May 19, 2017

Still Trying to Add Pieces

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:11 am

I don’t know about you, but I needed to do a refresher on Pitt’s scholarship roster before even talking about the remaining recruiting stuff.

Returning players:

Ryan Luther, Forward, Senior

Jonathan Milligan, Guard, Senior

Zach Smith, Guard, Senior

Incoming freshmen:

Marcus Carr, Guard

Khameron Davis, Guard

Shamiel Stevenson, Small Forward

Terrell Brown, Power Forward

Peace Ilegomah, Center

Junior College Transfer:

Jared Wilson-Frame, Guard

Transfer (sits for 2017-18)

Malik Ellison, Guard, Junior from St. John’s

Graduate Transfer (only for 2017-18)

Monty Boykins, Guard, from Lafayette

That leaves Pitt with 2-3 scholarships available for the upcoming season. Zach Smith is a walk-on, but was given a scholarship this past season. Unless Pitt gets three more players, he will remain on scholarship for the upcoming season.

Malik Ellison became official yesterday.

Monty Boykins made his decision earlier this week.

As a junior during the 2015-16 season, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 10.7 points and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 38.4 percent from the field 35.8 percent from 3-point range. He appeared in just one game last season — an 88-48 season-opening loss against Villanova — a contest in which he strained the sternoclavicular joint in his shoulder. The injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season.

Penn State was also after him. Boykins has battled injuries from high school through college. If he can stay healthy, he at least provides another body in the backcourt. Boykins also makes it more probable that Khameron Davis will redshirt this season.

There is another graduate transfer that Pitt is awaiting a decision. Mark Alstork, formerly of Wright State. He was all-Horizon League last year and averaged 19 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. His perimeter shooting is adequate at 38.7%, but does attack the basket and shoots nearly 85% from the free throw line. The guard has been one of the top graduate transfers out there this spring.

I had assumed that with Boykins announcing he was coming to Pitt, that Alstork had let Pitt know they were not one of his final choices. Nope.

Yesterday Alstork narrowed his choice down to Pitt, LSU, Illinois and South Carolina. Georgetown and Louisville were among the schools chasing him. South Carolina, while coming off a Final Four appearance, is the only program on the list not in a rebuilding mode. Both LSU and Illinois have new coaches.

Alstork original timeline was to announce this weekend, but he took more visits then expected and is pushing the decision to later.

“Comfort” is what Alstork said was the one common denominator of his final four.

He originally planned to announce his decision Saturday but Thursday night he said he most likely will push his announcement back to a later date to be determined.

I imagine also being assured of being a starter and at least part of the focus on offense would be part of his approach. Alstork would definitely get that at Pitt, where it is obvious that the offense is going to be very focused on the guards. At 6-6, the guard has the size and strength to drive to the basket — which he has shown a great willingness to do.

Pitt is certainly looking at other graduate transfers that are forwards and centers. But the pickings aren’t great. Pitt almost needs to get at least one more frontcourt player to at least give an occasional  breather for the three on the roster.



Can’t be many big men left out there. KS needs to pull a rabbit out his hat.

He should have sold out to keep Maginault (SP?).

Comment by notrocketscience 05.19.17 @ 8:13 am

Not only should Khameron Davis be redshirting, Peace is not going to be ready either. If Stallings can make that roster competitive, I’ll be the first to eat crow but I just don’t see how this thing works out.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.19.17 @ 8:28 am

Has anyone broken down the past recruiting classes since Pitt was a number 1 seed? I think it was 2010. How did JD capitalize on that ranking and visibility where Pitt was talked about as a top program? I think that JD basically frittered away the opportunity..

Comment by VoiceofReason 05.19.17 @ 8:58 am

I hope we can land Alstork he would be huge for us next year and I think the offense would be focused around him. I have no idea where we will be next year but there is alot of work to do this off-season.

Comment by PittPanFan 05.19.17 @ 11:05 am

TT, I’ll join you for a healthy plate of crow if they win. Just not enough pieces. Coaching is a much smaller piece of the pie than talent.

Comment by The Hagen 05.19.17 @ 11:27 am

Hey Chas….I’m curious why Coach Dixon’s Twitter page is still a link under the Pitt BB links? Is this just a cruel prank???

