Wow, crazy last couple of days in regards to Pitt basketball and also WPIAL football recruiting. Let’s start first with the Pitt basketball search.
**Let’s start off with the man in charge of finding Pitt’s next coach and that’s Scott Barnes. I was very impressed with the way he handled yesterday’s press conference. Barnes was very relaxed, yet displayed a ton of confidence that he’s going to get a very good coach.
Also, was glad to hear a Barnes say that he’s going to get a coach with high energy and someone that can “recruit his tail off.” Over the last couple of years, many people have made excuses for why Pitt hasn’t been able to recruit more talented players. That’s what they were excuses. The bottom line is Jamie Dixon (for whatever reason) wasn’t able to attract good enough recruits. That’s not going to be tolerated anymore.
One is the reasons why I think Pitt hasn’t been able to land better players was Dixon’s style of play. BORING. It was good to hear Scott Barnes say this morning on “The Fan Morning Show” that Pitt needs to play a more exciting brand of basketball.
It’s very encouraging that Barnes has zeroed in on some problem areas, things that many people have been complaining about for years.
**Barnes will be using a search committee to target coaches for potential interviews. I was told last night that someone from that committee may have targeted Rhode Island coach Danny Hurley for an interview.
Hurley is currently the head coach at Rhode Island. The 43 year old native of Jersey City, New Jersey has a career record of 62-64. While that record isn’t impressive, keep in mind that he hasn’t exactly coached at 2 basketball powers, Rhode Island (2012-present) and Wagner (2010-2012).
**Whats the timeline for hiring a coach? I’d be surprised if at this time next week, Pitt doesn’t have a coach in place.
**What’s the future of the 3 players (Justice Kithcart, Corey Manigault and Crisshawn Clark) that previously committed to Jamie Dixon and Pitt?
All 3 players have publicly said that they’re shocked by Dixon’s departure and that they’re in a wait and see pattern. Although they’re committed to Pitt, I would be surprised if Pitt wouldn’t release them from their commitment IF they want out.
They’d do this for two reasons- 1) this would give the new coach scholarships to bring in his own players 2) it wouldn’t be good to have players on the team that aren’t happy and possibly could transfer down the road.
**Moving to football recruiting, 2 local players decided to go to Brian Kelly and Notre Dame. After visiting the campus this weekend, Central Catholic’s David Adams and Kurt Hinish both decided to commit to Notre Dame.
Both players had offers from Pitt but Adams is the real loss. I’ve said many times that I thought he should’ve been the #1 local target for Pat Narduzzi and his assistants. Adams is a tough, play-making middle linebacker that could’ve stepped in at Pitt from day one and play. That’s not going to be the case so it’s “next man up” on the recruiting board.
If you’re a Pitt fan and worried about a lack of recruiting news and local recruits going elsewhere, relax! First of all, it’s March and secondly, Narduzzi and his staff will bring in top end talent.
**A player that I think is a must get for Pitt is Beaver Falls DT Donovan Jeter. The 4-star player has Pitt high on his list but it would benefit Pitt if they could get a commitment from him soon.