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Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua chooses Tennessee over Pitt

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The Finnish recruit would have given Pitt's frontcourt a major boost

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

Pitt missed out on one of its few remaining 2019 frontcourt targets, as Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua, a 6’8” power forward out of Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland, Maryland, announced his commitment to Tennessee on Tuesday morning. Robinson-Nkamhoua had taken an official visit to Pitt on April 1 and was thought to be giving Jeff Capel's program serious consideration.

"I appreciate all the coaches that have recruited me up to this point and would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this process with me," Robinson-Nkamhoua wrote in a message posted on Twitter. "Happy to be a part of the family at Tennessee."

Robinson-Nkamhoua holds three-star ratings from both Rivals and 247Sports. The power forward’s recruitment was relatively quiet until this spring, as he came to the United States from Helsinki, Finland, in 2017 and then suffered a broken tibia shortly after his arrival. However, he began attracting the attention of major programs after his recovery and drew offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and Wake Forest in addition to Pitt and Tennessee.

What the 2019 recruit would have offered Pitt is fairly obvious, as the team lacked size and skill in the frontcourt last season and has yet to address that issue beyond the addition of 6'8" power forward Karim Coulibaly. The Panthers are also in need of a solid shooter and a consistent scorer, as Jared Wilson-Frame, the team’s top three-point shooter, exhausted his eligibility, and secondary scoring behind Xavier Johnson was often lacking.

It seems Robinson-Nkamhoua could have given Pitt a hand in each of those areas to some extent, provided he lived up to expectations. However, the allure of a program like Tennessee, which is coming off a 31-6 season and a Sweet 16 appearance, proved too much for Robinson-Nkamhoua to resist.

With Robinson-Nkamhoua off the board, Pitt will turn its focus to Khadim Sy, a 6'10" power forward out of Daytona State College in Florida. Sy previously played at Virginia Tech and is considered the No. 6 junior college recruit in the nation, according to JUCORecruiting.com. He visited Pitt on April 11 and included the school in a final five along with Arkansas, East Carolina, LSU and Ole Miss.