April 21, 2014

Pitt Adds a Late Local

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 3:00 pm

Curious to say the least, but Pitt has added a new member to the 2014 recruiting class.

Cameron Johnson is a local kid. He goes to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Which is apparently in Coraopolis. He was the Trib player of the year. He’s had a significant growth spurt in the last year.

Johnson started his junior season as a 6-foot-2, 165-pound point guard. He now stands 6-6, 185, and can play almost anywhere.

β€œI expected to grow at least some in high school because my parents are tall and my mom grew late,” said Johnson, whose father is 6-8 and mother is 5-11.

β€œIt’s allowed me to play more positions, that’s for sure. I’ve always stuck to point guard and shooting guard. Now, I can fill in at small forward and power forward. That’s what schools like to see, a guy who is versatile and can play multiple positions.”

He may be up to around 6-7 or 6-8 at this point. His father, Gil Johnson, played at Pitt from 1988-90.

Johnson is not a rated recruit. He has strong academics so he had schools like Rice, Penn and Columbia after him. Late in the recruiting season schools like Stanford, BC and Virginia have been sniffing around him.

I don’t know what to say. It’s intriguing because he has had such a surge in growth. A 6-8 combo guard sounds very, very tantalizing. No doubt he is a project and will be redshirting.

The other thing this does is raise the question of from where is the scholarship is coming?

Even assuming Detrick Mostella never makes it to Pitt (a reasonable assumption), Pitt is already at the limit.

Guards: Newkirk, Robinson, Wright and Jones (4)

Forwards: Johnson, Jeter, Luther, Artis and Young (5)

Center/Forwards: Randall, Uchebo, Haughton and Doorson (4)

That’s the 13 scholarship limit and Cameron Johnson makes 14. Is someone transferring/being forced out? Is there a member of the incoming recruiting class that won’t have the academics?

I don’t know. My knee-jerk guess might be Joseph Uchebo. Pitt added two bigs to this class and Uchebo was not able to do anything on his surgically repaired knee this year. I don’t know if there is a medical waiver that might come into play, or something else. Like I said, this is just a guess at this point.

Let the rampant speculation commence.

Jamie bringing in that NBA-level guard to make a tourney push!

Comment by NOPE 04.21.14 @ 3:09 pm

Kinda cool we are going to have some local players.

A six six guy that can dribble will be a novelty.

Comment by gc 04.21.14 @ 3:18 pm

Next thing we are going to suit up Mouse McCollough up for the Panthers… To those of you that know Mouse. Haha

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.21.14 @ 3:23 pm

didn’t see this post;

Kid was 2nd team – All State-Class A


Aondofa Anyam, Church Farm, 5-10, sr, 16.4 ppg

Cameron Grumley, Johnsonburg, 5-9, sr, 21.5 ppg

Cameron Johnson, Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 6-6, sr, 27.8 ppg

Brandon Martinazzi, Bishop Carroll, 5-9, jr, 20.1 ppg

Nick Miller, Western Beaver, 6-2, sr, 30.1 ppg

Montrel Morgan, New Hope Academy, 6-2, so, 19.1 ppg

Cole Peterson, Johnsonburg, 5-10, sr, 20.7 ppg

Was rated the Top PG in the Pittsburgh Area !

link to

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 3:26 pm

Uchebo looks to be gone , who would be next Jones or Randall?

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 3:26 pm

I like that Cameron Johnson is described as a “gym rat” who is always working on his game. Could be very interesting once he gets used to his size and puts on some muscle. I’m guessing either Uchebo (knee) or Doorson (clearinghouse) aren’t around next fall. Any chance CJ could be getting an academic scholarship? Looks like JD is “building a fence” around local recruits.

Comment by CalvinHobbes 04.21.14 @ 3:29 pm

They were mentioning a couple possible transfer players, the kid from Cornell & BYU.

If one of those comes, I’d say Randall would be next up !

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 3:30 pm

@ Calvin Hobbes.

Might be a possibility as Columbia had offered him.

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 3:31 pm

Wow this kid was 5-8 his freshmen year and some places are listing him at 6-8 now.

Could be a real sleeper find ! And a local kid !

