Jeff Capel entered this offseason with the need to add a high school big man to his future roster and that need still exists today.
The Panthers were able to add talented 4-star guard Judah Mintz but are still searching for that big that can play down in the paint. On Wednesday, Capel extended an offer to a player that he hopes will fill that void.
2022 power forward Luke Hunger (6-foot-10, 255 pounds) is from Canada but plays for Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts, as well as BABC on the circuit. Capel and Tim O’Toole personally scouted Hunger over the summer at the Peach Jam Tournament and today, Hunger received the news of an offer from Pitt. Hunger also holds offers from Boston College, Miami, Ole Miss, Northwestern and Richmond.
“I got a call from Coach Capel and we were just kind of talking about college hoops, his journey, where he coached,” said Hunger. “He then started telling me about the kind of players he wanted to coach and how he wants to build around his bigs, start running their offense thru their bigs and that’s when he offered me a scholarship.”
“The offer was a bit of a surprise to me. I heard from Pitt after the Peach Jam and then heard from them again just a couple of days ago. I was very excited about the phone call and the offer from Coach Capel. It’s the ACC, arguably the best basketball conference in the country, which gives you the chance to play basketball at the highest level. That’s obviously a great, great opportunity.”
During their conversation today, Hunger heard many different things about Pitt basketball and about what the vision is, I asked Hunger what stood out to him the most about his talk with Capel.
“Coach was talking a lot about the culture that he was trying to build with good dudes and how he wants his team to succeed through good leadership and that resonates with me because at my school because we have a very good culture and leadership is big. I also liked hearing about playing through the bigs. He wants to transition more to a 5-out offense because that’s where the game is transitioning today.”
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“Talking to Coach, I just really got the sense of how much he wants to win games,” said Hunger. “He’s a very good coach. A very tough coach but he’s there for the right reasons and wants to build a program that wins and that’s exactly what I want to do.”
The book on Hunger is that he’s a player that produces for his team in a variety of different areas such as rebounding, his work in the paint and that he’s tough and has a blue collar game. I asked him if that’s an accurate description of himself?
“Yes, for sure. I love to be the toughest kid on the court. I’m not afraid to battle with the other bigs and I’ll always be the hardest working kid on the court. That’s how I play the game and what’s what I’m going to bring every game. I always want to be the hardest working kid.”
Hunger is receiving a lot of other interest and wants to wait for things to settle down some before he makes a decision on where to go for visits, both official and unofficial.
“I’m waiting to see all of my options and gather as much information about all these teams as possible. I really want to make an educated decision and don’t have any timeline yet in terms of a a decision or where I’m going to visit. I’m trying to gather all my information and once I find the schools that I think would fit me best, that’s where I’ll go visit. Ideally, I’d like to visit schools sooner rather than later. The month of October would be great and see if I have free weekends and see if it would work with the schools that I’m interested in.”