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November 6, 2013

Got Him, Now Keep Him

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 8:31 am

Yesterday’s verbal of Damon Wilson to Pitt basketball was more positive recruiting news. A 3-4 star point guard with what appears to be a high ceiling for the 2015 class. A kid with the potential to grow to as much as 6-6 by the time he reaches Pitt in 2015.

Like Mike Young, Wilson came to the New York/New Jersey prep scene to raise his recruiting profile. Wilson, in this case, came from Georgia. It worked.

Wilson picked the Panthers over Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Stanford, Virginia and Virginia Tech. His father, Damon Sr., played football at Georgia Tech; his older sister, Dominique, plays basketball at N.C. State.

Wilson is Pitt’s first commitment from the Class of 2015.

A native of Powder Springs, Ga., Wilson transferred from McEachern High to St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., last year.

This year he is playing at Centereach (N.Y.) Our Savior New American. In addition to those offers he also was getting interest from Louisville, UCLA, Ohio St., UNC and NC State.

With that kind of interest and offers, along with the potential for him to grow a couple more inches by the time he graduates, the work in keeping Wilson’s verbal to Pitt is just beginning. It is a year until he can even sign in the early signing period.

Still, this was a really good recruit to nab.

According to Our Savior assistant coach, Eric Jaklitsch, the 6-foot-4 Wilson had a lot of other offers, but the opportunity to learn from Knight in a program built on toughness and grit like Pitt was too much to pass up.

“It is simple, Brandin Knight made Damon a priority, made it clear that he was an important piece for the Pitt program, came to see him, had him down to campus,” Jaklitsch said Tuesday.

“You add that to the fact that Pitt is a great program and plays in the ACC, the best league in the country, and it was clear this is where he wanted to be and that’s why he told Jamie Dixon Monday, he was committing.

“To learn from a guy like that and also get an opportunity to play with James Robinson, who will be one of the best point guards in the country in two years.”

Oh, and the Jaklitsch knows exactly what to say to a Pitt beat reporter:

“Damon is tough, and he is a winner,” Jaklitsch said. “He possesses that toughness that, if you look, the guys like Brandin, like a Carl Krauser, like Levance Fields all had.

The other important part of Wilson are his teammates.

“I plan on playing point guard now and in the future. Coming to Our Savior was good because I don’t need to score here. I am here to get the ball to the other guys like Kobie [Eubanks] and Chieck [Diallo].”

Wilson certainly looks comfortable in that role, finding Eubanks on the perimeter for open threes or driving and dropping it off for fellow 2015 classmate Chieck Diallo. Those three should combine to create one of the best combinations of players in the state of New York.

Diallo is a consensus 5-star power forward/center in the 2015 class. He’s already checked Pitt out, including Pitt’s Morning Madness (and yes, Pitt is one of many that already have an offer to him).

It’s interesting because the focus by Pitt on the recruiting trail really seems to be on the 2015 class. To some extent that is because 2014 only has one more spot open. Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther have two spots. There’s one scholarship available, but with only two spots available in 2015 as well, Pitt might be leaning towards saving it for 2015 unless they can land a player they absolutely want.





even thought Dixon always wanted to use up his full allotment, I see no reason to use the available schollie unless a really good player fall into his hands.

As the title of this blog infers, we have to keep this guy … and no, I am not counting on 5-star Diallo coming (much of the way Robinson didn’t ensure Anya) .. but of course, he would be welcome.

Comment by wbb 11.06.13 @ 8:42 am

A few high profile wins in the ACC might help keep Wilson committed, don’t you think?

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.06.13 @ 9:28 am

If there’s one thing we can count on in Pitt athletics, it’s that Jamie Dixon will have high profile, in conference wins. Even in the CBI year he beat #10 Georgetown.

Last year we saw victories over #19 Georgetown and #6 Syracuse.

Comment by Justin 11.06.13 @ 10:00 am

Really think this is a great verbal. But I think the “future” focus is interesting, especially because Pitt has been burned a bit in the past by focusing on guys early (see Isiah Epps, etc). Love the idea of a 6-4, eventually bigger, PG running things. Look how many problems Carter-Williams presented last year. (Not to compare, but…)

Comment by JW 11.06.13 @ 10:18 am

When was the last time a verbal decommitted from Pitt basketball? I can’t really remember one. If he’s even close to Carter-Williams that would be great.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.06.13 @ 10:21 am

The offer that tells me this kid could be really special is the one from Stanford. They only go after the smart kids…A smart, unslefish, 6’4″ PG sounds pretty good to me. Plus, his size and length alone will be big plus to our perimiter defense.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.06.13 @ 11:52 am

Hopefully Wilson feeds Daillo and the other one so much, so often and so good, the kids will want to continue playing with him at……….

