table in that he has two years of eligibility left, can play immediately, is a good three-point shooter, and is a big guard.
It's also worth pointing out that Cam is much more battle tested than a lot of the types of transfers you see out there. Most of those guys are lesser players on big programs or better players at small programs. Look at Trey Zeigler, a guy that Pitt fans were excited about. He lit it up at Central Michigan, scoring more than 16 points a game in his first two seasons and, no offense to him, struggled to make any kind of an impact here at Pitt. Look at Rafa Maia, a rebounding machine in the Ivy League, who could barely get off the bench here. Doing what Cam did last year as only a sophomore is really impressive and it's no wonder he's being pursued.