As I did for football recently, I wanted to take a shot at slotting the incoming basketball recruits for next season:
4. Ryan Luther 6-8 SF Allison Park, PA - Ryan Luther becomes the first Pittsburgh area high school player to commit to the Panthers since DeJuan Blair did in 2007. Luther had a successful career at Hampton High School in the Pittsburgh suburbs as he was the team's leading scorer in all four of his seasons. He is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout, and a two-star by ESPN. Luther is described as a "stretch four" as he can play down low, but has the ability to stretch the defense with his great three-point shooting. Luther had offers from Iowa, Dayton, and George Washington and while he may not come right in and play, he has the ability to be a good outside shooting threat in his career. I expect hime to be looking at a redshirt in 2014-15, but could be a weapon for this program down the line.
3. Shaquille Doorson 6-11 C The Netherlands - Shaquille Doorson is a bit of an unknown commodity. The 6-11 center from Europe comes to Pitt with a lot of size and probably loads of untapped potential. Doorson competes for the Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain, and that is a well known basketball powerhouse in Europe that has produced many Division I prospects. He did not have any other reported offers, but ESPN grades him as a four-star prospect that is the 16th ranked center. The other sites do not have much on the young man from the Netherlands and to a degree, it's a it like Steven Adams, who came in as an unknown commodity - though, Doorson doesn't appear to be as good. He may need a redshirt to get acclaimed to college life in America. Pitt has the luxury of having some post depth and not as in need of Doorson to make an immediate impact. Still, his size is something that has to have this coaching staff salivating.
2. Tyrone Haughton 6-9 C Miami, FL - Haughton is a Junior College transfer, and will have two years to play for the Panthers. Pitt is normally not a big time destination for JuCo guys, but lately Dixon has turned to that route when need be. Haughton comes in as a regarded defensive presence and will have an opportunity to come in and start at center right away. He is originally from Miami and committed to play for South Carolina, but ultimately ended up at Iowa Western Community College. Haughton had the likes of Memphis, Tennesse, and Wichita State after him. He does not come in with a high offensive pedigree but his shot blocking and rebounding will help give him an edge to start at center next season.
1. Sheldon Jeter 6-8 SF Beaver Falls, PA - Sheldon Jeter is both a transfer and a recruit. He falls under the recruit category because he is taking classes at Polk State Community College in Florida. Jeter played last season for Vanderbilt in the SEC, and looked like he was going to have a successful career with the Commodores. Jeter averaged five points and three rebounds and played in all 33 games for Vanderbilt, even starting seven of those games. He will have three years of eligibility and will join a talented and promising Pitt sophomore class. Jeter has a very good offensive game, and was once a Rivals Top 150 recruit at nearby Beaver Falls High School. He initially was recruited by Wisconsin, Kansas State, and and Florida State before selecting the Commodores. Pitt was the main suitor for Jeter this time around and a request was blocked that would have allowed him to play this past season. He can very well come in and start in the spot left by Lamar Patterson if he impresses quickly. Obviously, Durand Johnson's injury plays a role here, but otherwise Jeter can be looking at big minutes right away for Jamie Dixon.