If you scan Pitt’s basketball roster, you quickly notice a number of quality players from Western Pennsylvania including Sheldon Jeter, Cameron Johnson and Ryan Luther. Another local talent, 2018 Southmoreland High School forward Brandon Stone, has recently caught the Panthers’ attention. At 6-foot-11 inches tall and shooting nearly 38 percent from the perimeter, he’s a player that’s a hard miss.
“Coach (Tom) Richardson from Pitt called me on Monday. He was telling me that Pitt has been watching me for a while and they are really interested in me. He told me he’s going to attend my game on Friday,” said Stone. “He then invited me to come watch their game on Saturday (home game against Miami).”
“I have to visit Pitt, but I have always been a Pitt fan since I was little. I have always dreamt about playing college basketball for Pitt.”
“I think I fit in well with their system. I want to go somewhere where I can make an impact as a freshman. I have seen them play a little big this year. Their system would give me a lot of opportunity to succeed.”
Stone averaged 21.3 points and 10.5 rebounds last year as a sophomore. Duquesne, Robert Morris, Youngstown State and Mount St. Mary’s have already offered him a scholarship. Butler recently hosted him on an unofficial visit, while West Virginia, Wichita State, Liberty, Ohio, Maryland, Wake Forest, Canisius and Quinnipiac are in close contact.
Stone is a towering 6-foot-11 inches tall. When asked if he considered himself a power forward or center, he stated, “I would say I’m a stretch 4 (power forward) right now. I’m more comfortable attacking the rim from the outside and hitting mid-range shots and three pointers. I have a pretty good post-up game as well. I could play center, but I would have to add some weight first. I’m around 195 pounds at the moment. I play more like the European bigs.”
He expounded a big further on his strengths. “I’m very athletic for my size,” he said. “Most big men can’t run up and down the floor the way I can. They don’t get up off the floor as well. They don’t shoot as well as I do. My high school coach refers to me as a 6-foot guard in a 6-11 inch body.”
Kevin Stallings will begin the rebuilding of Pitt’s roster next season. Stone could be a key piece of the 2018 class.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Pitt’s game and meeting the staff. Pitt would be a great opportunity.”
Harry G. Psaros can be found on twitter at @PittGuru