Comment by The Hagen 05.19.17 @ 11:30 am

VoR, I’ll bite. Pitt was a #1 seed in 2011. Pitt has been a #1 twice in history and both were under Dixon.

The 2010 and 2011 classes were disasters with only Cam Wright exhausting his eligibility at Pitt. The players who left accomplished little. IMO this is where the program started what you would probably characterize as a plummet.

2012 saw 4* James Robinson 5* Steven Adams and, I believe, 2* Chris Jones. 2013 saw 4* Michael Young and 3-4* Jamel Artis. 2014 saw 2* Cameron Johnson, 2-3* Ryan Luther and former Stallings recruit Sheldon Jeter (3*). 2015 saw Juco and former 3* Jonathan Milligan, 4* Damon Wilson and all the grad transfers (Maia, ANO and Smith). 2016 saw 3-4* Justice Kithcart, 3* Corey Manigault and Juco Crishawn Clark (former 2-3*).

4-5* Maverick Rowan and Mustapha Heron decommitted in 2014 or 2015.

JD still somehow made a postseason tournament every year (winning CBI in 2012 after graduating 3 starters) and the NCAA tournament 3 times (even winning a game over a higher seeded team) after “frittering away” whatever opportunity was available after 2011. Given Stallings demonstrated coaching ability and his current recruiting class even you may be looking at the 2012-2016 years with a bit of reverence.

Comment by Barvo 05.19.17 @ 12:22 pm

Barvo – agreed. Plus, with a new AD and new money being funneled into the athletic department, Dixon would have been able to pay for an upgrade with assistants to go along with a better recruiting budget. This year’s class would be the fresh start the program needed. Plus, who knows what happens with Mannigault and Kithcart. Additionally, I feel comfortable assuming Dixon would have brought in a PG grad-transfer vs. experimenting with Artis at the point.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.19.17 @ 12:45 pm

Thanks for the excellent summary, Barvo. As I look at those names, there are very few what I’d call premier plays there, except for Adams,Young and Artis. At least based on college production over their careers so far. Did any of the departed ones (besides Adams)do much at the colleges they transferred to? At least Newkirk started for Indiana although not extremely productive. JD somehow squeezed some NCAA tournament bids out of them, but overall, I still believe he frittered away the recruiting value of the No. 1 seeds.

Comment by VoiceofReason 05.19.17 @ 4:09 pm

Easy non-con schedules also helped to pad the win column…

Comment by VoiceofReason 05.19.17 @ 4:13 pm

I’m tired of the constant rewriting of history with Dixon. Seems so UNREASONABLE. What is the purpose? He’s gone. VOR should be ecstatic. Why the need to bring him up? Dixon was a phenomenal representative of the University. I am an appreciative alum for how he conducted himself and the effort he put forth and most of the results he achieved. A stark contrast to the current coach in every way.

Comment by Will 05.19.17 @ 11:43 pm

I do not like KS but this year is when we see if he can coach. I do not mean win but coach. He will shape this team his way and that must include defense, scoring, teamwork and not giving up. If the team does that KS should get another year to show if he can win. My fear all along is that he can recruit but can he coach. Now I worry about both. He probably will be likeable if the pressure is off though his manner is not someone I would want to go to war with.

Comment by AkDave 05.20.17 @ 7:12 am

Mostly agree with Will above.

What I wonder is how we pay HCKS what seems like huge dollars compared to HCPN’s 1.8M. Is that all on Barnes? Stupidity/arrogance? If so, why was Barnes allowed to hang around an extra second once he decided he needed to make his move back west.

I hope to but may never forget that jackass at the media event announcing KS….Barnes=ass or maybe more accurate Barnes<<ass. Why denigrate an ass.

Comment by TVax1 05.20.17 @ 10:57 am

Jared Wilson-Frame does not need to sit out a year I believe, and yes, he is a talented player!

Comment by Gordo 05.22.17 @ 2:34 am


With the roster listed above and assuming no additional players we are headed for last place in the ACC. Also there
wont be any easy games in the non con. Yikes. How it get to this????

Comment by JR 05.23.17 @ 4:05 pm

Powered by WordPress ©

Site Meter