It’s not often that a Jamie Dixon recruit earns significant playing time as a true freshman. Then again, Pitt’s freshmen rarely exhibit the talent that this year’s Khem Birch does. Birch along with Malcolm Gilbert, John Johnson, and Durand Johnson all have expectations to crack the Panthers lineup this season. Each brings a different skill set and together they teamed to make Pitt’s class the 20th best in the nation according to Rivals.com.
If there is one problem with Pitt’s recruiting class it is the frontcourt logjam. Birch, Gilbert, Dante Taylor, Talib Zanna, and Nasir Robinson will all compete for two starting spots. Birch—the ninth overall recruit—is not a candidate for a redshirt. Gilbert is however.
John Johnson also may find himself sitting out this season. Travon Woodall, Ashton Gibbs, and Isaiah Epps are all listed as point guards. While it is likely that Gibbs will slide over to the shooting guard position, Johnson still has to compete with Woodall and Epps.
Gilbert and John Johnson both impressed during the Greentree Summer League this year and enter the season with a lot of hype. Remember though, that promising guards in Epps and Cam Wright were redshirted last season.
Purely based on a positional standpoint, Gilbert and John Johnson are the two players most likely to be redshirted this season.