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Josaphat Bilau puts Pitt in his top four

The 6’10” power forward is one of Jeff Capel's top targets for 2019

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After several trying months on the recruiting trail, Jeff Capel and his staff are still in search of a frontcourt contributor, and one of their top targets is Josaphat Bilau, a 6’10” power forward out of Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio.

Bilau holds a three-star rating from Rivals, and his list of offers is comprised entirely of high-major programs, including Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kansas State, Penn State, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Wichita State. However, he recently visited Pittsburgh, and it appears he was impressed with what he saw, as he announced on Wednesday that he is only considering four schools at this point, and Pitt made the cut.

“I’m down to four schools, and I’ve visited two: Pitt and [West Virginia],” Bilau told Harry Psaros of Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I’ll try to visit Georgia and Wake Forest.”

The positive news comes at a pivotal time for Pitt, as Capel noted on Wednesday that 6’9” power forward Kene Chukwuka, who underwent hip surgery this offseason, may miss significant time as he recovers. That would leave the Panthers a bit shorthanded in the frontcourt, with 6’8” power forward Karim Coulibaly and 6’10” center Terrell Brown as Pitt’s primary bigs. Of course, adding Bilau would provide Pitt with an additional option, and Adam Ayalew of Prep Hoops broke down what the native of France brings to the table.

"Bilau is sturdily built, with broad shoulders at 6-foot-10," Ayalew said. “He is good at using his frame to carve out space on the low block, and uses his 7’2” wing span along with strong hands to attack the ball at the high point off the boards. Bilau certainly needs to improve in terms of his lateral quickness, but his blend of size and skill is intriguing. Did we forget to mention he’s only been playing basketball for four years?”

Bilau spoke highly of Pitt after his visit and noted that “there’s minutes for me If I go there.” He also noted that he played AAU ball with Pitt guard Xavier Johnson in the past, describing him as a “great player.” Previously, Bilau said he would like to make a decision at the end of May. However, he said on Wednesday that an announcement regarding his commitment will come “within the next few weeks.”