Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kobe Eubanks commits to Baylor

The Panthers lost out on their biggest remaining target for the 2014 class when 6'6" wing Kobe Eubanks chose Baylor over Pitt.  The Panthers will now hope more than ever that Detrick Mostella will become eligible.  Mostella was always the preferred choice for the Panthers because he's more talented, and more ready to contribute immediately, but he has been battling eligibility issues both in high school and prep school.

42 comments:

  1. I didn't realize that kid was 6' 6". We could have used that size.

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  2. This team needed some immediate 'real player's next year. As no one on the team now or presently committed is anywhere close to Lamar Patterson. And all the things he does for this team to even have any sort of offense. How can an East Coast kid, want to play in West Texas, in a hick town like Waco ? I just don't get how we continually don't land these kids, had an inroad too, with him being teammates with Damon Wilson. A big double yoi.

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    1. Because kids will go to school where they want to go to school... Not where fans want them to go or where fans think someone should "logically" go. There are plenty of kids who don't want to stay near home.

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    2. Lamar pretty much came out of no where. I'm not saying that he was a scrub before this season, but did you honestly expect from what you've seen from him the last few years that he would make this big of a leap?

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  3. He seemed to have Pitt in front the whole time. This def stings. Ill just rewatch Mostella's dunk footage and cross my fingers because without him we may average 40ppg next year

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  4. Officially, Pitt doesn't have any scholarships to give out.
    Unofficially, who is leaving?
    Don't wait for Mostella, that ship sailed. Similar to the Schenley kid Kane that is now at ISU. (Schenley to prep to Marshall to ISU) Mostella left Notre Dame in December so he is not even close to eligible.

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  5. Look like the two guard spot will be manned by Wright and Newkirk next season and then mostly by Newkirk in 2015-16. Maybe Durand slides over to burn minutes there? I really wanted Eubanks as I have zero hope for Mostella. The fact Kobe is Damon Wilson's high school teammate makes it tougher to swallow.

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  6. Chris, What are chances Mostella ends up at Pitt?

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  7. Chris,
    First, no way is Eubanks 6'6''. Most sites have him as either 6'4'' or 6'5''. I think he is closer to 6'3''. Still 6'3'' is a decent size for a shooting guard and I was hoping he would be become a Panther. He might have been able to contribute right away.
    For some reason, the talk on some Baylor sites is that he will redshirt next year. I don't believe that.
    Also, can you explain the logic of Maverick Rowan staying in the class of 2016? I can't think of any reason why he would not reclassify to 2015 unless there was an academic issue, which doesn't seem to be the case.Seems like he would be better off redshirting at Pitt to add strength and learn solid defensive rather than spending another year at Lincoln Park scoring 30 points per game against overmatched competition.Are they just waiting to reclassify?
    love the blog, by the way...especially for recruiting news.

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    1. His coach told me that he measured him at 6'5" and that he expects that he'll be 6'6". As I can't measure him myself I have to trust him on that.

      As for Rowan, I don't know why he wouldn't come in 2015. It seems to make a lot more sense for everybody involved.

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  8. Let him go ... Eubanks will require more compensation once Johnathan "JJ" Moore and his compatriots win their antitrust suit against the NCAA. Pitt is going to need to hire a "moneyball" type of analyst to determine cost-benefit of potential players going forward.

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  9. Next year, I believe we have 2 guys who can possibly take over a game ... a healthy Durand Johnson and Josh Newkirk. Artis, Young and occasionally Robinson will have their moments.

    I like the depth at every position except for center .. but with the other options on this team, a defensive presence underneath should work nicely.

    bill

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  10. so what is the deal with mostella. does anybody ever ask him what he plans to do. is he going to get his grades in order is he looking for help, does he care. i find it hard to think that he cant do enough to get to college. does pitt still want him. why is he not in prep school now. is he a bad kid or what. this entire situation seems crazy. on his twitter se acts like there is nothing wrong and everything is going to plan. if he does make it to pitt next yr and he is the starter period because the kid can play basketball

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  11. Basketball's really not my thing, but I did glance at Rivals today. Pitt's 2014 recruiting class is one 3* and 3 not ranked kids. Really, that's the best they can do??

