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After First Commit, What’s Next for Jeff Capel on Recruiting Trail?



Pitt head coach Jeff Capel finally got his first Class of 2019 commit on Monday night when 6-foot-5 La Lumiere wing Gerald Drumgoole pulled the trigger and committed to the Panthers, just one day after his official visit.

It was a big first step for Capel’s second recruiting class at Pitt, especially considering the number of talented prospects that he shot for — and seemed to get close to landing — before ultimately falling short.

With Drumgoole now the in fold, Capel will continue to seek out more players, as he will have at least four more scholarships to work with in this class.

Pitt entered 2018-19 with one open scholarship, the mid-season transfers of Peace Ilegomah and Shamiel Stevenson added two more, and seniors Jared Wilson-Frame and Sidy N’Dir will depart at the end of the season.

The prospects that Capel seems to be after the hardest have been forwards, and that should be expected to continue.

Who are Capel’s remaining top targets? Here’s a look:

🏀 Christian Brown, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (6-foot-6, 205 pounds)

Brown played AAU ball with current Pitt guard Trey McGowens, and the Panthers have been recruiting him for quite a while, though those efforts seem to have stepped up in January.

Brown told PSN that he was hoping to take an official visit to Pitt this month, but has yet to schedule one. Brown has visited Clemson and Georgia, but the current leaders appear to be Pitt, Illinois and NC State. 

Illinois has the advantage of already receiving a commitment from Brown’s Oak Hill teammate and one-time Pitt target Kofi Cockburn, but it’s NC State that most of the experts consider the favorite for Brown. Of 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball projections, 83 percent have him joining the Wolfpack. Brown’s recruitment has been heating up and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he made his decision sooner rather than later.

🏀 Karim Coulibaly, Scotland Campus Sports, Scotland, Pa. (6-foot-8, 220 pounds)

Pitt has been on the big man from Mali for quite some time, and is solidly in Coulibaly’s top two, along with Saint Joseph’s. Tulane is also in the mix.

Coulibaly seems to be content to be patient with the process. His coach, Chris Chaney, told PSN that he plans on making his visit to Pitt after his season is over in early March.

🏀 Justin & Julian Champagnie, Bishop Laughlin Memorial, Brooklyn, N.Y. (6-foot-7, 200 pounds)

The twin brothers from Brooklyn are currently slated to exit high school as part of the Class of 2020, but academically, they can make the jump to 2019, and Pitt is definitely interested.

The Panther coaches have been hard on the trail of Justin, a consensus four-star and the No. 115 player in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports composite, and Julian, a Rivals three-star.

The twins are visiting Pitt on Saturday for the Virginia Tech game. Might Pitt even land commitments on back-to-back weekends?

🏀 Khadim Sy, Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, Fla. (6-foot-10, 240 pounds)

Sy is a new interest for the Pitt coaching staff and the junior college transfer’s combination of size and experience certainly makes for an enticing combination.

In his freshman season in 2016-17, Sy played for Virginia Tech and he averaged four points and 2.7 rebounds per game. 

That’s when things got a bit weird. Sy left Virginia Tech after his freshman season and transferred to Tallahassee Community College. But he left Tallahassee without ever playing a game, and went back to Blacksburg, where he redshirted the rest of the 2017-18 season.

After the season, he transferred again, and that’s when he ended up at Daytona State, where he’s averaging a team-high 17.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. 

He’s clearly talented, and furthermore, there’s a connection to another player Pitt is recruiting. Sy, who is a native of Senegal, is also an Oak Hill alum.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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