4. Federiko Federiko has taken a step back
One of the biggest positive developments for Pittsburgh last season was JUCO transfer Federiko Federiko coming out of seemingly nowhere to take over the center position from John Hugley. The hope was that he’d have a big year, with the frontcourt taking more of the offensive ownership.
However, Federiko has taken a dip on both ends since the very start of the season. His offensive numbers are down, including going from 65% to a lowly 45% from the free throw line. And having just 11 total rebounds in the past five games is just not good enough either.
Replacing Federiko in the starting lineup is Guillermo Diaz-Graham, averaging 7.8 ppg and 4.6 rpg in 19 mpg. He’s only making 56% from the charity stripe but is a much better offensive threat since he can space the floor. And with the defense being the same, Pittsburgh benefits from having him on the court with Hinson and Carrington.
That’s not to say that Federiko is going to be discarded, as the ACC has bigs that GDG can’t handle. With 7’4 Syracuse center Naheem McLeod and Armando Bacot of UNC coming up, it’s as good a time for the Finland center to come through as possible.