It’s far too early to call newcomer Trey Zeigler the X-factor to this season for the Pitt Panthers basketball team, but as the season gets closer, he very well could become that.
At the very least, Zeigler gives Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon something that he’s never had before as the Pitt head coach: size at shooting guard.
Dixon has had some quality “2-guards” in the past, a list that includes Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, Jermaine Dixon, LeVance Fields and plenty of others. But the difference is pretty much all of Dixon’s guards have been smaller guards, with Wanamaker being the biggest at slightly over 6-foot-3.
Zeigler stands a legit 6-foot-5 which could prove to be an advantage.
The transfer from Central Michigan uses his size to his advantage at both ends of the floor. Offensively he has the length to not be bothered by bigger guards and defensively he will be able to use that length to disrupt some of the smaller guards Pitt will see this season.
In addition to his size, Zeigler brings a high basketball IQ to the Panthers. His father coached him for two years at CMU, so he’s a very intelligent player who will be like having another coach on the floor.
Zeigler is also a legitimate scorer, something that the Panthers need. In his two seasons at Central Michigan, Zeigler averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, talents that should make him fit right in with this Pitt team.
Paired with point guard Tray Woodall, Zeigler should give the Panthers a very good backcourt that could go a long way to getting this Pitt team back on track.
He may be a question mark coming into the season, but before it’s all said and done, Zeigler could turn be the factor that determines what type of season the Panthers have this year.