Historically, Western Pennsylvania isn’t known for producing big groups of Division one talent. However, the areas talent base is growing and bigger college programs are taking notice.
The Class of 2019 and 2020 talent base is particularly strong and a group of those players will be visiting Pitt tonight for their outdoor “Courtside at the Cathedral” event tonight.
Western Pennsylvania kids in The Class of 2019’s Maceo Austin, Brandon Stone, Oscar Tshiebwe along with 2020’s Isiah Warfield will all be visiting Kevin Stallings and his program tonight. Austin and Tshiebwe have already received offers from Pitt and one could be coming soon for another one of tonight’s visitors.
Stone (6-foot-11, 200 pounds), formerly of Southmoreland High School and now a center for Christ School, a prep school in Arden, North Carolina is a strong candidate to get an offer from Pitt. Stone’s stock and national profile has risen a ton in the last couple of months.
Currently, Stone holds offers from Duquesne, Saint Joseph’s, Penn State, Robert Morris and Houston. However, schools like West Virginia, Villanova, Kentucky, Indiana, etc. are showing interest.
Last night, PSN spoke with Stone about his trip back home and his current thoughts on the Pitt basketball program.
“I’m really excited to get down there so I can spend more time with the coaching staff. I’m excited to see the guys on their team and think it’s going to be a great event,” said Stone.
“Pitt has made me a priority. I’ve talked with Coach Sutton a lot and they really want to keep me home. They think and want me to come in and make an instant impact for them.”
Staying home to play for the hometown school is something we hear about a lot with Pitt football but not so much with basketball due to the lack of hometown talent. That isn’t the case with Stone because he’s a big-time Division-1 prospect. I asked him about the hometown influence and what an offer from Pitt would mean to him.
“This is big for me because I’m a local kid. My friends and family would be able to come watch me play and growing up I always wanted to play for Pitt. When I was little, I wanted to play football there. I’ve talked a lot with my dad about how cool it would be to play at Pitt. My dad is a big time Pitt fan and he would really love for me to got to Pitt,” said Stone.
“An offer from Pitt would mean a lot to me. I have a feeling it’s going to come tomorrow (Friday).”
Finally, I asked Stone has he thought about a timeline that he’d like to make a college decision or being a junior, is it too early to think about that?
“As soon as I find that school that would be a great fit for me, somewhere I could get a good education, somewhere that has my major and also has a winning basketball team. Really though, I’d like to commit as early as possible so that I know where I’m going and I can focus just on that one school.”