Kevin Stallings added a key piece to his 2017 recruiting class on Monday night when Union City (TN) shooting guard Parker Stewart (6-foot-5 inches, 185 pounds) committed to Pitt.
Stewart, generally considered a three-star recruit by most recruiting services, originally signed with Mississippi. He chose the Panthers over a multitude of schools including Georgetown, Ole Miss, Wyoming, LSU, Georgia Tech, NC State and Wisconsin.
“On the first day after I received my release from Ole Miss, I heard from a lot of other schools. At the end of that week I went on an official to Georgetown then drove to Pitt for a brief visit. Last week, I went on an official visit to Pitt and chose to commit to Pitt tonight,” said Stewart.
“Coach Stallings really appealed to me. He’s had five NBA players in the last 5 years. A lot of those guys play like I do. They can shoot the ball,” he said. “That’s what I’m good at. I can shoot the ball. That’s what Coach Stallings is known for. He coaches shooters. I really like the others coaches and players as well. I felt really comfortable with them. I really liked everything about Pitt.”
“I really liked the campus a lot. My father grew up in Pittsburgh and I have some family in Pittsburgh.”
Stewart averaged 27 points, 8 rebound and 5 assists per game last season. He finished 2nd in the voting for Mr. Basketball in the state of Tennessee.
When asked about his strengths on the basketball court, he stated, “I’m known as a three-point shooter but if you watch my highlight films you’ll see more versatility. In high school I played point guard and I can handle the ball. I will have a chance to do that as well at Pitt. I’ll play off the ball and come off screens and all that, but I’ll be able to bring the ball up the court on occasion.”
“Pitt will play me at shooting guard, but I’ll be a secondary ball handler as well.”
Stewart has an immediate short term goal over the summer. “I really would like to throw on some good weight. I’m not really small, but playing in the ACC, you play against the best and you have to be a strong as they are,” he said. “I want to get strong and work on my defense.”
“You become a better player when you play against the best. We may be young next year but we’ll be playing the best. It will improve all of our games.”
“I’m really excited to be joining the Pitt basketball program.”
Stewart is the seventh recruit to join the 2017 class.
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru