By now, you may have heard that highly touted five-star recruit, Akok Akok has withdrawn from Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy. He told 247 Sports that he’ll be choosing to enroll in college for the upcoming spring semester. One would presume that he’ll choose from his five known finalists: Connecticut, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Syracuse.
Despite receiving letters of intent from all five schools this fall, he didn’t sign. Now a school has a chance to add Akok right when conference play begins.
While adding the versatile 6’10” power forward would be a no-brainer for the Pittsburgh Panthers (6-0), there are many things that head coach Jeff Capel will likely need to consider.
Akok would represent the highest ranked recruit during Capel’s short tenure as head coach. Which adds some additional challenges beyond just having a player join midway through the season. What role would he have on the team, or more importantly, desire?
If he were to flourish, Akok could become the first in a parade of highly sought after recruits for Pitt. However, the Panthers were picked to finish last in the ACC, and while that might not have been the case had Akok been with the team since the summer, he’ll be coming in right before conference play starts.
With that said, Pitt would simply have to add Akok if he were to select them as the school he’d like to attend this upcoming spring. The benefits would almost certainly outweigh the costs, but given the timing, there is a little more risk here than normal.
Capel has done a magnificent job with his young team. If he were to add Akok and keep that momentum going, it would be his greatest coaching feat thus far. We’ll all have to wait and see how his peculiar recruiting process ends.