Evaluating Trey Zeigler to Pitt

The college basketball off-season has been punctuated by a rash of high-volume but inefficient scorers transferring schools. And one of the early ones was 6-5 Trey Zeigler, leaving Central Michigan after his father was fired as coach. He ended up choosing Pitt over Duke, and now has found out that he won’t have to sit out a season. He’ll be eligible next year, and will have two years of eligibility.

Nearly every story points out that the wing averaged nearly 16 points a game at Central Michigan. That’s the good news. The bad news is how inefficient he was while scoring those points. His offensive rating was a woeful 95.7. That was a significant upgrade from his freshman season (86.6). So it’s a glass-half-full scenario. Yes, he was highly inefficient, but he also improved a great deal.

For reference, not a single Pitt Panther who played significant minutes had an offensive rating below 105.

The reason Zeigler was able to score 15.8 a game was simple: volume. He attempted 31% of the shots when he was on the floor, which is higher than any player Jamie Dixon has ever coached.

His problems as a wing are threefold. First, his shot selection is terrible. It improved from his freshman year, but that’s not saying much. Two, he doesn’t prevent a threat from beyond the arc. And three, while he’s very good at getting to the line, his FT% was a Shaq-like 49.5%.

Still, there’s a reason his final two schools were power programs. He was a consensus top-30 recruit out of high school, and possesses tremendous physical skills. If Dixon can get him to buy into the system, play defense, and let the game come to him then this could be a gem of a transfer.

The stat to watch will be the % of shots he takes when he’s on the floor. If he gets it down in the 20-22 range, then I think he might find a lot more success. If not, he might find the bench.