With him, Luther & Rowan we’d have 3 local kids !!!

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 3:35 pm

@Emel, Seems logical Randall would be next if needed.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 3:40 pm

The other attribute being over looked in the announcement is that Cameron Johnson appears to be very smart. That won’t hurt him in JD’s system. You have yto know when to call the time outs. Lol

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 3:44 pm

haha…good point sos22

If this kid keeps growing he might be the first 7 foot Point Guard !

Wouldn’t that be something !

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 3:50 pm

If they get rid of both Uchebo (who looks too hobbled to ever play meaningful minutes) and Randall, who plays the 5 next year?

Comment by Brendan 04.21.14 @ 3:55 pm

His old man was on the 1989-1990 Pitt squad led by Brian Shorter.

Gilbert Johnson. Was the 8th man. Didn’t play much.

link to

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 3:57 pm

@ Brendan

I think they’re projecting (hoping)Ty Haughton, who’s supposed to be a good defender, shot blocker and rebounder.

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 4:00 pm

@ Brendan, I think the post was directed more at apparent pecking order than likely changes. I agree that we don’t need more shooting guards to replace rebounders at this point. I never thought Kresler was coming and the kid from BYU didn’t get me excited either.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 4:02 pm

Hey, where’s my Robert Foster update???

Come on, tell me what kind of man child he is today!!!!

Comment by Dan 04.21.14 @ 4:03 pm

At his rate of growth by conference time next year Cam Johnson will be over 7′ , so he can play center.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 4:06 pm

I’m just going to throw it out there to see if other fans think the same but the transfer/forcing out is not a good look for the program.

I’m a big Dixon fan but to be actively recruiting so many players with no scholarships available is not something I’m proud of. I get that scholarships are for one year. And I understand players will learn tough lessons but I’m not on board with the “hey we messed up in recruiting you, there’s someone better” approach unless there is something else that goes along with it (not doing well in school, clearly not making an effort to improve, etc.) If something materializes, fine. But it appears to be happening at an alarming rate and the way it’s happening is not the most defensible either.

I just don’t like to see the possibility of a player like Jones, who has by all accounts done everything the right way, getting pushed out.

Comment by Ryan 04.21.14 @ 4:08 pm

Emel, I looked at the 89/90 roster and on it was Sean Miller with nada across his stats.

Do you happen to know why?

Comment by steve1 04.21.14 @ 4:21 pm

@Ryan, You make a great point and as reasonable people looking for a fair system, we have obvious misgivings about treating people this way. It isn’t some fair and reasonable system though, it is big time college sports. The system sucks and both sides get screwed and do the screwing, and nobody seems to care who gets hurt in the process. If Pitt doesn’t unload there mistakes they will be at a competitive disadvantage. They took a chance hoping Uchebo would work out. They did all they could to help him heal. He didn’t so he gets tossed aside.

Kehm Birch doesn’t want to play the 5 so he says screw you I’m going to UNLV.

The sewer flows in both directions and sometimes it isn’t fair who gets to man the spigot.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 4:23 pm

@ steve1

I think he got hurt that year before the season started.

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 4:28 pm

Broken foot, broken hand ?

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 4:33 pm

Is it possible Calapari is considering an NBA job and that is what is holding up Slice’s announcement.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 4:33 pm

@Ryan, It’s the new reality. About 40% of college basketball players transfer during their careers. Here’s how a Colorado sports writer describes what happens:

“Here is basically what happens after every college sport season. The coach sits down with their players and evaluates their status on the team, including where they fit in and how much playing time they can expect next season. If the answer is less of a role, many players choose to take their talents elsewhere, where in most cases it’s in hopes of getting more playing time.”

Here’s the URL:

link to

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 5:24 pm

Right you are Howard.

Things in college basketball are quite different today. These kids transfer at the drop of the hat for any reason you want to pick.

Here’s the latest Transfer List:

link to

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 5:31 pm

If you don’t care to count them:

“More than 400 college basketball players left their previous programs during the 2013 offseason. The 2014 transfer numbers are slightly down, but there are still approximately 350 athletes on the move this spring.”

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 5:33 pm

Here’s one that could help us immediately and someone we all know, knows him.

