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Michalowski: Here is Why You Should be Excited About Pitt Basketball’s Transfer Class

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Pitt basketball's transfer class of Cam Corhen and Damian Dunn is ready to break out in the Panthers' program.

Jeff Capel and his staff once again had a successful offseason in the transfer portal, bringing in two transfers from the high-major level who seem to be great fits for the Panthers. 

First, let’s take a look at the two incoming transfers and where they rank on The Portal Report’s transfer rankings out of the nearly 2,000 D1 transfers in the portal this offseason.

Cam Corhen – Florida State – Center – No. 481 OVR

Corhen ranks highly in TPR’s scoring category (No. 389) and inside shooting (No. 17). 

Damian Dunn – Houston – Guard – No. 557 OVR

Dunn ranks highly in outside shooting (No. 517) and Impact rating (No. 607). 

A casual would look at these rankings and think that Pitt had a poor spring recruiting the portal. But we’re not casuals here. So why should you be excited about Pitt’s transfer class?

NO LONGER LIMITED AT THE FIVE

For the past two years, Pitt has been very limited inside on the offensive end. Corhen provides play-making ability in the post and has been an aggressive scorer on second-chance opportunities and in transition. Check out these statistics that back that up.

Corhen averaged 1.154 points per possession when on the floor – ranking in the 97th percentile. In transition, Corhen averaged 1.516 points per possession, again, ranking him in the 97th percentile in that category. Overall, he made 21 of his 26 attempts in transition on the year – an 81% mark.

In pick-and-roll situations, Corhen averaged 1.4 points per possession – ranking in the 92nd percentile and earning an “excellent” rating from Synergy. He went 29 for 40 on those attempts (73%). He was even more lethal on the offensive glass, hitting 24 of his 31 second-chance putback attempts on the year (77%). 

With Pitt’s versatile back court, Corhen has the chance to explode onto the scene as one of the best bigs in the ACC.

DESPITE LAST YEAR’S STATS, DUNN COMES WITH MANY POSITIVES

Dunn averaged just six points per game last year for Houston. So why is it fair to think his production will increase at Pitt?

The overarching positive with Dunn is that he played for a great program under a respected coach in Kelvin Sampson. In his lone season with the Cougars, he had ten games in double-digit scoring, and nine games with at least two three pointers. Dunn played more than 25 minutes in a single game just three times throughout the season, and still delivered those numbers. He played in a loaded back court, and still found a way to produce at a high level when given the opportunity.

In his senior season at Temple, Dunn thrived in transition as well. He hit 15 of his 30 shots in transition in the 2022-23 campaign, and averaged 1.255 points per possession in transition (83rd percentile). Following timeouts, Dunn was oftentimes the featured player in Temple’s playbook. According to Synergy, after time outs, Dunn ranked in the 66th percentile in points per possession with 0.939. In those situations, he hit 40% of his shot attempts.

Dunn scored the majority of his points via “spot up” opportunities. On those opportunities, Dun shot 37% from the field. 

His second-most points came as the ball handler in pick-and-roll situations. In those opportunities, Dunn hit 32 of his 70 attempts – a 46% mark. For comparison, last year, Bub Carrington rated “excellent” in the same category, shooting 45% from the field as the ball handler in pick-and-roll situations. Carrington rated higher than Temple-senior-year Dunn because of his volume – the Baltimore native hit 69 of his 152 attempts in P&R settings.

OVERALL

On paper, replacing Bub Carrington and Blake Hinson sounds like a nearly impossible task. However, adding Damian Dunn and Cam Corhen to the program along with a solid freshman class and a strong returning core led by guards Jaland Lowe and Ishmael Leggett, Pitt looks to be in great position heading into the 2023-24 season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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JumoingJohnnie
JumoingJohnnie
23 days ago

Well said MichalowskiPITT is loaded at the guard position. time for Capel to run more 3 guard sets come gametime.

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