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.
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.