Posted: 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2013
By Anson Whaley
Pitt's basketball team for next season is finally starting to take shape. A few days ago, the team landed JUCO center, Joseph Uchebo. Next up? Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane.
Kane's short and sweet statement to CBS Sports on the move:
"It's a perfect situation for me," Kane told CBSSports.com.
He recently visited USC, but has instead decided on the Panthers.
The ironic thing is that Kane leaves Marshall, a program run by former Pitt assistant Tom Herrion. It's believed that the two didn't see eye to eye and Kane is on his way out. Now, Jamie Dixon will hope to keep him in line and you can bet that Dixon knows all about his previous situation - whatever it may be.
Typically transfers have to sit out a year, but as Kane is expected to graduate this summer, he should be eligible immediately - and that's the key thing considering Pitt's situation for next year. He only has one year of eligibility left, but Kane is a potential game-changer. He averaged 15 points and nearly eight assists last year, and was one of Marshall's best players. Kane flat out makes plays.
He doesn't come without any issues, though. There's the relationship with Herrion, of course. And, as NBC Sports points out, he turns the ball over quite a bit and isn't a great (or even a very good) three-point shooter. And because Kane will only have one year in the system, there's no 'breaking him in and hoping he gets better next season.'
Here's the big thing, though - there's no guarantee he'll fit in. A year ago, we were singing the praises of Trey Zeigler, who was expected to ignite Pitt's offense. As we saw, that never happened. Now, Kane is 24 and with that kind of age, should come some experience. The hope (which is reasonable) is that he'll be able to adjust. There's also some incentive as he'll surely use this season as an audition to draw some NBA attention. But him stepping in and being an immediate scorer is far from a guarantee when you factor in that he'll need to play within Pitt's system.
But when you take everything into account, it's a big 'get' for Pitt. Without him, the Panthers were essentially down to Cam Wright, newcomer Josh Newkirk, and maybe small forward Durand Johnson and/or G/F Chris Jones to man the shooting guard spot (and keep in mind, someone will need to back up point guard James Robinson). But Kane's addition fixes that and if he shows he can play defense, too, he should be favorite to become the starter. As the Daily Mail points out, this is a move that should benefit both parties.
Kane doesn't fix everything, but the team is better off with him.