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Pitt Basketball Recruiting: Once promising 2016 class now full of questions

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, Pitt basketball's 2016 recruiting class looked like one to lead the Panthers into another run of excellence. Now? Not so much.

Sure, Pitt has already landed a quality power forward in Corey Manigault. But after securing early commitments from Top 50 four-star guards Mustapha Heron and Maverick Rowan, Pitt has failed to secure a stronghold on either.

Earlier, Rowan reopened his recruitment and a few days ago, Heron did the same. Heron's case is particularly interesting considering he repeatedly said Pitt was still his choice.

Less than a year ago, Heron said it was full-steam ahead with the Panthers, saying he was 100% committed, even after the departure of assistant Barry Rohrssen, with whom he had a strong relationship. Later later last year, he said he confirmed that, saying he was glad the recruiting was out of the way. Heck, just last month, Heron said he was still firmly committed to Pitt.

Last month ... as in March 2015.

Both Rowan and Heron have left the door open when it comes to joining the Panthers, but much of that could be lip-service. And after Heron's repeated statements about being fully committed to Pitt, I'm not sure how much sense it makes to listen to things like that, anyway.

The fingers, of course, now start pointing to head coach Jamie Dixon. I don't know what to make of this when it comes to him, to be honest. Getting Heron was largely from Barry Rohrssen and Rowan going to Florida pushed him further away from Pittsburgh. More importantly, both have played well and attracted even more attention.

Still, if Pitt doesn't come away with either (and at this point, how can you feel they will), this doesn't reflect well on him.

Whatever. All of it underscores the simple fact that the whims of recruits are ever-changing. Heron is, of course, well within his rights to change his mind. And hey, you actually hope he ends up at the place he wants to be - even if it's not Pitt. But within the span of a few weeks, he either had a change of heart or was never all that sure about the Panthers to begin with. Whichever it is isn't really important. The point is that recruits continue to change their minds. A lot.

In other words, if you're putting any stock into a recruit's word ... yeah, don't do that, mmkay?

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