June 2, 2014

Basketball Notes, 6/2

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:43 am

One week left until the summer vacation starts for the kids. Which for the first time for them — and me — means camps most of the summer. No more staying home with dad all summer to do stuff. No longer. Everyone is working outside the house this year. Not sure how much really changes for theirs or my schedule. Other than everyone being a little more sweaty from the activities.

Speaking of camp. 2016 verbal commit to Pitt basketball, Maverick Rowan, has been selected to the US contingent for the Adidas EURORCAMP in July.

The team includes top sophomore and junior high school players in the country. Included on the team are five juniors and five sophomores. Among the top juniors are Carlton Bragg,’s No. 10 junior in the country. Other juniors are Dante Hales (No. 11) and Brandon Ingram (No. 24). Among the sophomores are 7-footer Thon Maker (No. 3 in the country), Dennis Smith (No. 16), De’Ron Davis (No. 23) and Kobi Simmons (No. 28).

The team will play against top international players who are eligible for this year’s NBA draft. The EUROCAMP is the only NBA-sanctioned pre-draft camp sanctioned by the NBA that is held outside the U.S.

“It’s a very big deal,” said Rowan. “Basically, we go over there and plays kids overseas who are training for the draft.”

Some very good company.

The Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am season starts this month. Quaint, cramped Greentree is giving way to McKees Rock.

This year, admission will still be free while the league upgrades its location to Montour High School’s athletic complex in McKees Rocks, Pa. Games — starting June 23 — are on Mondays and Wednesdays, but the addition of another court at Montour will allow two games to be played at once, at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively.

In recent years, people have flocked from surrounding states — some from as far as 2 1/2 hours away — to watch the fusion of the region’s basketball talents clash in pickup-style games. Players from Pitt, Robert Morris University and Duquesne University participate in the league, as do players from West Virginia, Penn State, Youngstown State and other schools within driving distance.

The Greentree establishment, which hosted games for seven years, is part of a building that appeals to sentiment more than to the comfort of players and their fans — the bleachers are too small, there is no cell phone reception and soccer balls from the court’s neighboring indoor field often whack Pro-Am’s spectators in the back.

[Pro-Am league directore, John] Giammarco gives credit to Pitt’s men’s basketball coach, Jamie Dixon, for its development.

“[I was] at the [2006] Final Four in Indianapolis. I basically made the left at Albuquerque and I bumped right into coach,” Giammarco said. “Pittsburgh Basketball Club’s high school leagues are [120 teams deep], and just through small talk, he said, ‘How come we don’t have one of these for the college guys?’ and I said ‘Coach, I never thought about it.”

While quickly preparing for its first season, Giammarco first saw the difficulties involved in directing a college-level summer league. The players wanted to play, but the NCAA complicated things.

The NCAA sets geographic restrictions to ensure its players don’t travel too far to play in semiweekly games during the summer. The organization has a rule stating only players who either live or go to school less than 100 miles from the site of games may participate in a league.

Additionally, there’s a rule limiting the number of players per summer team who attend the same school. This year, the rule has been tweaked, primarily because of increases in “one and dones,” transfers and incoming freshmen at high-level programs.

“What’s going to change this year, you can only have two kids [from a program] per team no matter what year they are,” Sammy D’Agostino, commissioner of the Pro-Am, said. The rule used to be allowed a team, as long as long as they were freshmen or transfers, could have more than a couple players from the same school. ” As a result, rosters will have a hodgepodge of players.

With Sheldon Jeter eligible this year, I’m sure there will be eyes on him and how he does in the summer league with his teammates. Not to mention Junior College transfer Tyrone Haughton.

CBS Sports takes a quick look at the ACC. Not much on Pitt, but they expect Pitt to be among the top-5 in the conference once more.

Pitt’s 3 future commits (D Wilson, M Heron and especialy M Rowan) have seemingly done well in the AAU circuit these past months according to several twwets and write-ups. What I also read is that both Heron and Rowan are being watched by Slice and UK (and several other schools) as is Cheik Diallo, the center for the same school that Wilson plays for and previously was supposedly a Pitt lean.

All 3 of the aforementioned commits are huge gets, just hope they get here … but all are guards. Pitt needs some big bodies in the near future.

Chas was right on in citing Haughton and Jeter as being the focus for the summer league. These guy can be very needed additions for this cominr yesar.

Comment by wbb 06.02.14 @ 7:55 am

The Browns, who already have D Lewis, J Sheard, J Pinkston, and J Hendricks on current roster, just signed Aaron Berry.

Comment by wbb 06.02.14 @ 9:09 am

Any ideas on any of the transfer names we heard floating around in April and May??

Is there a date they have to decide??

Still some there, or is that already done??

Can’t think of the names right now, but there were 3 or 4 guys, that had Pitt in their final list of 4 or 5 schools.

Comment by Dan 06.02.14 @ 9:34 am

It is the start of another week with no word from Frankcan… We miss your posts Frank and are concerned about you, how about checking in.

Comment by spiritofsection22 06.02.14 @ 10:04 am

The Browns are idiots!

