When Pitt Basketball recruiting comes to mind, most fans think of New York City, which produced many of the most decorated Panthers in its prominent history back in the Jamie-Dixon era.
While Pitt’s targets come from just about anywhere in the eastern half of the country, many of them seem to be from the DMV, that is, the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region.
“There are a lot of really good players in the DMV,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said on Thursday. “It’s arguably one of the best areas for high school basketball. There are outstanding, outstanding, outstanding coaches, AAU programs, and just really good guys there. It probably helps that there is a close proximity for us in that area, especially the Baltimore, the Washington D.C. area, where the kids’ families can be a part of it, but they can be far enough away from the kid where they can have their own experience.”
From Maryland alone, Pitt is actively recruiting Noah Batchelor, Christian Watson, Christian Winborne, Mady Traore, Cam Whitmore, Tyson Commander, Bryce Lindsay, Jahnathan Lamothe, Jacoi Hutchinson and more.
Then there is D.C., the home of Pitt commit Judah Mintz, and top Pitt target Amani Hansberry from the class of 2023.
Virginia? Same deal. Prospects such as Justyn Fernandez, Alphonzo Billups, and Deshawn Harris-Smith all have landed on Pitt’s radar.
“We try to go wherever we can where there are really good players,” Capel continued. “There are really outstanding players, really, all around the world right now. There is not one particular area that we target. Obviously you have relationships with people, you get to know people throughout all of our careers, me and my whole staff, all of our careers in college athletics. You have maybe some stronger relationships in different places because of your experiences.”
Some of those stronger relationships are directly on the Pitt staff, as Assistant Coaches Tim O’Toole, Jason Capel, and Milan Brown both have head coaching experience recruiting all over the country. With O’Toole, who used to be the Head Coach at Fordham, Jason Capel, who used to be in charge at Appalachian State, and Brown at Mount Saint Marys, the staff is equipped with multiple guys who have plenty of contacts within the recruiting world.
“My brother played high school basketball in the DMV area. Obviously, Milan [Brown] is from the area, coached at Mount Saint Marys, was the head coach there, and a a long-time assistant there under coach [Jim] Phelan, so he has his ties there. Tim O’Toole, being a northeast guy, from New York, and having relationships there. We would like to think that we have relationships everywhere.”