Pitt Basketball Recruiting: More on Mustapha Heron

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Pitt got a pretty nice commit for 2016 in guard Mustapha Heron out of Connecticut. A few things stick out right away, obviously.

First, Heron attended the Pitt-Albany game on New Year's Eve and, well, that didn't scare him off. And yeah, UConn fans are already predictably freaking out.

One thing I noted in digging around on him is that Pitt wasn't even listed as one of the schools pursuing him as of a few weeks ago according to Jeff Borzello at CBS Sports. Just kind of weird that based on the family connection, they weren't even listed in the slew of schools pursuing him according to Borzello.

So yeah, no matter what you read, his versatility stands out and he can apparently play multiple positions:

“I think I stack up pretty well,” Heron said. “What makes me stand out is my versatility. I can do multiple things on the floor. I try to be the best player and dominate the game at all times. Whatever I can do to help the team win.”

He's 6'4" right now and of course, the possibility exists he could continue to grow. He could settle in anywhere as a taller point guard to even a bigger wing player.

Okay, so I don't want to squash your hopes, but remember, this is a kid several years away from even coming to Pitt and a lot of things can happen in between now and then. From things like him getting better as a player, as Jim noted yesterday, to bigger things like Jamie Dixon maybe not even being around ... all sorts of things can happen.

Another notable thing is that this is another Barry Rohrssen 'get'. According to Scout, Rohrssen has strong ties to the family:

Pittsburgh prioritized Heron, a 2016 recruit, due to Barry “Slice” Rohrssen’s connection to the family.

“Barry and I played overseas together a very long time ago, before Mustapha was born,” Bryan Heron told Scout.com. “That’s how far the relationship goes back. Once he went back to Pitt, it made it very easy because of our history.”

Really, if you're not openly rejoicing yet about Slice coming back to Pitt by this point, where have you been? Surely Rohrssen wasn't the only factor here, but he appears to be primary one.

Next in that Scout article was something else you have to note - the 20-win factor:

The elder Heron said they were also attracted to Pittsburgh because of Dixon’s track record.

“Jamie wins 20 games every year,” he said. “When I look at his record against the top coaches, he measures up pretty well over the last 10 years.”

There's been a ton of talk about Pitt's schedule - about Pitt wanting to get to 20 wins. You may not think it's a big deal, but this proves that others are paying attention. You may want the Panthers to make a gangbusters schedule so that you have something exciting to watch in the non-conference portion of the schedule. But Pitt getting to 20 wins year in and year out is keeping the program's profile up.

Back to Heron himself - this kid isn't just highly-rated, but according to the recruiting folks, he's one of the best sophomores in the nation. ESPN has him as a five-star recruit and the 14th best player in the Class of 2016. 247 has him even higher, also rating him as a five-star recruit but the No. 7 overall player. Rivals has him as a four-star recruit, but the No. 13 overall player.

And in the 'That's not freaky at all' category, someone compared him as an eighth grader to NBA player Kenneth Faried. Nope, not at all weird.

This recruiting site says he can come in from Day 1 and be a focal point of Pitt's offense right away. So there's that. He was also a finalist for the USA Basketball National U16 team.

It's early ... crazy early. But based on the projections right now, Pitt could have a superstar on their hands.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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