Now in the offseason, there are many things the Pitt basketball program has to get in order before next season begins. First, they need to address the vacant assistant coaching position left by Barry Rohrssen. Jamie Dixon must also settle on the roster situation heading into next season. Cameron Johnson committed recently, and it takes Pitt over the scholarship limit. Pitt also figures into the race for a big time transfer, Byron Wesley and an unsigned four star guard. Still no word on what current players are leaving, but a recent Derrick Randall arrest likely makes him a candidate.
With all that said, Jamie Dixon has a lot on his plate on getting things ready for next season. Still, it is never too early to look ahead to which players Pitt will be pursuing for the 2015 recruiting class. Right now it is basically a matter of how many prospects they can take going into next season. Cameron Wright and Derrick Randall would be the two seniors, but another spot could come their way this year how everything plays out over the next few weeks. The 2014 recruiting class certainly has not "wowed" anyone, but Pitt appears to be shooting higher in the 2015 year, and here are a few of the names out there.
- Damon Wilson is already committed. Wilson checks in as a four star recruit across the board by the three main recruiting services. Wilson is a 6"5 guard from a powerhouse school in New York loaded with division one recruits. He is listed as both a point guard or shooting guard, and on film looks comfortable shooting and handling the ball.
- Cheick Diallo is the highest rated player with a Pitt offer by all the recruiting services out there. Diallo is a teammate of Damon Wilson, and this has led many to believe Pitt is very much in the running for the 6'9 big man. He is a big time shot blocker and a very athletic forward, and he checks in as the number eight prospect in the country by both ESPN and Rivals. Obviously it would be an uphill battle to land Diallo as he holds offers from the likes of Syracuse, Louisville, Kansas, and Connecticut.
- Isaiah Briscoe is another five star player Pitt is after for the 2015 class. He recently listed Pitt is his top seven. Briscoe is a physical guard from New Jersey, and looks college ready right now. The guard checks in as the 19th best prospect by ESPN and Rivals. It will be a battle to land his services because he does list local schools like Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. Johns in his final seven, so that may indicate he would want to stay close to home.
- Georgios Papagiannis is an intriguing player that hails from Greece. He plays his high school ball for Westtown School near Philadelphia. Papagiannis has a pretty advanced offensive game, and moves very well for a seven footer. He is rated 26th by ESPN and 44th by Rivals. Not a ton of big offers are on the table besides Pitt, but Maryland and Temple are two of the notable ones. Not much has been said about this kid, so I wonder how hard Pitt is pursuing him.
- Esa Ahmed does not have Pitt listed on any of the recruiting sites, but they did meet with the 6"8 power forward recently. Ahmed looks like the type of forward Dixon typically likes.
- Carlton Bragg is an elite forward from Cleveland, but I don't think Pitt will be a major factor with him. Pitt offered the athletic forward, but so did everyone else. Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and UCLA are just some of the names after Bragg. He does play AAU with 2016 commit, Maverick Rowan. So that could be a way to connect.
- Jessie Govan lists a Pitt offer on his Rivals page. Govan is a massive 6"10 center from Queens, New York. Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, and Notre Dame are just some of his offers, and it could be an old school Big East battle for his commitment. As you can see, he is a really big guy, and would be a true center that this team does not have right now.
- Derek Pardon is an under the radar prospect that is ranked as a three star. His Rivals page says he has offers from Pitt, Northwestern, Xavier, and Dayton. Pardon is a high school teammate of Carlton Bragg. He looks like he is a physical player that can finish at the rim.
- Traci Carter is a true point guard from Philadelphia. Carter is listed at just 6"0 and plays ball for Roman Catholic High School, the same school that produced former Panther Brad Wanamaker. Carter's recruiting situation seems perplexing because Rivals and ESPN say Pitt is his lone offer, while Scout gives him credit for offers from LaSalle, Penn State, St. Joes, and Temple, and not one from Pitt. Whatever the case is, Carter looks like a tough "Philly guard" that could help.
Those are just some of the main names with Pitt offers to date for 2015. Obviously it is hard to gauge how Pitt will approach next year with this year still being unsettled. They are off to a great start by having a top 100 guard already committed in Wilson. Pitt is again in play with some higher level prospects, and that is a testament to Dixon and Brandin Knight. The 2014 recruiting class did not excite many people and the Panthers whiffed on their high-profile targets, but there is a chance the 2015 class could really impress.
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