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May 12, 2008

I definitely would prefer Pitt gets in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, but it may not be as sure a thing.

Giles also said that the Duke, UCLA and Michigan are set as three of the four hosts for the Coaches vs. Cancer. The other host will likely be either Pittsburgh or Rutgers.

The third preseason event that Giles organizes is the Legends Classic. If Pittsburgh isn’t in the Coaches vs. Cancer, look for Jamie Dixon’s team to play in the Legends.

I guess I could see them choosing Rutgers as a way of nearing certainty of having a Duke-UCLA Final.

Assistant Coaching rumors continue. This time with Orlando Antigua.

Sources with knowledge of the situation have told CBSSports.com that Calipari is considering completing his staff — now missing Derek Kellogg (new head coach at UMass) and Chuck Martin (new head coach at Marist) — by hiring from a group of candidates that is headlined by Pittsburgh assistant Orlando Antigua and Georgetown assistant David Cox.

I could see Antigua leaving. Yes, he’s a Pitt alum and is comfortable. At the same time, he has ambition to be a head coach one day. He will need to have broader experience at other schools and working for Calipari would be a big building block.

As for Cox. He’s become a fast-rising name in just a few years. He spent one year at Pitt as Director of Basketball Operations before Thompson III hired him as an assistant a couple years back.

Ashton Gibbs was a big performer at the IS8 Playoffs.

Best individual performance of the day: Guard Aston Gibbs, a Seton Hall Prep star and Pitt recruit, went off for 41 in a 105-93 loss to the powerful Gauchos, making nine straight 3s at one point.

Travon Woodall was also playing and did well.

Pitt has apparently offered NJ PG Isiah Epps.

“Tommy Herrion told me that after he saw him work out,” [Plainfield High School Head Coach Pete] Vasil said Saturday by phone. “They’re offering him a scholarship.”

The 6-2 Epps already holds offers from Maryland, Rutgers and Seton Hall, with Maryland head coach Gary Williams telling Vasil he’s targeting Epps as his guard of the future out of the Class of 2010.

Epps is apparently a rising prospect. The ESPN.com/Scouts, Inc. profile (Insider subs.) puts him in the Juan Dixon mold (which would explain why Maryland is pursuing him).

Epps is lightning quick, shifty with the rock and just flat out explosive at both ends. With range on his 3-point shot and a tremendous amount of body control in the lane, Epps is a nightmare to guard. His will to win is never questioned, has ice water in his veins and has earned the nickname Mr. Big Shot.

He’s also a lefty.

There’s also a write up on an AAU Tournament in DC with some Pitt targets.

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