From the moment he was hired, Jeff Capel has let it be known that he would attempt to recruit the best talent to play at Pitt.
Some wondered how realistic that was considering the current state of the basketball program but Capel is making believers of everyone.
In just two months, Capel has recruited a Top 35 2018 Recruiting Class and is working to do better for 2019.
One of the top juniors in the country has put out his Top 9 and that list included the Panthers. Other programs on his list are Texas, Florida, Clemson, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Providence and Vanderbilt.
Greg Gantt (6-foot-7, 200 pounds) from Fayetteville, North Carolina is one of the most athletic forwards in the country. 247 Sports ranks Gantt as the nation’s No. 57 player, the No. 15 small forward and one of the top five players in North Carolina.
Pittsburgh Sports Now talked to Gantt yesterday about his interest in Pitt and his overall recruitment.
What interests Gantt most about Pitt?
”Definetely Coach Jeff and Jason Capel. Since they took the job, they’ve reached out to me and have been real in recruiting me, “said Gantt. “They’re also from the same city in North Carolina as me. The Capel’s are great coaches, they’re proven coaches and they’re hungry to turn that program around.”
Gantt isn’t the first recruit to praise the recruiting style of Capel. I asked Gantt to try and describe Pitt’s new coach.
”He’s a realist. He doesn’t preach to you and also doesn’t just say things that you want to hear. Coach Capel can have a conversation with any type of person. He’s just as good talking with an older person as he is talking with me,” said Capel.
Some elite players wouldn’t look forward to being part of trying to rebuild a program and would instead want to go to a proven winner. That scenario wouldn’t bother Gantt.
“That’s one of the reasons I have them in my top nine. I’m never going to run away from a fight. Turning them around from where they were last year would be hard but if he can get the right guys in there I think they can achieve that goal. But I think that would be a challenge that I would be up for,” said Gantt.
Although he’s not familiar with the city of Pittsburgh or the Pitt campus, Gantt two members of the Pitt roster, freshman Trey McGowens and Au’Diese Toney.
“Trey is someone I’ve met a few times at different camps and he’s a really cool and funny guy. I’ve also talked to him on social media and stuff like that,” said Gantt. “Au’Diese, that’s my guy. He just came to my school last year and we got to play with each other and developed a good relationship. That’s my guy and I’d have no problem playing with him at the next level.”