………PITT !

Comment by EMel 11.06.13 @ 11:59 am

Terrel Pryor and Herb Pope both comitted as sophomores

Comment by wbb 11.06.13 @ 12:09 pm

Nice bucket of cold water wbb….lol

Comment by EMel 11.06.13 @ 12:16 pm

Does anybody know the status of Detrick Mostella? I remember him committing in July, but I just realized he isn’t on the roster.

Comment by RJ English 11.06.13 @ 12:30 pm

Mostella remains a mystery — 2nd semester at the earliest, more likely next fall, if at all

Comment by wbb 11.06.13 @ 12:55 pm

Him falling in our laps seemed to good to be true.

Comment by EMel 11.06.13 @ 1:26 pm

Pryor decomitted for football reasons. He was never actually going to play basketball once he got so good at Jeanette. But yeah I forgot all about Herb Pope, wasn’t his reason somethign to do with getting away from all his bad friends? Mostella is getting his grades together, whenever that happpens then we will see him.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.06.13 @ 1:52 pm

We have a great tradition with tough NYC guards and we play in the ACC. There is no reason we shouldn’t be attracting great kids. I like that this kid looks to be smart and unselfish. These traits are characteristic of Dixon’s best guards. Looks like a perfect fit.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.06.13 @ 2:47 pm

he ia a 4 star on rivals there fore he is a 4 star he is a great pick up.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.06.13 @ 3:08 pm

Yeah, I remember the Herb Pope thing being pretty mutual.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 11.06.13 @ 3:11 pm

Beats Chryst and his 2 star recruits.

Comment by TX Panther 11.06.13 @ 4:22 pm

Uhhh … see Ryan Luther

“Beats Chryst and his 2 star recruits.”

Comment by PittHW 11.06.13 @ 5:11 pm

Please remember Pitt basketball when you think of Pitt football.

Comment by Don Walnut 11.06.13 @ 5:42 pm

Breaking news
link to post-gazette.com
The out-of-conference FB schedule (3 games) in 2016 exceeds the entire OOC BB schedule this year

Comment by wbb 11.06.13 @ 6:15 pm

Your right wbb, now if we can get a team together
by then, we’ll be ok.

Comment by Moe Greene 11.06.13 @ 7:00 pm

Let’s just hope Ryan doesn’t decommit after seeing the constant spank downs.

Comment by TX Panther 11.06.13 @ 7:12 pm

Oy Vey……Oklahoma State.

Can you imagine them against a House schemed defense.

I don’t……lol

If we’re going to start scheduling really tough non-con in football.

We need really tough and good football coaches.
This crew ain’t (emphasis) it !!!

Comment by EMel 11.06.13 @ 7:38 pm

link to cbssports.com

more well-deserved acclaim for AD

Comment by wbb 11.06.13 @ 8:17 pm

I hate to bring in a sad article in what’s otherwise been an upbeat day in Panther Land, but Tony Dorsett has been diagnosed with CTE, more than likely from substantial NCAA/NFL head trauma (link below). I know nothing about this condition, but pray that if there’s anything that can be done to treat this or lessen the side effects, UPMC steps up and does everything they can for a Pittsburgh legend.
link to espn.go.com

Comment by MikePITT 11.06.13 @ 8:24 pm

Amen, MikePITT

Comment by steve1 11.06.13 @ 8:27 pm

Steven Adams and Dejuan Blair covering each other! OKC vs. Dallas. This is nutty crazy. Steve’s already swatted a couple of shots but Dejuan had a nice putback around him.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 11.06.13 @ 10:17 pm

@SilverPanther: LOVED(!!!) watching them guard each other in the 3rd quarter. I liked what I saw out of Adams, and so, too, did Scott Brooks, as Adams played most the 4th quarter in what was at that point a fairly tight game. Was a Panther fan’s dream to see the two of them doing battle against one another.

Comment by MikePITT 11.06.13 @ 11:52 pm

Well, MikePITT, my dream would have been to see Adams for one more year in a Pitt uni, and then would have been pleased as some form of alcohol-infused punch to see the Kiwi and DeJuan battle it out at the pro level.

Comment by Carmen 11.07.13 @ 8:50 am

@ TX Panther 11.06.13 @ 7:12 pm Why? No one is concerned with that concerning football recruits.

Comment by PittHW 11.07.13 @ 4:36 pm

@MIkePitt, I didn’t get to see it. Who got he best of it?

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.07.13 @ 4:57 pm

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