It’s not secret that Jeff Capel and his staff are looking to add a couple big men to this years recruiting class.
One name that has sort of flown under the radar is Karim Coulibaly. However, he hasn’t been ignored by the Pitt coaches and that’s why they currently sit in a nice position to land him.
Coulibaly (6’8″, 230) is a 3-star center from Scotland Campus in Scotland, Pennsylvania. Over the weekend, Coulibaly was a one of the standout performers at the National Prep Showcase in New Haven, Connecticut.
This afternoon, Pittsburgh Sports Now had the chance to talk with Coulibaly’s high school coach Chris Chaney to find out more about Coulibaly the player and where Pitt currently stands with him.
“Karim is very competitive, is a strong kid and can guard several different positions,” said Chaney. “He can score in and out. Especially in today’s game, he’s a very versatile player with what he can do. Anther thing that attracts a lot of schools to him is his work ethic. He’s very young (17) and really just wants to keep getting better. I definitely believe his best days are ahead of him. Just to see him now compared to where he was a year ago, it’s definitely at a higher level and I believe it’ll be the same thing at this time next year and the year after.”
“Karim is a kid that’s just going to help you win games. He’s a program type guy and isn’t worried about how many points he scores, he’s just about winning and doing whatever he can to help his team do that.”
Coulibaly currently holds 15+ offers including ones from Pitt, Boston College, Cincinnati, DePaul, George Washington, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Providence, Rhode Island, Rutgers, St. Joe’s, St. John’s and Virginia. With his profile getting bigger, more teams are likely to try and get involved but it sounds like that may be hard to do.
“There’s been some new teams asking about him, like TCU and other schools have started calling,” said Chaney. “I think a lot of programs think that Karim is really deep with a few programs and won’t offer. He’s most likely going to sign late so I’ll assume more schools will be coming after him but one thing about Karim is that he’s really big on schools that have been on him for a long time. That’s why St. Joe’s, Pitt and Tulane, he really likes them a lot.”
Coach Chaney has been impressed with the way Pitt’s staff has recruited his star player. In fact, Chaney has known members of the Panther coaching staff for quite some time.
“I think he likes their coaching staff,” said Chaney. “Coach Capel has coached some of my former players when he was at Oklahoma. I coached against Jason Capel in high school and I’ve known Milan Brown for 15-20 years. All three of those guys have been out here. We know that Pitt has a great coaching staff, they’re going to build it the right way and they’re going to get good guys. They’re selling him on being part of the transition and the culture they’re creating. Karim and I definitely believe in those guys and like what they plan on doing.”
The college basketball early signing period is underway and while Pitt would like to get a commitment, it sounds like if it’s going to come from Coulibaly, they’re going to have to wait until the spring.
“Yeah, that’s what it sounds like,” said Chaney. “Like I said, I’m sure that between now and then they’ll be more schools trying to get in but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t sign with one of the schools that have been with him the longest.”