Pitt Basketball Notes
by Chris Dokish
As I'm sure most, if not all of you, know by now, Dante Taylor has been selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game. I got the word shortly before it was announced and not long after I broke the news on the phone to a member of the Pitt staff. Needless to say, he was extremely happy to hear the news and thinks it will help recruiting even more. Interestingly, even though it was rumored that Taylor had made the team, and the staff thought he deserved it, they expressed doubt that it was going to happen. A lot of that may be because, according to those close to the situation, Taylor was promised that he would be selected to the Jordan Brand Classic, and was not.
There are also rumors that J.J. Richardson has been suspended, and those rumors are true. I was informed a little bit of the situation, but since it wasn't Richardson himself who told me, I will not repeat it at this time. However, I can say that it is not a criminal matter, and quite frankly, a suspension in this situation seems a little harsh. But I admit that I also don't have all the facts yet. As for any rumors that will undoubtedly start about Richardson's future at Pitt, I can tell you that I got the opportunity to ask Tom Herrion about it and he said, "he will be at Pitt next year and you can quote me on that". The coach thinks Richardson is a great kid and is very surprised that he finds himself in this situation. And regular readers of this site will no doubt remember that I have also mentioned a few times what a great kid he is. Bottom line, he acted up a little, it wasn't that big of a deal, and he is still on target to be at Pitt next season.
In recruiting news, one player to keep an eye on is 6'4" SG Doron Lamb. The NYC native, who is currently playing at Oak Hill Academy, is a big time scorer and one of the top 20 prospects for the 2010 class. Lamb is starting to drop Pitt's name a lot recently, no doubt due to the fact that Pitt is getting major buzz now. Pitt is looking to capitalize on that by turning up the heat up not only on Lamb, but also 6'4" wing Will Barton and 6'9" center Adreian Payne. Barton and Payne are also top 20 prospects.
For more on Lamb, check out the Primetime Shootout Players Evals; Class of 2010 at NBE Basketball Report, which also updates his recruiting.
Jamie Dixon showed up in Florida today to check in on '09 big man Kyryl Natyazhko. The 6'10" Ukrainian is an offensively skilled post player that Herrion has been watching a lot lately. The fact that Dixon made a point to see him shows that the Panthers interest is very strong. Word is that since Dixon was in Bradenton, he wanted to quietly sneak in and see the Pirates in spring training. But when you have one of the marquee teams in the nation, sneaking is no longer an option, and he was immediately surrounded by cameramen.
Lastly, one name that recently came up with Pitt, since Herrion was spotted watching him play, is 6'11" junior college center Jarrid Famous. But word is, Herrion was checking out local high school players in the area so he took the opportunity to see Famous, too. However, the big man would only be an option if DeJuan Blair left early for the NBA, and by the time Blair's situation is known, it's expected that Famous will be out of play.