Jamie Dixon had a big weekend with the verbal commitment from point guard James Robinson. As Greg pointed out yesterday, he's highly touted. Robinson is a four-star rated by both Rivals and Scout. The two sites are a bit conflicted on which schools gave him offers, but among them, listed are: Notre Dame, Georgetown, Maryland, West Virginia, and Marquette.
The big thing, obviously, isn't so much that he's a four-star, but a point guard - something Pitt desperately needed. There's Travon Woodall in the fold right now, but he'll be a senior next year when Robinson comes in. Then there's Isaiah Epps, but reviews about him haven't exactly been glowing thus far. Incoming freshman John Johnson might be the only one really poised to make a run at point guard, and he scores well enough that he could potentially be a shooting guard.
His current coach gives a description of him that sure makes him sound like a Panther:
"The thing that he does, he really studies the game," Stevens told ESPN.com, which broke the story. "He knows he’s not the quickest or the most athletic. He just asks questions. With this decision, he had to go somewhere he wasn’t going to lose. We lost four games all summer and he cried after everyone one of them. He couldn’t go somewhere and learn how to lose. He’s a trickster, he’s an old-school guy that finds a way."
If that's not what embodies the typical Pitt player, I'm not sure what does. Hearing that, it almost made it sound like Pitt was a no-brainer for him. His final four was, reportedly, Miami, Virginia, Notre Dame, and Pitt. Picking the Irish wouldn't have been a complete upset, but when it comes to winning year after year (postseason struggles notwithstanding) in that group, Pitt's got the advantage there.
Jamie Dixon was in on the recruiting for Robinson and that made a big impression:
"It was a tough decision," Robinson said. "They were interested in me since ninth grade. Pat Skerry was pretty much the only one recruiting me from Pitt and when he went to Towson [this spring] Coach [Jamie] Dixon took over and that was big for me, for the head coach to be showing that interest."
Pitt Blather also has some reaction from the Twittersphere ... as does Pitt Script.
Dixon's class for 2012 looks to be complete now, but we've all seen that Pitt's been willing to oversign in recent years - something I'm not in favor of. I still can't wrap my hands around the fact that this is allowed to happen, but as long as it is, there's the chance Pitt could still be aggressive in recruiting.
Part of the reason you can make the case for continuing to recruit is that these are just verbals they have right now. Both Steven Adams and Robinson are able to back out at any time without penalty up until signing. The problem I have is with continuing to accept verbals when no spots actually exist.
Pitt still has big targets they were looking at for 2012. According to Rivals, they have/had offers out to several big-time players including five-star frontcourt players DaJuan Coleman and Anthony Bennett. If they wanted to join Pitt, would Dixon make room for them?
Only time will tell.