TALIB ZANNA WILL BE A PITTSBURGH PANTHER
Jamie Dixon and company snag 6'9 big from Maryland
by Ron Bailey
September 30, 2008 – Talib Zanna and his family met Sunday night to determine his college future. The final destination happens to be the University of Pittsburgh.
“He chose Pittsburgh because of a solid relationship with the coach (Jamie Dixon),” shared Marty Keithline, who coaches Zanna at Bishop McNamara (MD). “And he’s going to get playing time”.
At first blush one may challenge that last assertion, given Pitt’s signing of another D.C. area standout for the Class of 2009 frontcourt standout, Dante Taylor. Those concerns are overblown according to Keithline, who noted “The way Pitt plays, they use a number of bigger players at the same time”. Additionally, the school could possibly have its roster changed not only by eligibility expiration, but possibly early defection: Resultantly, Talib, his family, and Keithline see opportunities for playing time, despite the presence of Taylor and Texas banger J.J. Richardson in the Class of 2009.
Zanna, a 6’9” 220 pound forward dropped 15.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game for McNamara, including individual season highs of 26 points and 22 rebounds. For his exploits, Talib, a native of Nigeria, was tabbed first team All-Prince Georges County (MD) and second team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC).
Expect more from the quiet, thoughtful Zanna - who also possesses a good sense of humor - as he has worked tirelessly on his game, combining both rebounding and shot blocking prowess with an already decent shooting touch. Now, it is not uncommon to see him hit 15 footers, while also employing his go-to move, a nasty, almost text book drop step over his left shoulder in which he lowers his center of gravity and explodes to the cup.
“He’s one of the best ones I’ve coached” said Keithline of Zanna. One could expand that to say Talib is one of the best big men in/from the D. C. area, quite a compliment considering it’s a group which includes not only Taylor, but Wally Judge (Kansas State) and Thomas Robinson, all members of the Class of 2009.
In the final analysis, Zanna chose Pitt over Big East rival Providence. Boston College, Georgetown, Virginia, George Washington and others were once in the running.
Zanna in National High School Hoops Festival action last year.
Labels: Pittsburgh recruiting