Wednesday, August 31, 2005


August 31, 2005

The University of Pittsburgh released the following statement concerning their basketball program yesterday:
PITTSBURGH –University of Pittsburgh Head Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon announced Tuesday that junior transfer Mike Cook has enrolled in fall classes while freshman Trevor Ferguson did not enroll in fall classes. The University of Pittsburgh began its fall semester on Monday.

A six-foot-four-inch guard/forward Mike Cook (Philadelphia, Pa./East Carolina/Friends Central H.S.) transfers to Pitt from East Carolina where he averaged 12.8 points per game in two seasons with the Pirates. As a sophomore in 2004-05, Cook led East Carolina in scoring (15.0 ppg.) and averaged 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. As a freshman in 2003-04, Cook earned All-Conference USA Freshman Team honors after averaging 10.4 points per game. Cook will be eligible to compete for Pitt in the 2006-07 season.

“We excited about the addition of Mike Cook to our program,” Dixon said. “He is a proven player who has performed at a high level. We look forward to his continued development during his redshirt season and his contributions in 2006-07.”

A six-foot-five-inch freshman guard from Odessa, Fla., Ferguson signed with Pitt in April. Ferguson was one of five 2005 signees including freshman forward Tyrell Biggs (Nanuet, N.Y./Don Bosco Prep, N.J.), junior college transfer Doyle Hudson (Eleutheray, Bahamas/Roane State J.C.), freshman guard Levance Fields (Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian H.S.) and freshman forward Sam Young (Clinton, Md./Hargrave Military Academy). Biggs, Hudson, Fields and Young began classes on Monday.

“Trevor will not enroll at Pitt because of personal matters,” Dixon said. “We are currently working with Trevor to determine his future. We wish Trevor success in his ongoing pursuits.”

The announcement of Cook was just a formality, since the University could not comment until classes began and it has been widely reported that he would be enrolling at Pittsburgh as a transfer student. He is expected to make an immediate impact for Pittsburgh when eligible to play next season.

The news on Trevor Ferguson is a little more newsworthy. It was widely speculated that Ferguson could be asked to redshirt by the Pitt staff this season. Several things have happened at Pittsburgh since coach Jamie Dixon aggressively pursued the 6'5 Ferguson last spring. One, Carl Krauser decided to return. Two, Mike Cook transferred into Pittsburgh. Three, Gilbert Brown, another 6'5 perimeter player, verbally committed to the Panthers. It might have been a while before Ferguson was going to see the court and early playing time was one of the factors in his decision, but at this time, that does not look like it was going to happen.

The Pittsburgh Sports Report's Keystone Recruiting Newsletter also has the story: Panthers Lose Swing man. If you are a Pittsburgh football or basketball fan, or a recruiting follower of the Keystone State, you should definitely sign up for their 100% FREE Newsletter!

So, what does this mean for Pitt recruiting? Well, since Ferguson was not in line to play much this year or in the near future, it opens up one scholarship in their 2006 class, which now gives them two to give out, which will give them some added flexibility on the recruiting trail. They have Gilbert Brown committed and they have been concentrating on big men like Mike Davis, Taj Gibson, Jonathan Mandeldove, Hamady N'Diaye, Jason Love, Jamal McLean and Epke Udoh. Pitt could now add two of these big men, or, see if they can get back in the mix, or closer to the top with players such as Eugene Harvey, Lazar Hayward, Kelvin Lewis, etc. This will be something to follow as we move into the Sepetember evaluation period and official visit season!

Also, the transfer news of Pitt 2007 recruit Herb Pope seems to have died down and Pope talked to Keystone Recruiting yesterday, who origianlly reported first (props to them!) that Pope was not intending to transfer a Florida prep school. Here is their report on Pope returning to Aliquippa: Pope Back at Aliquippa. It seems he is very committed to Pittsburgh, but one of the oddest quotes I have seen in a long time comes from Pope: “Cincinnati just lost their coach so you never know if the Big East will fall apart. So I just want to make sure.” Pope also recently said he was told by another college coach that the Pitt staff would not be there by the time he gets to Pitt, so, Pope is definitely the target of some interesting recruiting tactics. LOI signing day probably can't get here soon enough in the next 15 months for Pitt fans on this one!!

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette also has articles on both stories: PPG: Pope at Aliquippa and PPG: Ferguson back in Florida. The ferguson article does shed a little more light that he had become homesick while at Pitt for summer school.


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