Jaylen Bond heading to prep and Birch and Adams update
By Chris Dokish
As expected, and as I mentioned yesterday, Jaylen Bond is heading to prep school. From what I'm hearing, somebody in Bond's camp does not think he will play at Pitt for a few years (and he's right, I'm told), and that with his NBA aspirations, he may be better off taking a different route. This does not mean that he won't be back at Pitt. If the Panthers feel they need him again they will recruit him again, but do not be surprised if he does not come back.
I'm also hearing that Khem Birch's situation does not involve grades but rather a year that he had to repeat in high school in Canada when he changed from one province to another. It had nothing to do with academics, but rather the different rules in the new province. Sources are telling me that Pitt has a good case to use that year as a way of saying Birch has done all of his high school time.
I'm hearing that things are going well on the Steven Adams front. He will still have to pass his SATS, or equivalent, but he appears to be on track as far as his academics, and this his schoolwork will translate to admittance at Pitt.
While I'm here I may as well thrown in some other info...
Isaiah Epps as of now is returning, as is J.J. Richardson. That could always change but as far as Pitt is concerned both are coming back. Epps came on at the end of this season in practices and the staff thinks he can eventually contribute.
I'm still hearing that John Johnson may prep because of grades. He still has an entire year to make up what he has to, however, and DeJuan Blair and J.J. Moore were long shots at one time, too.
Lastly, I know a lot of fans think Malcolm Gilbert will redshirt, but that may not be the case. While the Panthers staff would love to redshirt him, he is a 7-footer who can block shots, and is the only true center on the team. For that reason they think they may have to play him some. But that's all too early to know. Unlike fans and media, the staff doesn't worry about that until next year.