The Panthers are in dire need of size and it appears the Pitt is one of the top choices for Scotland (PA) Scotland Campus Sports power forward/center Karim Coulibaly (6-foot-9 inches, 240 pounds).
Coulibaly has received offers from a number of upper echelon programs including Pitt, St. Joseph’s, Tulane, Boston College, Cincinnati, DePaul, George Washington, Penn State, Providence, Georgia Tech, Rhode Island, Rutgers, South Florida, Tulsa, TCU and Virginia.
“I would say Pitt and St. Joe’s are Karim’s top two schools with Tulane possibly in there as well,” said Scotland Performance Institute head basketball coach Chris Chaney. “Karim, as good a player as he is, he’s a better person. He’s very loyal to the guys that have been recruiting him the hardest. That’s why probably a lot more schools probably haven’t been on him because they hear that and see that from everything everybody talks about. He definitely feels comfortable with all those first three schools. When he sees what Pitt is doing this year, it definitely helps out their cause.”
Coach Chaney has watched the exponential improvement of the Panthers young basketball team and he wasn’t very surprised. He has a long history with the Pitt coaching staff.
“The staff at Pitt has done an unreal job. I have known a lot of these guys for twenty plus years. I mean Coach Capel, Jeff coached some of my guys when he was in Oklahoma. I got to know him very well. I actually coached against Jason Capel when he was a Prospect Hall in high school and then Coach (Milan) Brown I’ve known him forever,” he said. “That staff has done a great job and as much as they’re doing really well up there right now nothing shocks me because they’re just good people good coaches and know how to get things done.”
“Karim definitely enjoys the staff and their vision and believes in what they’re doing. The combination of everything they are doing is definitely very attracted to him.”
Karim has yet to visit Pitt but there are definite plans to schedule one after his season is over. “Karim was going to visit Pitt in December but the coach that was going to take him had family come in and was unable to take him,” he said. “We will set something up right after the season is over whether its official or unofficial. He knows the level of play at Pitt and the tradition. He’s placing a strong focus on academics and finishing the season strong at the moment.”
“If we make the prep school national championship tournament, it would be around March 6th or 7th. Karim would probably visit after that.”
Coach Chaney was asked to discuss Coulibaly’s strengths on the court and he stated, “Karim is someone that cares about winning he’s highly competitive. He’s the ultimate team guy that do a lot of stuff offensively and defensively. He’s a physical athletic forward who can play both ends inside and outside. He has a good feel for the game. Karim is a lefty, has a strong body, can guard several positions. He’s a glue guy that will do what it takes to win a game.”
“Karim wants to go somewhere where he continues to get better and that obviously he has a chance to play right away. With what Pitt has done this year the lack of big guys, there’s a lot of positives for them. The coaching staff does well with player development and it’s a group that we trust. There are a lot of big positives to the situation.
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter @PittGuru