Jamie Dixon has his eye on several prospects who got bumps from the recruiting services. (Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE)
Yep, I'm writing about basketball to take my mind off what happened to Pitt football Saturday night.
And with the summer camp season over, several Pitt basketball's 2013 targets saw a decent bump in their rankings.
Pitt only has one commitment for the class for 2013, but with two scholarships available (Dante Taylor and Tray Woodall), Pitt is likely far from done in '13. Mike Young reportedly had a solid summer and the Pittsburgh native broke into the Rivals top 100 at 94 and saw a considerable rise in ESPN's rankings at 54.
Young has always had the size and the body for power forward, but his versatility is likely the reason for his ranking (per NBE Sports' Brian Bosworth):
Young started his final AAU season in great form showing off his rapidly improving skill set. Rebounding has been and will continue to be his greatest strength as Young cleaned the backboard on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he showed a significantly expanded perimeter game from when I had last seen him in the fall. Young knocked down multiple 3 point shots off the catch using solid form and looked very comfortable doing so. His ability to stretch the floor combined with his elite rebounding are a unique combination that will serve him well going forward. Young has excellent lateral quickness for someone his size and could potentially play both forward positions at the next level if his offensive game continues to improve. This versatility increases his already high stock and helps explain why Mike Young has become such a priority for so many high major programs.
Maryland center BeeJay Anya continues to slide despite the interest from some elite programs. Anya was once a consensus top 20 player, but he's now #29 on ESPN and #46 on Rivals. Either way, he'd be a fantastic get for Pitt and would hopefully be able to step in for Steven Adams if the New Zealander really is a one-and-done, or even a two-and-done for that matter. Having high school teammate James Robinson helps, but Indiana hiring his AAU coach probably trumps that. (Another Anya teammate, Jerami Grant, will suit up for Syracuse this fall).
A prospect that was firmly on Pitt's radar was Michigan point guard Wes Clark. Clark was down to six schools, one of which was Pitt, before announcing for Missouri last week. Clark got a pretty significant bump in all the ratings, jumping to #68 in the Rivals rankings and #71 in ESPN's. Not sure if he's done with his recruiting or not, but with Pitt's lack of depth at point guard, the Panthers seemingly have a compelling pitch.
Finally, Jamel Artis was reportedly close to committing to Pitt this summer, but that fell through for some reason. Artis has been labelled "under the radar" and that seems to have continued as Artis is absent from the rankings of Rivals, ESPN and NBE Sports. Whether he ends up at Pitt is anyone's guess at this point. His top two of La Salle and Pitt makes me wonder if Pitt was ready to accept a commitment and instead wait on higher rated players to make a decision.