James Robinson has run the Pitt offense for the last four seasons. In fact, the senior guard has started more games than any player in Pitt history. It won’t be easy for Jamie Dixon to find a replacement for him next season.
Could the answer be incoming freshman Justice Kithcart?
Kithcart (6-2, 170) is an explosive guard from Virginia Episopal School in Lynchburg, Virginia. Depending on what recruiting service you go by, Kithcart is a 3-4 star recruit but over the last couple of months, he’s played more like a 5-star player. For the season, the senior guard averaged 25 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds per game.
Last night, Kithcart led his team to the Virginia state championship with a 65-56 win over Blue Ridge. The future Pitt guard finished with 19 points and 4 steals. In the two previous playoff games, Kithcart scored 28 and 21 points.
Here’s how VES head coach, Curtis Staple, described his star player to a Virginia newspaper- “He is the heart of this team. He’s relentless on offense and defense, and he’s unstoppable coming at you in transition.”
I had a chance to talk with the Kithcart about his amazing season and also to look ahead to joining Pitt next season.
“As far as my personal streak, I’m a team first guy so I had to do whatever my team needed me to do in order to get wins”, said Kithcart. “Winning the State Championship feels great!! I’ve won 2 AAU National Championships but it was nothing like winning a HS state championship. ”
Now that Kithcart’s high school playing career is over, it’s time to look ahead to Pitt. I asked him the strength of his game and how he can have an impact with the Panthers next season?
“I’m very fast pushing the ball, getting out in transition is where in best at , also I can get to the rim at and will knock down jump shots and I’m a lock down defender”, said Kithcart.
Sounds pretty impressive to me.
This talented player committed to Pitt back in September, I asked him to take me back to then and what impressed him most about Pitt and Jamie Dixon.
“I decided to commit to Pitt because of the great coaching staff for one, Coach Dixon and Coach Knight who played PG at Pitt a few years back. Also, I get to play in the best conference in the nation and get a great education along with that.”
When I watch Pitt, I love the style they play, which was another reason I committed, because I fit the team’s system”, said Kithcart. ” I feel like they have had an up and down year but it’s a great group of guys who all play together which I think is great.”
Despite being a true freshman, Kitchart believes he’ll have a chance and he has enough talent to find himself in Dixon’s starting lineup.
“Yes I feel that I can come in and start from day one at Pitt. I know the spot isn’t going to be given to me but I’m definitely ready to compete for it. On the other hand starting isn’t everything, I would be more than happy coming of the bench getting minutes if that’s what best for the team.”
Sounds like a winner and a kid with a good head on his shoulders. I think Dixon has himself a talented kid for next years roster.