Posted: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Pitt's power forward situation could be a tricky one and a lot will depend on a transfer and a center.
Confused? Here's the deal. Rutgers transfer Derrick Randall will be expected to play at power forward assuming he's eligible right away. Randall has requested a special waiver from the NCAA to play this season instead of waiting out the usual season per transfer rules. These requests are often denied, but Randall has a special situation as he left the school after the Mike Rice scandal.
Personally, I expect Randall to be able to play but that's far from a guarantee. Assuming he can, though, here's the rundown on him.
Randall, a 6'8" forward, didn't play all that much at Rutgers. He got into 57 games, but played only about ten minutes a game over two season. He got even fewer minutes as a sophomore and over his career, has averaged only about two points and two rebounds per game. Despite that low production, you can bet that Randall will play some since Pitt is so thin up front. Randall, could also get time at center along with Talib Zanna if Joseph Uchebo can't fill a role as a backup.
While Randall will play, I'm not sure I can see him starting. That role could go to highly touted true freshman Mike Young. We haven't seen Young on the court yet, but if he's as good as expected, seeing him start wouldn't be a huge stretch. He has looked good in the Greentree Summer League so far (he recently averaged 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds over two games in one night) and is getting valuable experience there.
There's lots up in the air here. My guess is that Young will get to start, but if Uchebo can show he can handle the bulk of the center duties (which is probably a big if), Pitt could put Randall as the backup center and go with Zanna as the starting power forward. That would be the ideal situation and Pitt could then use Young to back up Zanna.
Another option for minutes could be incoming freshman Jamel Artis. I speculated yesterday that he could be a redshirt candidate but Pitt is pretty thin up front and without Randall and/or Uchebo, he'll likely be forced into action.
There are a lot of questions at power forward and so much is still dependent upon what happens with Randall and Uchebo.