    Sorry, but that's pathetic. Especially when I look at the Rivals 150 list and see 5* and 4* kids going to freaking Seton Hall, VCU, Xavier, Providence, UConn, etc.

    One of the most winning teams over the last decade, who hired back an ace recruiter, achieved signing one 3* and some kids they found at the Sheets!! That my friends, is the definition of being a poor recruiter.

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    1. I really wish some of you would do some research before you say such uninformative things. Syracuse had nothing but 3 stars in 2009. UConn had only one player, a 3 star, in 2007. I could go down the list for everybody but pretty much Duke, UNC, and Kansas.

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    2. the 3 unranked kids are jeter, Haughton, and doorson. jeter and Haughton are jucos, which aren't ranked by rivals. jeter is an athletic 6'8" sf who can shoot and Haughton is an elite shot blocker and a good rebounder. both will likely start immediately. how is that poor recruiting?

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    3. Like I said, I'm not basketball guy so I have to rely on what's available. Rivals list of top 30 teams for 2014 doesn't show Pitt but:
      Maryland (#9)
      Seton Hall (#10)
      Georgetown (#11)
      Xavier (#15)
      Providence (#22)

      To me, all lower profile programs that would recruit in the same regions as Pitt. JD should be able to out recruit these schools especially with their history of winning and they should be compared to Syracuse, Duke, NC, and Kansas.

      This isn't the football team that's been average over the past 30 years, this is one of the best basketball programs in the nation. The standards should be high and while I'm not saying they should have all 5*'s, but come on.

      Also would guess those UConn and Syracuse teams had more existing 4*'s on them than Pitt does currently (believe Robinson and Young are it) so I could understand them having an off year.

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    4. Chris - Syracuse had nothing but three star recruits in 2009, but in the 5 year period directly around that 2007-2011, they got three 5-star guys and seven 4-star guys. I am a Pitt fan, I am not the biggest Dixon fan ever but respect his overall Win-Loss record and also believe we would not be able to land a coach that would be better. So defend him on those points if you want, I'll buy it, but to try to defend him as a recruiter by cherry-picking one below-average recruiting year for Syracuse doesn't really make sense. Dixon has not recruited well, "Star-ratings" don't mean everything but NBA players and past tournament performance are at least decent evidence to that fact. He recruits low-talent guys and coaches them up, and he's pretty good at it. Also, Pittsburgh is not exactly the center of the basketball-talent universe, but come on, you can't really come out and say oh look at this ONE YEAR Syracuse recruited poorly and one year UConn did so Pitt has done fine. What's Pitt's recruiting class ranked in the ACC for next year?

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    5. Not to belabor the point but just by comparison, 2007-2011 for pitt was two 5-stars and two 4-stars. However, the 5-star guys were Dante Taylor and Khem Birch, so yikes. I have no doubt this is because Syracuse is a more established program, better tradition, more history of winning, etc. So I fully realize WHY pitt doesn't recruit that well, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

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    6. Whoever said that Pitt recruits better than Syracuse? Of course they don't. Winning a championship will always make a program recruit better.

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    7. PK - Nothing is wrong with them unless there were higher ranked kids at those positions that went to lesser programs. There's a 5* kid (J. Lyle) that's not committed in WV. I don't know anything about him but... Any top player in the Northeast to Midwest should be in play but for many of them, don't even see Pitt on their list.

      I also believe in the thinking if you have to pull in juco's, you're not doing a good job handling your initial recruiting.

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    8. People need to stop focusing on the stars when it comes to Pitt recruiting. When Pitt was the best program in the BE from 2001-08, how many highly recruited kids were going through their program? Very few, if any (except Blair.).

