Normally at this time, Jeff Capel and his staff would be conducting in-home visits or attending AAU tournaments to evaluate prospective recruits. As we all know, we’re not living in normal times, so Pitt, along with every other program, is being forced to do their recruiting through FaceTime and Zoom interviews.
One of the latest players to speak with the Pitt staff was also one of the latest players to receive an offer from the Panthers program and that’s 2021 3-star wing Deivi Jones from Teays Valley Christian School in Scott Depot, West Virginia.
Over the weekend, Capel along with his entire coaching staff (Milan Brown, Tim O’Toole, Jason Capel) spoke at length with Jones and his head coach Travis Tarr.
This was the second time in the last week that Jones spoke to Capel but this was the first opportunity for Tarr, who like most people that speak with Capel, left very impressed with the message.
“What stood out to me about Jeff was that he is a straight shooter,” Tarr told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “He was very direct with what he saw and what he could do with Deivi and how he would utilize him. My comment after I got off the Zoom to Deivi was like it was almost like a history lesson in basketball. He has such a knowledge and presence about him, having coached with Coach K and who he’s worked with over his career in terms of NBA talent and such, it was a very good visit. Coach Capel has such a presence about him and I really enjoyed the fact that he also had his entire staff with him on Zoom. Each one of them took the time to discuss their role in Deivi’s development, you could tell Coach Capel has assembled a really good staff of people that he trusts and that stuff stood out to us.”
Jones is currently hearing from some high major programs, I asked Tarr how Capel believes he’d be able to help develop his star player and why the Pitt staff believes that their program is the best fit for Jones.
“It pretty much comes down to that fact that Deivi has the ability to shoot the basketball and score really well and that’s a void that they’re looking to fill. They need someone that can shoot consistently behind the 3-point arc and someone that has the level of his physicality to be able go guard at this position,” said Tarr.
Jones is right in the middle of speaking with many teams but Pitt is a program that has caught his eye and Capel is a person that’s made a great first impression.
“Deivi knew where he stood with him after getting off the Zoom call. Not to speak for Deivi but after getting off the call, I got the sense that he was very comfortable with the staff. One of the assistant, Coach Brown is from the DMV and had some familiarity about him, contacts with Boo Williams, has many contacts with a lot of people that we’re familiar with. Deivi appreciated the straight talk from Coach Capel as he told Deivi exactly what he needs to do. He was pretty open about things that he needs to improve his game and I think that he agreed. I know that Deivi enjoyed talking to him and the opportunity that they’re presenting to him.”