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April 3, 2013

Zeigler: Not a good fit

After transferring from Central Michigan, Trey Zeigler arrived in Pittsburgh with big expectations. With a hole at shooting guard, the 6'5" coach's son who had scored over 1,000 points in two seasons with the Chippewas planned on stepping in and providing instant offense for the Panthers.

That is not how it worked out for Pitt or Zeigler, and one season later, he will be on the move again. On Tuesday, Zeigler made it public that he has decided to move on from Pittsburgh and find a third home to finish out his college career.

"I just don't think I fit in the system here," Zeigler told Panther-Lair.com. "That is the main reason I decided to transfer."

Zeigler, a junior guard from Detroit, transferred to Pitt last April after Central Michigan fired his father, Ernie, as head coach of the Chippewas' basketball team. Given those circumstances, the NCAA ruled Zeigler eligible to play at Pitt this past season rather than having to sit out a year, as is standard practice with transfers.

The NCAA's ruling was considered a coup for Pitt, as the Panthers expected to add a guard who could drive to the basket and be a potent finisher in transition. But those qualities never materialized for Zeigler, as he struggled to fit into Pitt's offense and averaged just 4.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in 31 games this season.

The high point in Zeigler's career came during a 10-day stretch in January when he scored 13 points at Villanova and 18 points in a home win over DePaul. He averaged more than 11 points per game during that stretch, but outside of those 10 days, he scored in double figures once, and that was an 11-point performance in the season opener against Mount St. Mary's.

This time around, Zeigler will have to sit out and then have one year of eligibility left.

"I haven't spoken to the staff about their plans on the specifics of the release or anything like that yet. There are no hard feelings at all. I just need to move forward and find a school that fits me best."

"We will assist Trey in finding the best situation for him to reach his goals both academically and athletically," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said in a press release. "He's a great kid, hard worker and good player. We thank Trey for his contribution to our program over the last year and wish him much success in the future."

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