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Report: Pitt could have up to eight players ask for release to transfer

Pittsburgh v Miami

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 31: Parker Stewart #1 of the Pittsburgh Panthers shoots the basketball while being defended by Dejan Vasiljevic #1 of the Miami Hurricanes during the first half of the game at The Watsco Center on January 31, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

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Pitt will likely need to build an entirely new roster when they hire a new coach as up to eight players have reportedly asked for a release to transfer.

With the Panthers recently firing head coach Kevin Stallings after a winless ACC campaign, many of the players on Pitt’s roster are hoping for a fresh start, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Among the players involved include talented freshman Parker Stewart, potential graduate transfer Ryan Luther, and four more players from Pitt’s freshmen class -- Terrell Brown, Marcus Carr, Khameron Davis and Shamiel Stevenson. Sophomore Kene Chukwuka and junior guard Malik Ellison are also reportedly asking for a release -- although Ellison’s case is unique since he transferred in from St. John’s last season and redshirted this season.

Prized recruit Bryce Golden, a three-star power forward, has also requested his release to look for another school -- leaving Pitt with no current incoming recruits for next season.

If all eight players, and Golden, decide to leave, it essentially leaves Pitt with three players left on the roster for next season. It’s hard to say if those three players are even locks to stay with the Panthers given the turnover the past few weeks. While having an empty roster, and no head coach, is pretty alarming for an ACC program, it also gives the new head coach a clean slate to immediately begin rebuilding.

I wouldn’t expect Pitt to have any kind of competitive team in the ACC next season, but they could still manage to land some intriguing spring signings who will earn most of the minutes for next season. This is going to be a long and hard rebuild for the Panthers.