One of the biggest needs for Jeff Capel and the Pitt basketball team is a skilled big man. The kind of player that the offense can run through while also being a presence defensively in the paint.
Pitt fans probably have to go all the way back to Dejuan Blair since they’ve watched a player that fits that description.
Jeff Capel was able to add 4-star forward John Hugley to his Class of 2020, who they believe can be a presence, but more depth is needed and they have a player on their radar.
2021 5-star center Efton Reid (Richmond, Virginia) is one of the top juniors in the country and someone the Pitt staff has been recruiting for the last few months.
”I visited Pitt last year when we had a tournament in Pennsylvania,” Reid told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “It was an unofficial visit where we watched them practice and that was so cool to see. Coach Capel showed me the changes they’re making to the program and showed me some of the renovations that they were making. It was impressive to see what he’s trying to do to fix the program. Coach Capel then offered me himself a couple months ago.”
Since that time, assistant coach Milan Brown has taken over Reid’s recruitment and has done his best to build a relationship with him as well as make sure Reid knows how much the Panthers want him.
”He called me recently and said how are doing big fella and how are things in VA,” said Reid. “I told him we’re just trying to stay safe and I asked him how things are in Pittsburgh. The coronavirus has really taken over down here so everyone is staying in and trying to stay safe. Coach wanted to just check on me and my family.”
”They’re telling me that they need a man in the middle that can do everything like score, rebound and block shots. A big man is a big need for them and they don’t have a guy that they just throw the ball down to.”
Reid is rated 5-stars on the 247 Composite and is ranked as the #3 center in the country and the 20th best player overall. Considering those rankings, Reid will become a future cornerstone of a program and he’s ok with the pressure that comes along with that.
”I’ve already started to embrace that because here at my high school that’s how I’m viewed,” said Reid. “I don’t think it’s going to be pressure or a big adjustment for me because I’m in that role right now.”
Reid tells me that aside from Pitt, he’s also been offered by and hearing a lot from Maryland, Louisville, Wake Forest, NC State, Ohio State, Virginia and Georgetown.