“Another year, another point guard bolting from Marshall University’s basketball program. DeAndre Kane did fairly well for himself at Iowa State, and now it’s Kareem Canty’s turn. Finally.

Canty, like the Houston duo mentioned previously, was initially denied a release from his scholarship at Marshall. Coach Tom Herrion was let go, and Canty wanted to follow suit. It took nearly a month of requests and appeals, but MU finally granted Canty his release without restriction on April 11, allowing him to seek a new place to play.

The freshman from Harlem, N.Y., played a whopping 36.7 minutes per game last season, finishing among Conference USA’s top five in scoring (16.3 PPG) and assists (5.5 per game). Canty’s walked a checkered path, attending four different schools from Phoenix to Florida to Maine. Academic issues ultimately steered him to Marshall, where he sat out 2012-13 as a partial qualifier. “

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 5:38 pm

Dixon has probably had those talks and knows exactly who is planning to transfer. I’m guessing Artis.

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 5:40 pm

Ok, if I can’t get a Robert Foster update, could someone please tell me how many great effin’ recruits Pedophile State has got the past couple weeks!!!

This place is slippin’!!

Comment by Dan 04.21.14 @ 5:45 pm

Young is also likely to go. Randall is the only known quantity at the center position. He stays.

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 5:46 pm

When Cameron Johnson signs on for his full ride athletic scholarship at Pitt what he has accomplished is an opportunity to make the team. When he shows up in the fall if he isn’t good enough to add to the team immediately he will probably get red shirted. That gives him a year to adjust and get his game to a level that has him contributing. He not only has to compete with the active players but also the following years incoming freshman for playing time. If he is deemed good enough to add to the mix great ,if not it’s transfer time. Last year returning senior JJ Moore got nudged out. He was chased away by Patterson and the incoming freshman Young. With Johnson in control of the 6th man slot he was going to ride the pine, so off to Rutgers JJ went. The days of some kid riding the pine for 4 years taking up a scholarship have gone the way of the underhand foul shot.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 5:52 pm

Whoops, I meant Jones is also likely to go, not Young. Young and Newkirk are two Freshman that I hope will stick. They are both starters next year.

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 5:53 pm

(If Newkirk doesn’t start, he’ll play 20 minutes a game, like this year.)

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 5:54 pm

@Howard, I would be very surprised if Jones doesn’t see significant minutes next year. I look for Jeter and Jones to replace Patterson. Don’t be fooled by what you saw from Jones this year. He might be a big surprise when healthy. Wright,Newkirk and Robinson will obviously share the guard minutes. Artis and Young should be improved at the 4. That leaves Randall and Haughton to handle the post with Duran doing his bit as the 6th man.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 6:18 pm

talking about being blindsided!

BTW, I guess it’s finally official, Slice has left for UK. Herrion, Rasheen Davis and David Cox, all former assistants have been mentioned.

Comment by wbb 04.21.14 @ 6:22 pm

I don’t know that next years team will be any more talented than last but we should be able to wear a few down with our depth. I don’t see any freshman making a dent among this group, and experience can make a big difference. We will have a lot of that.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 6:25 pm

2 years from now, Pitt could have on the floor:

6’8 Mike Young, Duquesne PA
6’9 Ryan Luther, Hampton
6’8 Shelden Jeter, Beaver Falls
6’8 Cameron Johnson, OLHS Carleroi
6’7 Maverick Rowan, Lincoln Park, Midland

Comment by wbb 04.21.14 @ 6:31 pm

WBB, Only if Johnson quits growing.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 6:33 pm

Slice is officially gone.

PG says there might be more transfers or signings.

One has to go now so it makes one wonder which player(s) are leaving.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 6:40 pm

and when Young graduates, he may be replaced by Donovan Jeter 6’5+ Beaver Falls freshman, who is still growing. He has been at a handful of Pitt games this year with brother Shelden, and almost averaged a double-double as a 9th grader

Comment by wbb 04.21.14 @ 6:47 pm

I am excited about the 4 star project , the 7′ little Dutch boy Dohrson.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 6:59 pm

With a big windmill in the middle and a bunch of over grown guards and fast forwards I can see Dixon working his system real well I the ACC.

