BIG EAST RECRUITING UPDATE: PITTSBURGH
October 6, 2006
Verbal Commitment Alert: DeJuan Blair, (PF) Schenley HS in Pittsburgh
Projected 2007-2008 Roster:
Seniors: Keith Benjamin (G), Ronald Ramon (G), Mike Cook (G/F)
Juniors: Levance Fields (PG), Sam Young (F), Tyrell Biggs (F)
Sophomores: Gilbert Brown (SF/G), Austin Wallace (BF)
Freshmen: Darnell Dodson (G/F), Bradley Wanamaker (G), Gary McGhee (C), DeJuan Blair (PF)
Jamie Dixon and the Pitt Panthers got some good news this afternoon as DeJuan Blair made his college decision, according to Panther rants, and the Panthers Land Blair. Blair is the 4th Pitt commit this season.
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As we mentioned previous, with the final two scholarships the Panthers were targeting DeJuan Blair and Ayodele Coker. Blair is a Pittsburgh native who attends Schenley HS near the Pitt campus and has been a fixture at Pitt home games the last couple years. He was a high priority of Kansas St, Indiana and Tennessee, and reports over the last couple months had each of them leading, and not Pitt, but in the end, staying close to home was what won out for the 6'7 Blair. With Pitt losing Levon Kendall and Aaron Gray to graduation (along with Doye Hudson) on their frontline, early playing time is a real possibility for Blair at Pitt. Despite suffering two knee injuries in the past, Blair looked healthy this spring and summer and had some monster performances on the AAU circuit and saw his recruiting take off. The Panthers and their fans have a player that will fit in perfectly with their hard-nose style in Big East battles the next four years.
Coker remains a Panther target and is currently visiting St. John's this weekend. He is expected to also visit Indiana for their Midnight Madness next weekend, so a decision could be forthcoming soon. Aaron Pogue was expected to visit Pitt this weekend, but with the commitment of Blair and the previous commitment of Gary McGhee, it is unknown if he is still a target.
A few other players also remain on Pitt's, including Chris Wright, the PG from D.C. who attends the school (St. John's College Prep) where Pitt Director of Basketball Operations David Cox was most recently the Assistant Principal of. Wright is expected to decide next week between NC St, Georgetown and Pitt, but the Panthers look to be a long-shot for him. Also, Cox has extensive ties to the powerful DC Assault program and Pitt is sometimes mentioned with Michael Beasley, although Beasley is currently a verbal commitment of Kansas St rumors persist that Pitt could get him to visit soon. However another Pittsburgh blog (BlackandGoldInsider.com) reports that there is No Chance of Beasley and Pitt. Another local star, Herb Pope, is also in the mix with Pitt, although no one can be too sure of how 'recruit-able' Pope is at this time because of grades and attitude. It also looks like Maryland may be the only active school recruiting Pope at this time.
With the last scholarship, we expect Pitt to continue to pursue Coker until he makes a decision and monitor the situations with Beasley, Wright and Pope, just in case.