      As has been stated in other posts, what has hurt Pitt in recent years has been transfers and kids leaving early. The Howland/Dixon method is to have kids in their program for 4-5 years and have established upperclassmen as the core of your rotation every year. That hasn't happened recently when you have flops like Taylor, quitters like Birch and kids leave early like Adams.

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  12. The last I looked Pitt had a top 50 PG and top 5 center two years ago, had three very successful freshmen this year, lead for a top 10 center in 2015, and already have commitments from a top 75 local, and a top 15 guard. I mean, seriously, it's like some Pitt fans will twist anything to be depressed.

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    1. Disagree that I'm trying to twist anything to be depressed.

      JD is a great coach who has brought Pitt to great success. But with that comes higher expectations. You may want to focus on 2015 but that doesn't mean he should get a pass for 2014. And I don't see a lot of success there in recruiting especially when comparing to other lesser programs.

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    2. Amen, Chris. Pitt-ogynists far outnumber rationale fans on the internet.

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    3. lets just look in the acc. nc state and Maryland have had very highly rated classes for several of the past few years. nc state barely made it to the tournament and its because tj warren is as good of an individual player as there is in college basketball. if hes not on their team they probably have 12 wins this year despite landing a ton of top recruits. Maryland wasn't even a bubble team despite beating Virginia late in the year.

      if dixon is landing kids that can contribute early and, more importantly, develop to be really good players then we should all be happy regardless of their star rankings. I mean, newkirk is playing really really well right now and both artis and young are solid players already and they will certainly improve.

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    4. What's being left out of this conversation is that the program's development approach has been sverly altered in the last few years, mainly because of some subpar recruiting. The Pitt program was essentiall based on having kids stay in the program for 4-5 years and consistently having a core group of experienced upperclassmen. That approach went out the window when you had kids like Dante Taylor staying here for four years and never really developing into anything, and some kids that turned out to be mediocre at best.

      With Slice coming back, the recruiting has picked up, that should not come as a surprise to anyone. Knight has finally developed enough contacts as well, which also helps in landing better players.

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    5. I think the lull in recruiting Pitt is experiencing right now has as much to do with a variety of unfortunate circumstances stemming from 2011 and 2012 as it has to do with anything else. The 2011 Pitt team was a national championship contender, I don't care what anyone says, and it had the potential to be Jamie Dixon's masterpiece. A well balanced, unselfish basketball team that played great all year with no NBA talent. Then came March. First, Kemba Walker knocked Pitt out of the Big East Tournament with a last second shot, then came the meltdown against Butler. The Butler thing was mostly unlucky, first of all to draw such a good team in the second round, then to have Shelvin Mack make everything he pulled out of his ass in the second half, then the crazy finish. I think on a national level, the disappointment of that post-season left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of potential recruits. The program looked cursed. Then came the 2011 recruiting class, on paper the best of Dixon's career that within 2 years blew up in his face as the most disastrous class any program has faced in recent memory. Two top ten centers, Birch and Gilbert, transferred. A borderline top-100 player in John Johnson, who looked promising when he was pressed into the lineup his freshman year, also transferred when he was forced back to the bench. The only player left, Durand Johnson, now has a blown ACL. They managed to fill the hole at center with Steven Adams, who promptly bolted for the NBA after one year. This combination of circumstances has put Dixon into a difficult situation, just as his team was changing conferences. He found himself with holes in his lineup he needed to fill with competent players, but he had to do it late in the recruiting period because of the unexpected departures. By this point most of the best recruits were already spoken for. This is the reason for the influx of JUCO centers, the Randall transfer, and the Mostella affair. At the same time, the stain on the program from the lack of March success has strained the ability of the coaching staff to attract really good offensive players. The next two classes are shaping up nicely, and Dixon is going to start putting together a winner, I think, starting in 2015-16. If Doorson and Haughton can play, and this is questionable at this point with the lack of film available for either, it is possible that they'll be matched with Newkirk, Young, Artis, Jeter, Damon Wilson, Mustafa Heron, Maverick Rowan and possibly Cheick Diallo in 2016-17. That would be a tremendous team.

