Jamie Dixon’s highly touted 2011 class has been cut in half in less than a year. The top two players in that class are now transfer statistics.
Forward Khem Birch, a top 10 player, left the team last December and transferred to UNLV. Yesterday, guard John Johnson, who was a top 100 recruit, told Dixon of his desire to transfer.
Dixon said he would help Johnson find the right school. I haven’t spoken with Johnson and don’t have any inside information, but I do know former Pitt assistant Tom Herrion was very high on Johnson when he gave a verbal commitment in 2009.
Herrion left the team after that season to become the head coach at Marshall, where he has done very well. Johnson can definitely play but due to his lack of size he might be better suited for a conference like Conference USA rather than one of the BCS leagues.
The two remaining recruits from Pitt’s 2011 class are guard/forward Durand Johnson and center Malcolm Gilbert.
Durand Johnson, who redshirted last season, saw his first game action Monday night in a win versus Fordham and played well. He scored eight points and appears to have improved on defense.
Gilbert is redshirting this season after playing sparingly last season. He should fit nicely into a backup role next season if Steven Adams returns for his sophomore season. If not, he’ll be pressed into a starter’s role.
Gilbert and Johnson were not top 100 players, but they’ll have opportunities to prove they can play in the ACC because of the departures of Birch and John Johnson.
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