Jeff Capel made his first recruiting trip as Pitt head coach as he made a trip to Kennedy Catholic in Hermitage to meet two talented juniors, Maceo Austin and Oscar Tshiebwe.
Both players had offers from the previous coaching staff but were considered to be heavy leans toward West Virginia.
Considering he’s new to the area, Capel is starting the process of familiarizing himself with the talent in the area and Kennedy Catholic has plenty of it.
Following school today, Capel sat down with Austin and Tshiebwe together and then individually. After that, he watched both of them work out on the court.
Tonight, Pittsburgh Sports Now had a chance to speak with Austin to get his impression of Pitt’s new coach and what he had to say to them.
“It was great meeting him. It was great just being around him, just the way he talks, what he says and the vision that he has for Pitt. It was all just great,” said Austin.
“He told me that he’s been hearing a lot about me and Oscar and that’s why he wanted to make this trip. He said that he likes my length, my ability to defend multiple positions, my versatility and that I’m a ball handler. He then said that he’s used to winning and that everybody should think that way and that’s what he envisions for Pitt, to turn everything completely around and get things back on track.”
I asked Austin what he thought about the fact that Capel’s first recruiting trip was to come see him.
“It’s a blessing because he could’ve been at any gym in the country and he choose to come to little Kennedy Catholic to see me. That’s something that’s definitely sticking with me,” said Austin.
Finally, I asked Austin if the hiring of Capel and after meeting with him, does this change the way he views Pitt and will they be a place he’s now going to truly consider?
“I know that a couple of recruiting sites had me for sure going to West Virginia but honestly, I’m wide open to anybody. Previously, Coach Sutton was recruiting me for Pitt and was on me pretty heavy, he’s a good recruiter. Coach Capel coming in here definitely has opened my eyes to Pitt. Him coming from Duke and coaching under Coach K. When Coach K was hurt, Coach Capel took over for him so that would make any kid think about him. Yes, Pitt is now a high consideration.”