ANNAPOLIS, Md. — If you happen to tune into a Pitt basketball game early in the season and don’t recognize anyone, that’s because the Panthers have 10 new scholarship players in the mix this season. Here’s a primer to help remember who is who.
0 • Jared Wilson-Frame • Junior • SG • 6-5
Where he’s from, how he got here: Wilson-Frame is from Hartford, Connecticut. He started his high school ball at Windsor High School, then transferred to Believe Prep in South Carolina for his junior year and Notre Dame Prep back in Connecticut for his senior year. After high school, he spent two years at Northwest Florida State before transferring to Pitt. He’ll have two years of eligibility with the Panthers.
Projected role: Starting wing. Good bet to be the team’s leading scorer. Should play big minutes most nights.
Strengths, weaknesses: Good with the ball in his hands. Has some “JUCO habits” that Kevin Stallings would like to break him of. Defense is a question mark.
1 • Parker Stewart • Freshman • SG • 6-5
Where he’s from, how he got here: Stewart is from Union City, Tennessee, where he went to Union City High School. Stewart was originally committed to Ole Miss, and even signed a letter of intent, but asked for and received his release, re-opened his commitment, and quickly signed with Pitt.
Projected role: Starting shooting guard, and the guy they’ll want taking the big outside shots.
Strengths, weaknesses: He has good length for a two and seems to be a willing defender. Obviously, coming out of high school ball, he’ll be dealing with some different types of players. Very talented 3-point shooter, but can be streaky.
5 • Marus Carr • Freshman • PG • 6-1
Where he’s from, how he got here: Carr is a Toronto native. Played his final two years at Florida powerhouse Montverde Academy. Before that, he played at St. Mike’s in Toronto and played on the Canadian U16 National Team.
Projected role: Starting point guard and primary ballhandler. Should regularly play 30 minutes or so, but an ankle injury could hold him back in the opener.
Strengths, weaknesses: Mature for a freshmen. Seems to have a good grasps of the offense. Stallings said Carr “outsmarts him” at times when it comes to calling plays. Isn’t the biggest player, but seems willing to drive. Looks to fit into the traditional Pitt point guard mold.
13 • Khameron Davis • Freshman • SG • 6-4
Where he’s from, how he got here: A native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, Davis started at Valor Christian for three years, before moving to Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas and then played a prep year at Forest Trail Academy in North Carolina.
Projected role: Reserve guard with a focus on the defensive side of the ball. The spiritual successor to Chris Jones. He’s questionable with an injury for the opener.
Strengths, weaknesses: Strong defender with long arms will earn his minutes on that side of the ball. Very high energy. Good rebounder for a guard. Better finisher of broken plays than he is an outside shooting threat.
15 • Kene Chukwuka • Sophomore • PF • 6-9
Where he’s from, how he got here: Chukwuka whose full name is Kenechukwu Henrik Chukwuka, but you can call him Kene, is a Swedish native. Born in Stockholm, he came to America and spent a year at New Mexico Junior College before joining the Panthers.
Projected role: He started in the exhibition game against Slippery Rock, but he’ll more than likely be a bench player. Should be in the heavy rotation inside.
Strengths, weaknesses: Plays the game hard, especially on the boards. Aggressive defender, will probably make good use of his five fouls. Shooting stroke is acceptable, but could be better from range. Also could add some muscle to his frame. Might struggle with hyper-athletic stretch fours.
21 • Terrell Brown • Freshman • C • 6-10
Where he’s from, how he got here: Brown was lightly recruited coming out of St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, Rhode Island, with Xavier his lone reported offer. He spent a prep year at the Tilton School in New Hampshire and visited Syracuse and Purdue before jumping on board with the Panthers.
Projected role: Bench forward. Brown will probably be Ryan Luther’s backup and can also play alongside him, sliding Luther to the four for a bigger lineup.
Strengths, weaknesses: Brings badly needed length. Still a bit lanky after some late growth. Nice hands for a big man. Probably needs up the physical intensity.
23 • Shamiel Stevenson • Freshman • SF • 6-6
Where he’s from, how he got here: Stevenson joins Carr as Toronto native on the squad. He played for three different high schools: Holy Trinity in Ontario, two years at Wassatch Academy in Utah and the to Hillcrest Prep in Arizona. Stevenson had Arizona State, Georgia Tech and Southern Cal offers.
Projected role: He didn’t start in the exhibition, but Stevenson is clearly one of Pitt’s best five. He’ll primary play the four, but can slide to the three for a bigger lineup. Capable of playing heavy minutes.
Strengths, weaknesses: The best athlete of the freshmen, he has a long wingspan and is strong enough to play against much taller players inside. Better with the ball than without it. No glaring weaknesses, but overall attention to detail will need to improve. Has very high potential.
24 • Samson George • Freshman • SF • 6-7
Where he’s from, how he got here: George is from Minna, Nigeria and played at St. Patrick’s and St. Anthony’s in New Jersey before coming to Pennsylvania to First Love Christian Academy. He regionally enrolled early at Iona, but changed his mind and committed to Pitt.
Projected role: Reserve. Could possibly redshirt.
Strengths, weaknesses: Best asset is his defense. Also has a high motor. Has not played a lot of high-level basketball. Raw offensively.
33 • Monty Boykins • Redshirt Senior • SG • 6-5
Where he’s from, how he got here: Boykins is from West Chester, Pa., and is a graduate transfer from Lafayette. He missed the entire 2016-17 season due to injury. He averaged 10.5 points per game in 2015-16.
Projected role: Bench guard. Should be leaned on a lot early, thanks to both the injuries to Carr and Davis and the overall level of experience on the roster. Could get passed for minutes by players like Davis as the season goes on.
Strengths, weaknesses: His experience will bring a lot to the table. Steady player. Not as strong defensively as he is offensively. Decent 3-point shooter.
42 • Peace Illegomah • Freshmen • C • 6-9
Where he’s from, how he got here: Pitt’s second Nigerian, Illegomah played at Montverde with Carr after transferring from Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. Was just declared academically eligible two weeks ago.
Projected role: Reserve forward. Could redshirt.
Strengths, weaknesses: Pitt’s best shot-blocker. Has a 7-foot-4 wingspan. Can get up above the rim for rebounds. Needs work offensively. Won’t be a big-minutes player.
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