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Pitt Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff Puts Work in on the Recruiting Trail



Pitt women's basketball under head coach Tory Verdi has been putting in work on the recruiting trail.

Pitt women’s basketball is under a new regime under head coach Tory Verdi and things are currently underway in the recruiting department.

Verdi, along with his assistant coaches in Candice Finley, Ty Margenthaler and Lakale Malone are traveling across the country to try and bring in the best talent to rebuild the program. So far, they have brought in Class of 2024 small forward Audrey Biggs, who committed in June, and are in the top five schools for Class of 2024 guard and top 60 recruit in Aaliyah Guyton. 

They offered Class of 2026 guard Kamrah Banks on Wednesday to start out with. Banks plays for Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis, Ind. and travel ball for Sports City Angels Youth, who play in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).

She led Decatur Central with 17.1 points per game, while also making 2.0 steals, 1.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game, respectively. She is a great shooter from behind the arc, shows poise in her ability to distribute the ball and get to the basket and is fantastic in transition.

Banks started receiving offers in the summer leading into eighth grade and is one of the best players in Indiana. She holds offers from Big Ten schools in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin, Big East schools in Butler, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, St, John’s and Xavier, SEC schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, Big 12 schools in Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, UCF and West Virginia, ACC schools in Boston College and Miami, Ivy League schools in Harvard and Yale and American Athletic schools in East Carolina and Tulsa.

She also has offers from Akron, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, George Washington, Howard, Illinois-Chicago, Jacksonville, North Carolina A&T, Pepperdine and Sacramento State. That’s 36 schools that have offered her a scholarship prior to her sophomore year of high school.

Pitt also offered another player on Wednesday in Class of 2024 in Dutch guard Phoenix Stotijn. Stotijn stands 5-foot-9 and played for Triple Threat last season, located in Haarlem in the Netherlands, averaging 7.3 points, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, 1.8 assists and 21.2 minutes per game, respectively.

Stotijn also plays for the Netherlands National Team at the youth level. At the U-18 European Championships Division B this month, she averaged 15.0 points, 2.4 assists and 26.7 minutes per game, respectively, leading her country to a ninth place finish out of 18 teams. She is solid from behind the 3-point line, is great at driving to the hoop and loves to find her teammates for easy points. She also is good at blocking shots as a guard and is solid with her on-ball defense.

She holds offers from PAC-12 schools in Arizona and Washington State, as well as Arkansas, Ball State, California Baptist, Chatanooga, Manhattan, Missouri, Nevada, Southern Utah, Texas Tech and UIC.

Class of 2025 shooting guard/wing Holland Harris is another talented player Pitt offered on Wednesday. Harris played for Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Fla., as they won the State title in Florida. She recently transferred to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla. and also plays travel ball for Florida Girls Basketball on the Under Armour Circuit.

She stands at 6-foot-1 and uses her size in a number of ways to win battles on both sides of the ball against her opponents. She works great in the paint, scoring down low in the post, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots. She also can shoot from behind the arc and works well in transition.

Harris used to play tennis before committing to basketball full-time and received and invite to the USA U-16 team this summer. ESPN HoopGurlz ranks her as the No. 51 player in the Class of 2025.

Harris holds offers from ACC schools in Louisville, Miami, Syracuse and Wake Forest, Pac-12 schools in Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and USC, SEC schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M, Ivy League schools in Princeton and Yale, as well as Chattanooga, George Mason, Northwestern, Pepperdine, UCF and USF.

Pitt also offered Class of 2027 recruit Ryan Carter to round out last Wednesday. Carter plays for William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, Pa., and has already played at the varsity level, despite being in eighth grade last year. She currently plays travel ball for Exodus 16U on the Nike EYBL circuit.

She already stands at 5-foot-11 heading into high school and is great at attacking the rim. She uses her length and speed to move down the court at a blistering pace and can pass the ball with efficiency, creating opportunities for her teammates to score.

Carter holds offers from Big Ten schools in Maryland, Ohio State and Penn State, Atlantic-10 schools in George Washington and St. Joe’s, Ivy League schools in Columbia and Harvard, as well as Arizona and Virginia.

Starting on Thursday, Pitt offered Class of 2025 recruit Kali Barrett. Barrett plays for Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota, Fla. and plays travel ball for Florida Girls Basketball on the Under Armour Circuit, like Harris.

Standing at 6-foot-1, Barrett is strong defensively on-ball and also in the paint. She can hit from mid-range and the 3-point shot and does a great job of finding her teammates in transition. She averaged 15.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.9 assists per game as a sophomore last season.

She currently has nine offers so far, which includes Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Harvard, Northwestern, Seton Hall, South Alabama, UAB and USF.

Pitt offered one of the best recruits in the Class of 2025 in Bella Hines on Thursday. Hines plays for Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, N.M. and CyFair U-17 for travel ball on the Nike EYBL circuit.

ESPN HoopGurlz ranks her as the No. 23 player in the Class of 2025. She averaged 30.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.9 blocks per game as a sophomore last season. Hines is the entire package when it comes to a highly-coveted guard. She can shoot from anywhere, get to the basket with ease, pass the ball to her teammates for great chances and strong on defense.

Hines has a plethora of offers. This includes ACC schools in Florida State, Georgia Tech and Syracuse, Big 12 schools in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas State, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia, SEC schools in Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt and Pac-12 schools in Arizona, Arizona State and Utah. Other schools that have offered her include Mountain West schools in Colorado State and New Mexico, CUSA schools in New Mexico State and UTEP, American Athletic schools in  , North Texas, SMU, UAB and UTSA, as well as Delaware State, Iowa and San Francisco.

Pitt wrapped up its recruiting last week by offering Class of 2026 guard Trinity Jones.

Jones is one of the best players in her class, with ESPN HoopGurlz ranking her at No. 6 in the country in her class. She stands at 6-foot-2 and plays for Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, as well as travel ball for the Mac Irvin Fire on the Nike EYBL circuit.

Jones is incredibly talented and shows it off in all parts of her game, but one of her best attributes is her physicality. She isn’t afraid to drive to the rim, take contact and score on offense, nor is she scared of any opponent that she has to defend, as she will put intense pressure from the post to behind the arc.

She also played on the Team USA U16 squad that played in the FIBA U16 Women’s Americas Championship. She averaged 9.5 points, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks in six games during the tournament.

Jones holds offers from ACC schools in Florida State, Louisville, Miami and North Carolina, Big Ten schools in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue, Pac-12 schools in Arizona State and UCLA, SEC schools in Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M, as well as Dayton, UIC and West Virginia.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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