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ESPN 100 power forward Noah Collier puts Pitt in top three

The in-state recruit also listed California and Clemson as finalists

Basketball: Spalding Hoophall Classic Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Capel and the Pitt men’s basketball team may be overseas playing a series of exhibition games in Italy, but the wheels of Pitt's recruiting process are still turning at home. On that front, Capel was the recipient of some good news in absentia on Thursday, as 2020 power forward Noah Collier placed Pitt in his top three along with California and Clemson.

Collier’s top three is somewhat surprising, as he told Ari Rosenfeld of Zagsblog in June that Maryland, Syracuse, UConn and Xavier were the schools in contact with him the most. However, none of them made the cut on Thursday, and Pitt emerged as one of the late front-runners in Collier's recruitment.

Collier also announced plans to visit Pitt on Aug. 30, which means he will be on campus the same day as four-star small forward Earl Timberlake, a fellow Pitt target out of DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland. After that, Collier plans to visit Clemson on Sept. 21 and California on Sept. 30, according to a report from Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.

The 6’7”, 200-pound power forward out of Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has drawn mixed reviews from recruiting websites, but the consensus is that he is firmly among the top 40 players at his position in the 2020 class and at least a three-star prospect. However, ESPN has a higher opinion of Collier than Rivals and 247Sports, as it includes him among its ESPN 100 and considers him a four-star talent.

In addition to standing out at Westtown, Collier has made a name for himself as a member of the Team Final AAU team and taken part in Nike EYBL competitions, including the Peach Jam event that took place in North Augusta, South Carolina, in July. Over 17 games with Team Final in 2019, Collier contributed 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game

At Pitt, Collier would join a thin frontcourt consisting most notably of Terrell Brown and Karim Coulibaly. Pitt has struggled to land impactful frontcourt recruits over the past two recruiting cycles, so the Wessttown product would be a welcome addition to a team in need of size and rebounding prowess.