Just when we thought things had settled down this offseason for the Portland Pilots, the news broke that Freshman Forward Jake Ehlers would transfer leaving a position that lacked depth lacking even more. That news was followed by these tweets from Coach Reveno within a week:
— Eric Reveno (@CoachReveno) April 26, 2013
Great weekend recruiting. Received a commitment from a transfer and did some solid work evaluating HS players. Only negative was…
— Eric Reveno (@CoachReveno) April 29, 2013
I can confirm that that player is West Virginia transfer Volodymyr Gerun, although there hasn’t been an official announcement from the university on him signing. The 6’10” Ukrainian F/C wasn’t able to find meaningful minutes for Bob Huggins club last season but showed potential at the Under-18 European Championships in 2011 where he averaged 18.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. While the addition of a skilled big man looks like a perfect fit for Portland (and it could be), adding a big who can’t contribute right away takes away a lot of his value.
In most cases, I’d say get as much talent as possible and go from there, but this situation is a little different. The need for another serviceable big is the biggest need this team has at the moment. The need is so immediate that Portland doesn’t have the luxury to wait on a player.
Next season is a big one for Portland. After winning 60 games during a three season stretch (’08-09, ’09-10, and ’10-11), the Pilots have averaged 9 wins over the previous two. All-WCC honorable mention and leader of this team Ryan Nicholas is a senior while Kevin Bailey, Thomas van der Mars, and Riley Barker are entering their junior season, a season where expectations grow and inexperience is no longer an excuse. Time is running out for potential with this team, and results are expected. A player that has to sit out a season doesn’t fit the window that this team has.
In a perfect world Gerun would be eligible right away. In this scenario Portland would add a solid player in the position of biggest need. But this isn’t a perfect world, and concerns about when and for how long Gerun could play are real. I’m not sure what the alternative to Gerun would be, but if he could contribute immediately it may be the better option.