While Pitt tries to round out its roster for the upcoming 2021-22 season, the staff is still actively recruiting the 2022 class, going after top junior prospects such as Julian Phillips.
Phillips is a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Blythewood, South Carolina. According to 247Sports’ Composite, Phillips is a four-star prospect and ranked No. 27 in the entire nation.
On the offensive end, Phillips has a very advanced skillset in transition and is a smart decision-maker when he has the ball in his hands. Defensively, he is an ultra-talented shot-blocker with his long arms and skinny frame.
“I think my best strength is my versatility,” Phillips told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I think I am a player that can play the inside, the outside, I can guard multiple positions, so I would say that is probably the strongest part of my game.”
While he still has plenty of time to add on muscle to his skinny build, Phillips already has solid footwork on the inside and is constantly improving his outside shooting.
“It has definitely been better, he said about his shooting ability. “It is something that I have worked on a lot, especially coming into last season. I am looking for a big improvement coming this summer in tournaments.”
Phillips holds offers from over 20 high-major schools, including Kansas, Alabama, Texas Tech, Florida State, and many more. While Pitt has not offered him yet, the program has been actively recruiting him for months now.
“They first contacted me around last August,” he said about Pitt. “I talk to Coach Brown, and we talk a pretty good amount, maybe once every two weeks, once a week, so I have had some pretty good talks with him.”
In the past, head coach Jeff Capel has spoken with the media about how difficult recruiting in a pandemic has been. With no visits allowed for players, how does the staff give these recruits a good idea of what the program, what the school is like, especially with a highly-ranked prospect like Phillips?
“He sent me a presentation on the school and on the team and on its history,” Phillips said on Pitt’s recruitment strategy. “You know, it is a real good school with some great history in the past, so I think it is a good program.”
Phillips holds offers from six ACC programs: Boston College, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. While he also has plenty of Big 12 and SEC offers as well, he is still very interested in competing in the historic ACC.
“I think it’s great,” he said about the conference. “There is some great competition in the ACC obviously, there are some great schools, so I think that would be a great opportunity.”
Looking at his offer list, most schools that are pursuing him are from the East Coast or southern schools. However, he did include that he did not really care about the location of his future school.
“The location is not really something that matters to me,” Phillips added. “Just finding the best school for me, the best opportunity is the most important. I am looking for a school where I can come in my freshman year and play some good minutes, make a good impact for the team. A school that would better me and better my development on and off the court. I also want to choose a good academic school that can ultimately put me in a position for the next level.”
As of now, Phillips also included that he has not really considered reclassifying to the 2021 class, a class that Pitt has just one commit in.
“That hasn’t been something I have really put too much thought into,” he said about reclassifying to 2021. “I think for now, I like the grade I am in and I am doing well in my class.”
This summer, he will be playing on the Adidas Circuit for Upward Stars, and in the fall will be playing for his high school team, Blythewood High School.