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  13. Just out of curiosity, are you just pretending like I didn't just point out that this goes on at every school?

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  14. We went from a shit program to a legit basketball school under Dixon. You people are crazy.

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  15. Losing Eubanks is a disappointment because all signs point to Mostella not being eligible. I don't think there can be much honest debate about whether this year's recruiting is subpar - and I think Dixon has under recruited compared to his wins - but any honest fan will also acknowledge that the holes on the roster have significantly more to do with the transfers and the NBA than recruiting. If Khem Birch or Steve Adams were still on this team no one would have any complaints and we'd be a Final 4 contender.

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    1. Exactly!

      If we had Adams, Birch, and DeAndre Kane chose Pitt; #1 Seed and favorite to win it all.

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  16. Recruiting is an art as much as a science .. stars, schmars .... some kids live up to the hype some don't. I think we hit a rough patch the last several years with a lot of inconsistent players and guys that didn't develop much, if at all. I see that as behind us with the current class of Young, Artis, Newkirk and Jones - plus the incoming guys penciled in for the next 2 years. What we have accomplished, with the lack of 4&5* guys that people are complaining about in this thread, is exceptional. I'm a big fan but also a realist .. c'mon, Pitt and Pittsburgh are not some paradise of a place that kids are tripping over themselves to come to. Yeah, we all love it and call it home or called it our home during college, but it is what it is. Sure, a national title or two will improve its image as a basketball program and help it draw better talent but will do nothing to change geography.

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    1. Kids don't care about that. Have you ever been to Syracuse, Storrs, or Waco?

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    2. yes .. to Syracuse and Storrs ... however, both of those places (and programs) have seen national titles. Currently, much better likelihood of winning a title and making it to the NBA via those towns. If 5* were recruited by Pitt, Cuse and UConn ... how many times would Pitt win?

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  17. Anyone who is a Pitt fan that doesn't absolutely LOVE Jamie Dixon is a fool. And you probably are not old enough to actually remember what Pitt was like in basketball for many, many years. We are lucky Jamie is our coach. We are lucky Jamie has stayed despite having many chances to bail for more money or a more fertile recruiting ground. To blame Jamie for the fickle nature of 16 and 17 year old kids is misguided. Jamie gets good kids in, coaches them up and then they contribute for multiple years. That's a hell of a model in today's era of One and Done. I certainly want Pitt to get to a Final Four and ultimately win the whole enchilada. And I for one believe Dixon is the best chance for that to happen. HTP.

    I love this blog and appreciate the insight and discussion of Pitt, but the Dixon bashing needs to stop.

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  18. The most important thing you have to understand about basketball recruiting is that it is completely different than football recruiting. You cannot draw comparisons of success while using standards or assumptions based upon what goes on in football recruiting.

    For one, there are 351 Division 1 schools in basketball versus ~120 or so FBS Football programs. Of these, there are about 200 schools that can realistically compete for a basketball championship (with the right coach); whereas if you're not one of the 64 BCS conference schools or Notre Dame, you are administratively locked out of competing for a football championship. That's a serious advantage in recruiting for the far fewer schools with a chance in football. For instance, in basketball, if Memphis wants to win a national championship, it can realistically attract a high-level coach who will bring in NBA talent (e.g., Derrick Rose) and compete. Memphis in football has zero chance, even if they hired Nick Saban or Pete Carroll, because 4 and 5-star football players aren't going to a school where, at best, they get to play in the Fiesta Bowl versus a 4-loss Oklahoma team. There is FAR more competition for elite talent in basketball than there is in football. It's not even close.

