College basketball coaches and their staffs are all around the country right now attending AAU tournaments, watching workouts, making in-home visits as well as stops at various schools.
It’s prime time for basketball recruiting season.
Due to the amount of openings for his Class of 2019, Jeff Capel is pulling double duty trying to fill that as well as working on high school juniors.
One of Capel’s recent in-home visits was to a name that’s very familiar to Pitt fans, four-star junior guard Ethan Morton of Butler.
Considering he’s one of the top juniors in the entire country, this past week has been a bit hectic for him as his in-home visits have included Pitt, Ohio State, Marquette, Indiana, Purdue, Stanford and Michigan and Iowa.
“I definitely feel like recruiting is picking up,” Morton told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “A lot of guys have told me that this is the time of the year that things really pick up. Having the live period this weekend was good. With my schedule and having a lot of USA Basketball stuff to do a couple weeks prior to me starting to getting home visits, it gave me less time to do things so I have a lot of visits going on now in a short period of time.
“It’s been a lot of information to absorb from these coaches. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to build good, strong relationships with a lot of these staffs. It’s been nice to re-connect with them after their seasons and see what their view is on their current recruiting, if anything has changed and their vision. It’s really been good to hear.”
Jeff Capel has been someone that’s been in contact with Morton since taking over at Pitt. Did he have any different message or information for Morton when the two recently met and talked?
“The only thing that was different was that he told me that there’s more of a sense of urgency now for him to get a point guard in my class just because of the fact that it seems that after the year that Xavier Johnson had and if he continues to grow and get better there’s a chance he could be gone to the NBA after next season,” Morton said. “That’s something that may not happen but as a coaching staff they need to prepare for that.”
Another thing that recruits like to look at is a teams “depth chart” for their specific position. What’s Morton’s feeling on Pitt’s guard position and if it’s a favorable one for an incoming player?
“Any situation you hgo to, there’s going to be guys at your position that you’re going to have to battle with,” he said. “You’re never going to walk into a situation where you’re the only guy. I will say that when coach brought up Johnson’s situation, you can see that their point guard position might need filled. I’m sure they might even try and address that situation in their 2019 class but looking at it, it’s definitely appealing. It seems like all the talent they’re collecting that will surround the guard and help him out, it seems like it’s going in a positive direction.”
With all these visits and the fact that some juniors are already committing, what’s the latest on Morton’s timeline to make a decision?
“As far a timeline, I’ve always said the fall and that’s the latest that I would decide,” said Morton. “I’ve talked to players about the process and it just seems like when you know you’re ready to make a decision, you’ll just know. So, I’m not going to discount possibly doing it before then just because it seems like it’s happened to players before that said they didn’t think it would happen. I’m never going to have a specific day but there’s always a chance it’ll happen before I’m expecting it to happen.”