Arden (NC) Christ School forward / center Brandon Stone (6-foot-11 inches, 205 pounds) returned to his home state of Pennsylvania to visit Pitt on December 22nd during their home game against Towson University. He had visited Penn State earlier in the week.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Stone about his experience at Pitt. “My experience at Pitt was very good. When I first arrived, I met with an assistant and he toured me around the facilities. I then got to talk with Coach (Kevin) Stallings for a little bit. It was a great conversation,” said Stone. “I watched the game then spoke with some of the assistants afterwards. It was good experience. Pitt told me they need me.”
“They said that they’re fine with me coming in to 2018 or 2019 class. They said basically the offense would run through me and I’d have early playing time. Coach Stallings said that he wanted me to come in for Christmas.”
Stone is a 6-foot-11 inch big man with a European skill set. Pitt coaches consider the big man a “perfect fit” for their system. He has been compared to former Stallings players Luke Kornet (currently with the New York Knicks) and Matt Frieije (former Miami Heat second round pick).
“Coach Stallings has had a lot of success with guys at that play my position. Big dudes that can step out, shoot it, or take it off the dribble. So, that’s what I’m thinking about because I want to go somewhere that I’m going to fit in well and be able to thrive,” he said.
“I speak with Coach (Dan) Cage, Coach (Kevin) Sutton and Coach (Sam) Ferry a lot. We have a pretty good relationship,” he said. “Pitt told me they really need me. They believe I can take over Ryan Luther’s spot after he graduates. I can bring size that they don’t have as well. I wanted to see how they run the offense through Luther, but he was injured and out of the game I watched.”
“Pitt’s team is very young but they have a lot of potential. I think it’s only up from there.”
Stone has been playing against better competition in prep school. He was asked what aspects of his game have improved in that time. He responded, “My physicality and the energy I play with is really improved. As a sophomore I didn’t really have to play hard to be successful and get whatever shot I wanted, so now, playing against this competition, I have to play hard all the time. I’ve gotten a lot stronger since I’ve gotten down here, so I’m not afraid to bang inside. I’ve become a lot more physical rebounding.”
Stone is receiving strong interest from Pitt, Penn State, South Carolina, Duquesne, Purdue, West Virginia, Xavier, Vanderbilt and Ohio State.
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru