January 18, 2007

Starting the B-Ball Class of 2008

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:38 am

I’ve been trying to get to this, but it has fallen to the sidelines for an extra day. Pitt got its first verbal for 2008 (well, technically Terrelle Pryor gave a verbal at some point but…). Nasir Robinson from Chester, PA.

“His personality is parallel to Pitt’s program,” said Ray Carroll, who coached Robinson at American Christian High School last season and is Robinson’s mentor. “He’s a workhorse, a natural floor leader. He’s relentless just like a lot of Pitt players.”

Carroll said Pitt had been the front-runner for the past two years and that Robinson simply wanted to end the recruiting process early because he had come to a firm decision. He said Dixon has been to Chester to see Robinson more than most coaches and that was an important part of his decision.

He was also recruited to Pitt by Mike Rice, Jr. Looks like the Philly-area pipeline has also opened up a bit more. only places him as a 3-star. is much higher on him with 4-stars, and considers him the 8th best shooting guard nationally and 45th best overall recruit in the country.

Now, on to that “other” verbal that Chris Dokish alluded to. He’s a North New Jersey kid at St. Anthony’s coached by the New Jersey HS Coaching legend Bob Hurley — you might be interested in this book from Adrian Wojnarowski on Hurley and St. Anthony’s (yet another book I have sitting around that I haven’t gotten to reading). Travon Woodall.

The 6-foot, 186-pound junior combination guard from St. Anthony gave a verbal commitment to Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, and will play in the Big East.

“I thought it was the perfect place for me,” Woodall said by phone. “It’s not too far from home. It’s not too close, where I can’t grow up as a man and be out on my own. Me and (assistant coach) Mike Rice have known each other for a long time. We have a good relationship.”

Woodall is averaging 10.9 points, 4.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds for undefeated St. Anthony, ranked No. 1 in the state in one poll and No. 4 nationally by USA Today. He was an All-Star last summer at Reebok Camp Next and 5-Star Camp, and also competed at the prestigious Reebok ABCD Camp.

“He’s a really good physical defender, which Pitt really likes,” St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley said by phone. “He can score out of the point. He really needs to think more like a point guard. He’s played so much with (St. Anthony junior) Jio (Fontan) growing up that he would move to the wing and let Jio handle the ball. Travon is not as natural at the point. He’s got to get more comfortable with the ball.”

Woodall opted to declare as a junior because he was confident in his decision and wanted to get the complicated recruiting process out of the way.

“It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” Woodall said. “I don’t have to worry about any college coaches calling or text-messaging me. I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff anymore. I can worry about my schoolwork and not have any distractions in front of me.”

Woodall chose Pittsburgh over offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Penn State, Iowa State and Florida State. He said Rutgers was his second choice.

I should note, that he’s either gained an inch and put on a lot of weight from the summer (which at least with the height is possible) or there is a bit of a discrepancy somewhere. and list him at 5′ 11″ and between 165-170 pounds. Both sites list Woodall as a 3-star recruit.
Mike Rice, Jr. has been busy on the recruiting trail.

I wonder if Dixon will now start looking for a center for ’08. Because at least for next year they are going to be a smallish team. Nobody over 6’10”.

Comment by Carmen 01.18.07 @ 8:56 am

They have a junior college player coming in, Cassin Diggs I think, who is a center. They also have a 6’11” kid out of Indiana named Gary McGhee coming in.

I do hope they sign another big man and another point guard for 2008. You can never have enough ball-handlers and centers.

Comment by Omar 01.18.07 @ 10:33 am

My advice is to be very skeptical of those size stats for big men until you see the players in the gym. HS and juco coaches commonly pad those numbers.

Biggs is closer to 6’5″ than 6’8″, for instance. DeJuan Blair gets listed at 6’7″, but looks shorter in person (But he’s got a big body to make up for it.)

Comment by billy knight 01.18.07 @ 10:45 am

McGhee may compete for playing time. He is the one IU wanted (if I remember correctly), but he picked Pitt instead!

Comment by Eric R 01.18.07 @ 12:00 pm

Hopefully Pitt (and I trust their judgment based on the past success) knows what it needs at this point. The Woodall kid sounds okay, but it kind of scares me that not even one other ‘good’ school wanted him.

Again, I know the success we’ve had with these types of players. It just usually seems like there’s at least one solid program that is after him besides us in most cases.

Comment by PittHoops 01.18.07 @ 1:34 pm

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