Four-star power forward Khadim Sy out of Daytona State College is Pitt’s top target in 2019, and on Tuesday, he released a list of the final five schools he’s considering. As expected, Pitt made the cut with the 6'10" big coming off a visit to the Steel City over the weekend, but Jeff Capel and his staff are up against Arkansas, East Carolina, LSU and Ole Miss for the coveted recruit’s services.
Final 5 pic.twitter.com/hcpagoZKV0— khadim sy (@khadimsy1) April 16, 2019
Of the other four schools listed, Ole Miss appears to have the best shot at landing Sy, as the Rebels are coming off a 20-13 season that ended with a brief appearance in the NCAA tournament. Kermit Davis, who was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2019, also had the foresight to offer Sy back in October and will host him for his final official visit on April 24.
With that said, Ole Miss already has two frontcourt players in its 2019 recruiting class in 6’10” center Rodney Howard and 6’9” power forward Sammy Hunter, meaning Sy would not necessarily have as clear a path to playing time in Oxford as he would at other schools.
There’s an argument to be made that LSU could land Sy as well, as Will Wade offered Sy five days earlier than Ole Miss and just wrapped up a 28-7 season that saw his Tigers make a deeper run in the tournament than Davis’ Rebels. However, Wade is coming off a recent suspension, begging questions about the long-term health of the program, and Sy never took an official visit to Baton Rouge, placing Wade and LSU at an apparent disadvantage.
Rounding out the representatives of the SEC on Sy’s list is Arkansas, a late entrant in the sweepstakes for his signature. The Razorbacks recently hired Eric Musselman away from Nevada, and while he hasn’t quite had the impact Nate Oats has at Alabama, he still presents Sy with an intriguing option as a former NBA coach at a Power Five program and presents Capel with legit opposition.
East Carolina is the oddball of Sy’s final five, despite a visionary effort on Joe Dooley’s part to lead the way in Sy’s recruitment. Dooley offered the junior college standout on Sept. 17, just under a month before LSU, and earned East Carolina an official visit on March 29. But it seems unlikely that Sy will settle for a program that has two winning seasons since 1997 and has failed to land any players of talent comparable to his over the past decade.
Finally, there’s Pitt, which can offer Sy the kind of playing time he would get at East Carolina in addition to the chance to take part in high-profile matchups in the most competitive conference in college basketball. That’s a rare opportunity, but it comes with the caveat that Pitt is in the midst of a rebuild. However, Sy could single-handedly accelerate that rebuild and propel Pitt to the right side of .500 by joining an incoming class primarily composed of four-star talent.
The Senegal native has not set a date for his decision, but at this point, it will most likely come some time after his April 24 visit to Ole Miss. Whichever school lands Sy, it will be getting the No. 4 junior college player in the country, according to JUCORecruiting.com, as well as a player who started in 28 ACC games for Virginia Tech during the 2016-17 season.