Comment by Dan 72 06.02.14 @ 12:12 pm

Reed, Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner on your son’s house. I did spread the word among extended family members but the kids who might be interested in a starter home aren’t at this time due to graduating college and starting career jobs or going to graduate school, hence are not yet ready. Since it is reasonably priced I’m guessing it will move soon if it hasn’t already. Best of luck with it and I’ll keep my ears open just in case.

I’m glad there is some basketball news since it sure is a down time for football news. The fact that we worry about Kentucky stealing our basketball recruits shows how well regarded Pitt is in the big time. It’s also indicated by Jamie Dixon’s trip to the White House.

No news isn’t necessarily bad news since most of the college football news I see in the Baltimore Sun seems to be about players from other teams whose off the field behavior has merited the attention of law enforcement authorities. It’s happening in the pros too with most of the Ravens running backs falling into that category. The old joke has been revived that the first page of the Raven’s play book is the players Miranda rights. HTP, OPFIM

Comment by OPFIM 06.02.14 @ 12:44 pm

In a way, it’s a major joke that (1) Ravens’ RB Ray Rice (knoocking out his girlfriend) and (2) Colts Owner Bob Irsay (caught with drugs, $29k in a bag, and high) may not get penalized by the NFL, yet Browns’ WR Gordon may get a year for pot (using, not selling.)

Comment by wbb 06.02.14 @ 1:33 pm

Has Jamie found his “SLICE” replacement yet?

Comment by PittofDreams 06.02.14 @ 1:35 pm

wbb, Couldn’t agree more! OPFIM

Comment by OPFIM 06.02.14 @ 1:39 pm

A topic that was discussed a couple days ago here .. where does JD rank as a coach?

25th according to this ESPN article (at least he’s better than Higgy Bear)

link to

Comment by wbb 06.02.14 @ 1:59 pm

And Robert Mathis got 4 games for using Clomid.

Comment by Pitt Dad 06.02.14 @ 2:00 pm

Will be interesting to see how Haughton performs in summer league. Depending on advancement of last year’s frosh and integration of newcomers, I expect Pitt to be in the 5-7 range this year within ACC. CBS may be a little high at #5 but other teams have lost some top talent and/or reloaded with wait-and-see potential big names. Grant back at ND certainly changes their expectations. Can’t wait.

Comment by Tomas 06.02.14 @ 2:43 pm

CBS sports seems to think our starting backcourt is a strength ?

I on the other hand see it as a weakness. Neither can shoot very well from 3, neither can penetrate and finish at the rim very well, with Wright being somewhat better of the two. The last 2 years, JR would give the ball up to first Woodall and last year, Lamar to run the offense. As he just didn’t have the skill sets to do it.

So who gets it this year ?

Comment by Emel 06.02.14 @ 2:44 pm

Btw meant skill set !

And 5th place would be great with what we got.

I’d love 1rst place but don’t see that unless we come out with some sort of unique defense that creates many many turnovers and easy baskets off those turnovers.

Comment by Emel 06.02.14 @ 2:54 pm

Wright has the (offensive) skills of a SF imho, so he’s out of position as a SG, as Zanna was out of position as a Center. It’s more about finding the right mix of players though. But I agree, it’s much easier to defend against a team that cannot shoot the 3 with any consistency. Would be really nice to see this aspect of the team improve soon, though I don’t see if happening next season.

Comment by 1618mt 06.02.14 @ 2:59 pm

JD number 25 on ESPN list of College Hoops Geniuses (top coaches)…see ESPN website for complete list…H2P!!!

Comment by Jerry S 06.02.14 @ 3:01 pm


Comment by alcofan 06.02.14 @ 6:26 pm

Montour HS is in Robinson Twp. (McKees Rocks zip code) hard place to find, expect to see lots of lost players, hope they follow Cam Johnston to the gym.

Comment by alcofan 06.02.14 @ 6:29 pm

upitt’s favorite coach is right behind JD at #26. haha

wonder how high his brother and PITT alum will be ranked ?

Comment by Emel 06.02.14 @ 7:30 pm

Durand Johnson started doing sprints. Sounds like the rehab is going well.

Comment by Nick 06.02.14 @ 11:29 pm

Just tell Frankcan we recruited two big ole maulers on the O and D lines and he’ll come round.

Comment by Gordo 06.03.14 @ 12:25 am

Hurry Pitt! Hire an assistant coach stat! PittofDreams is losing his freakin’ mind.

Comment by Gordo 06.03.14 @ 12:33 am

I know I am guilty of saying, “why do they play the summer league in this tiny, hot, crowded gym? Why don’t they use a nice high school gym?” Well, I should be careful of what I wish for…..because I just might get it.

Greentree, for all its faults, gave hoops fanatics a unique view of the players and the games.

I, for one, am going to miss standing against the wall because there were no seats available, listening to some of the coaches talk about the players, standing next to the players at the water fountain and sizing them up. But mostly, I am going to miss going to Vincent’s in Greentree and having a few pops before (and sometimes after) the games.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 06.03.14 @ 8:27 am

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