Comment by spiritofsection22 04.21.14 @ 7:02 pm

Reed, Check my note on your townhouse at the end of the Football Clearance article. Let me know if you are interested.

Chas, Please feel free to give my e mail address to Reed if he requests it. Thanks.

Comment by OPFIM 04.21.14 @ 7:22 pm

Spirit, your absolutely correct about Jones. In two years, he’s going to remind some of Patterson a the 3.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 04.21.14 @ 7:44 pm

I really hope Artis doesn’t transfer because his offense could really be used with this team..however I understand if he does..cuz JD will tie his hands and not allow him to become the good scorer that he could be..

Comment by Keith 04.21.14 @ 7:51 pm

Enjoyed the basketball speculation! I think the upside is bright for this group of Panthers, especially Newkirk and Johnson. Hoping DJ is busting his rehab, wishing him well through the pain. If healthy no way he isn’t starting come ACC play! Howard you kinda stunned me with the Artis possibly leaving comment, how ya figure that one? Not challenging you just want to know what led you to that speculation??? Thought he wanted to be a Panther since high school? Hail to Pitt! Keep fighting Pitt baseball! Looking forward to the cold and Savage one on Reed and of course Anderson will beat out the V-Man 4 quarterback, just like Auburn was iron clad baby! UPone

Comment by UPone 04.21.14 @ 8:13 pm

@Spirit, you may be right about Jones. We’ve seen Patterson and Wannamaker develop and turn into great players by the time they were seniors.

But with Newkirk and Jeter cracking the lineup, I don’t see Jones getting much playing time unless Young moves to the “5”.

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 8:14 pm

All of a sudden….Western Pa. is a hotbed of basketball talent !

Is a repeat of 1974 season soon to follow !

22 straight wins….E8 !

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 8:16 pm

Jones is a 3 for now, if he shows any consistent outside shooting ability, could move to 2 until Rowan appears on campus.

We could have a really big team in a couple years if guys like Luther, Rowan & Johnson pan out.

JD will be in his half court glory.

Comment by Emel 04.21.14 @ 8:20 pm

Per Dixon Haughton is only going to play Center–no PF. It sounds to me like he is expected to start and be the man defending the paint and blocking shots.

As Johnson needs a year or two to get stronger per Dixon, also–he is definitely, I expect, going to redshirt.

Both signed LOIs per the official site so, IMHO, Pitt is done with bringing in anyone else for the class of 2014.

IMO, Uchebo gets a medical hardship to bring the roster down to the NCAA limit of 13. I truly doubt they bring in any more 2014 players or run anyone off. The only real need is for a center who is an offensive threat on anything more than putbacks. I don’t think there is anyone out there left that fits that bill.

Comment by pitt1972 04.21.14 @ 8:26 pm

@UPone, Here’s how I figure it:

1. Dixon will play the best defenders. Artis can improve, but he is not yet good at defense.

2. Jeter is good and can play the “4”. He may take Artis’ minutes.

Comment by Howard 04.21.14 @ 8:29 pm

OLSH ! OLSH! I’m a proud father of 4 OLSH grads.

Comment by alcofan 04.21.14 @ 9:51 pm

Foster played in AL spring game. Caught a few passes (1 TD). Finally may play this year.

Comment by Frank MD 04.21.14 @ 9:51 pm

Johnson is a great free throw shooter.

Comment by alcofan 04.21.14 @ 9:53 pm

@steve 1 and Emel – that year Sean Miller was hurt he had the same surgery I had had in high school – extra cartilege around the ankle joint restricting ankle movement and causing fatigue and pain. It effectively gives you a broken foot for six weeks and then a long time to build up stamina on it. I had both feet done, I can’t remember what Miller did.

From what I remember, him missing that year really hurt what could have been a very good team.

Comment by KeyboardKev 04.22.14 @ 6:45 am

Darrell Porter took over as point guard and did fine and had decent numbers (assists). However, the following year when Sean returned, you can see a much better offensive flow and halfcourt offense.

Comment by wbb 04.22.14 @ 7:26 am

i grew an inch reading this

Comment by paul shannon 04.22.14 @ 10:15 am

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