Kevin Stallings has one, possibly two, additional scholarships to use to finalize his 2017 recruiting class. So far, the lone big to join the current recruiting class is 6-foot-10 inch Tilton School (NH) power forward / center Terrell Brown. The search for size continues and Pitt coaches have started to pursue skilled 6-foot-10 inch, 220 pound center Sandro Mamukelashvili from Montverde (FL) Academy. Pitt coaches have already added touted Montverde guard Marcus Carr in the early signing period.
Mamukelashvili landed in the United States roughly a month ago. He wasted little time and participated in the Hoop Group and Nike Skills Academy. Sandro’s stellar performances placed him on the radar of a large number of mid to high major programs.
“I was born in New York. My parents are from the country of Georgia, a small country next to Russia,” he said. “I lived there for fourteen years of my life. I then played two years in Italy for Angelico. I recently came to the United States.”
“I wanted to come to the United States to improve my development and possibly take me to the next level.”
Mamukelashvili has been in contact with Pitt and he’s interested in learning more about the Panthers program. “Pitt sounds like a great opportunity and program. Marcus (Carr) and I have talked about it a bit. We have discussed why he chose to commit to Pitt and what it was like on his visits,” he said. “I really like Pitt’s Coach (Tom) Richardson. A lot of coaches asked me about my game. Coach Richardson will tell me about things I did well and things I can improve on. He’s the only coach that does that.”
Mamukelashvili is 17 years old and has yet to stop growing. He’s highly mobile, a tremendous shooter, strong passer and runs the floor like a gazelle.
When he was asked about his strengths on the court, he stated, “I’m a strong rebounder and passer. I like passing the ball and pushing in transition. Pushing in transition might be my top strength. I can find the open man or get to the rim and score. For my size, I can shoot the ball and hit the three. If I have to improve on anything, it would be getting my back to the basket.”
Mamukelashvili has received interest from Pitt, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Arizona State, Gonzaga, South Carolina and SMU amongst others. The Panthers have the advantage of offering significant playing time in one of the premier conferences in the nation.
“I would love to visit Pitt and learn more about the program.”
Harry G. Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru