PITTSBURGH IN THE MIX FOR KEVIN JONES
October 5, 2007
By Chris Dokish of the Pittsburgh Sports Report's Keystone Recruiting Newsletter
The Pitt basketball program is not resting even though they have no more scholarships available for next season. And despite not getting a commitment from highly coveted 6’10” Eloy Vargas of Plantation, FL, who verbally committed to Florida last week, the Panthers are still looking to add quality talent to their frontcourt.
While Vargas was generally considered a Top 30 prospect, Mt. Vernon (NY) High School product KEVIN JONES is pushing the Top 50. That’s good news for Panther fans since the Pitt staff has turned up the heat to get Jones.
At 6’7”, Jones does not have the height of Vargas, nor does he have as high a ceiling, but the prospect may be ready to reach his potential sooner than Vargas. Wiry but strong, Jones can play either forward spot, combining toughness in the paint with a talent to shoot from the outside.
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If the Panthers are to land Jones, however, it won’t be easy. As one of the best remaining senior prospects in the country, the fight for his services is heating up. Jones visited Ohio State in September, and on October 12th he will be visiting another Big 10 school, Indiana. On October 19th, West Virginia has a visit scheduled before Jones makes a visit to UMass on October 26th. That would leave one more official visit, which may be to Pittsburgh. It’s also possible that Jones could stop at the Pitt campus unofficially, possibly on the way to or back from nearby West Virginia.
“I think he will definitely visit Pitt either officially or unofficially,” says Jones’ brother, Gerard, who handles his recruiting. “Within the next month for sure.”
After all of his visits, according to Gerard, his brother will then get the list down before deciding.
“He is still wide open right now,” says Gerard Jones, “but Pitt has been very impressive. Head coach Jamie Dixon sat down with my mom once and with me once and they were great meetings. And Coach O (Pitt assistant Orlando Antigua), we think is great. He talks with Kevin a lot.”
The Panthers are also interested in DOMINIC RUTLEDGE from Edison, NJ. The 6’7” Rutledge is a sleeper that currently is favoring Marquette and St. Joe’s. Rutledge made an unofficial visit to Pitt recently but has yet to receive an offer from the Panthers.
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