    Second, football recruiting is tied geographically to regions, because unlike basketball, there is no AAU circuit where players can travel around the country on club teams made up of the best players in the country and play in weekend tournaments, all year round. There also aren't a network of prep school football factory high schools that recruit nationally. This is all to say that high school basketball players travel more, and thus are far more exposed to "other places", and therefore will be more likely to venture out of their home region to go to college than a football player who grew up with dreams of winning "States" for the Killeen Kangaroos, and then go to play for the Longhorns. It's nothing for a Florida kid to finish high school in New Jersey, and then go to Baylor for college. That RARELY happens in football. The other thing about the AAU circuit is that many of these elite player know each other, even though they come from different parts of the country. Therefore the opportunity to form friendships and play at the same university presents itself more in basketball.

    Another difference is the professional league policies that elite players have to submit to are different for either sport. This speaks more to the one-and-done player that everyone seems to want. The NFL requires players to spend at least three years after high school (most often at one college) before turning pro. Basketball requires one year, and that is often an obligatory "pay your dues" situation. I've salted away a year at a time in some unsavory places, and it's not nearly the commitment that three years would have been. Staying close to home is better if you have to wait three years to move up, especially when you're not used to traveling anyway. For basketball players, this is more like another one-year adventure, after you've already been on several others.

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  19. Here's a big dose of reality for those who practice Ron Cook's orthodoxy: Pitt is a top-25 PROGRAM in the country, out of 351 other programs. That's more significant than many yinzer talking-heads want to credit the athletic department with. This has been a wildly-successful season, especially given the current youth and recent turnover in the roster.
    I'd take the past 13 years of Pitt's program over Marquette's, Xavier's or Oklahoma State's (or George Mason's, or VCU's) any day. It's been better even without the final four. And if the talent at Pitt was as poor as some contend, they wouldn't be going to their 12th NCAA tournament in 13 years. They wouldn't have been able to compete as consistently with the best teams in the ACC as they did this season, albeit with an unusual number of frustrating losses. Pitt has a lot of players that many other schools would take, even if Scout doesn't list them. And they're competing with the best programs for elite talent on an annual basis. This wasn't happening 10 years ago.
    I'd like to see an analysis of one-and-done players to see the relative success they've had at their respective programs. I'm willing to bet there are far-more Steven Adamses than Derrick Roses, even though everyone associates the one-and-done with Rose-like talent. Seriously, how many freshmen guards have dominated the NCAA tournament, then gone on to start in the NBA and become an all-star as a rookie? I think Dixon's approach has been solid in this respect. The program isn't built to annually replace a lineup, nor is that realistic or even optimal. He does need better (see: elite) scorers in the backcourt, but I'd trust that he knows that.

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    1. Nice write-up and I agree with most of what you have to say. But in your opinion, do you think JD and staff have done a great job recruiting the 2014 class?

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    2. I'd say yes, that he's done a great job recruiting this year, because he's not only recruiting seniors, but juniors and sophomores who have MAJOR potential. He wasn't signing an elite prospect this year, so he moved on to underclassmen, which is a smart move. You have to be thinking years in advance in basketball because nobody gets elite players every year, outside of three or four schools in the country. Check out Indiana's haul this year - not elite. They've been on a recent upswing, but check out the Syracuse 2008 & 2009 classes. Boeheim was forming relationships with Michael Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas while recruiting was "down" during the previous years. Dixon is doing much of the same now, with Diallo & Herron, and has Pitt in position to get those guys.

      Dixon's been able to sign a five-star player in three of the last five recruiting classes, which is superb recruiting. Even though there's none this year, he's set the program up to potentially sign a few more over the next two-to-three years, which you can't say for about 325 other programs.

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  20. OK, with the blow out win over Colorado, now everyone can discuss how we will do against Florida. Too bad Pitt looked so good, now Florida will be up for the game. I do not see Pitt losing by more than 10 points and possibly even throwing a scare into them.

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  21. Is it possible that Pitt received some good news about Mostella and maybe eased away from Eubanks? I'm not asking, not suggesting.

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