Pitt Basketball Recruiting Update: Dixon Continues To Reload For The Future


Mar 22, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon reacts against the Florida Gators in the second half of a men

Though Pitt basketball fans are ready for the basketball program’s second year in the ACC, it is never too early to discuss recruiting.

For Pitt to reach a Final Four and potentially a National Championship, Jamie Dixon will have to bring in the talent to do so. While some players may be deemed as “projects,” who may take a few years to develop, others are NBA ready.

In years past, Pitt has had a knack of landing prospects with potential instead of players ready to immediately contribute. Recently, players such as point guard James Robinson and power forward Michael Young have instantly contributed.

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It will be interesting to see the roles of incoming freshmen Ryan Luther and Cameron Johnson, as well as transfer power forward Sheldon Jeter and center Tyrone Haughton as the 2014 season progresses.

As for an update on my previous recruiting report, some changes have taken place in the past few months, as this aspect of basketball is so fluid.

Pitt will only lose two scholarship seniors (Cameron Wright and Derrick Randall) after this upcoming season, and the replacements appear to be talented guard Damon Wilson and big man Rozelle Nix.

Here is a look at the current Class of 2015:

  • PG (Scout 7, 4*) (Rivals 4*) (ESPN 13, 4*, ESPN Top 100) Damon Wilson (Our Savior New American School) Centereach, NY, 6-5/200
  • C (Scout NR/JUCO) (Rivals NR) (ESPN NR) Rozelle Nix (Pensacola J.C.) Pensacola, FL 7-0/310

When these two are freshmen, Pitt seniors will include guards James Robinson and Durand Johnson, and centers Joseph Uchebo and Tyrone Haughton. Pitt juniors will include forwards Jamel Artis, Sheldon Jeter, and Michael Young, and guards Josh Newkirk and Chris Jones.

Pitt should boast a very solid core of tough-nosed, experienced Panthers ready to make a deep run. The key question to this team’s success will be, “Where does the scoring come from?”  “Does Pitt have a scorer who can light up the scoreboard?”  I feel that this is what the Panthers have lacked over the years, but maybe Durand Johnson will be that guy.

And here is the current Class of 2016:

  • SF (Scout 6, 5*) (Rivals 4*) (ESPN 4*, ESPN Top 60) Mustapha Heron (Sacred Heart HS) Waterbury, CT, 6-4/185

The Panthers lost ESPN Top 60 shooting guard Maverick Rowan from Midland, PA, after his family decided to move to Florida.  Though he re-opened his recruiting, his schools of interest are currently Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt, and West Virginia.

In my opinion, this squad may be one of the best Pitt teams yet. Heron is considered a top notch, ready to contribute athlete and scorer.  While it will hurt losing Robinson and Johnson, Pitt will have five experienced seniors in Artis, Young, Jeter, Newkirk and Jones.  Depending on the progress of the young freshmen and sophomores, this team could be very dangerous.

In addition to City of Champions, I suggest checking out recruiting sites Pittsburgh.scout.com and Pittsburgh.rivals.com for continued updated coverage on signings and updated player rankings.