First of all, I'm not going to make a big deal about this but I am no longer tweeting. I am still on there because a lot of coaches and prospects contact me through there and it's too difficult to change that, but like I said, I'm over Twitter. It takes up just too much time. For my real job I am writing on the computer a lot so I can easily keep abreast of things on Twitter. But now my career is taking off and I don't have time to continually look on there. My wife and I are also going to be traveling a lot more and I don't want to have to worry about keeping up with what people are tweeting. As for this blog, I may continue it for a day or a year, I don't know, but I will announce with a post when I'm done so that people aren't waiting around for a post that doesn't come.
One last thing I want to say about Twitter, because I want to set the record straight, is this Donovan Jeter incident. Not long after Jeter tweeted something about Penn State having a lot more people at their game than Pitt, I tweeted that there are two WPIAL prospects whose attitudes I don't like, and that I hope they don't end up at Pitt. I guess the timing made people think I was talking about Jeter, but what people chose to ignore is that I immediately followed it up with a tweet that neither of those players in question are going to end up at Pitt or Penn State. The obvious implication, or so I thought, is that both aren't high major prospects. One has gang ties and one has a sexual assault charge. If I had to guess I think Jeter will end up at Pitt, so he didn't fit the description in any way. I can see why Penn State people took it and ran with it to make myself and Pitt look bad, but what's sad is that there were Pitt "fans" that did the same. And that's kinda pathetic that some crazy Pitt fans try to take out a Pitt writer. I can take crazy Penn State fans because that's a given, but when Pitt fans try to sink you too then it was obvious that Twitter is a pretty messed up place. And the fact that the poor kid felt compelled to apology over such an innocuous comment makes the situation even more tragic. Lastly, I've been doing this for twelve years and I've never been accused of trashing a kid for saying something bad about Pitt, or for any other reason. I couldn't be doing this for so long if I did such things. Look at the media, coaches, players, etc. that follow me on Twitter. These people wouldn't follow me if I did such things.
Now on to actual sports. As of now I would pick not only Jeter to Pitt eventually, but also Damar Hamlin and Paris Ford. If it happens as I see it, they will be three big thoroughbreds in Pat Narduzzi's defense for the future. And imagine a future secondary with Hamlin, Ford, and Jordan Whitehead.
I also see Kaezon Pugh eventually committing to Pitt if the grades are there. His top four of Pitt, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Rutgers is very telling. A player with his talent should have much better options, but the grades are a problem. If the grades aren't up to snuff then West Virginia may be his best option.
As for others, I see Aaron Matthews and Rashad Wheeler to Pitt, Lamont Wade I would predict to Ohio State, and Robert Hainsey to Penn State. I don't have a feeling yet for Josh Lugg, CJ Thorpe, David Adams, Khaleke Hudson, and Therran Coleman.
I still love everything the new staff is doing at Pitt. Even though I get accused as a homer from time to time, I haven't been happy with the football program since Jackie Sherrill left, but now it's different. Some coaches have a certain gravitas that you just know they are going to be highly successful, and that's what I feel with Narduzzi. For many years many kids came to Pitt because they were the best option left or because they were the home team. But now it's different. Kids like Tony Butler and Thomas MacVittie would normally wait it out to see if they can do better, but Narduzzi and the staff blew them away. I've been hearing over and over again in the recruiting world a buzz for Pitt that I haven't heard since I've been doing this. Kids no longer see Pitt as second fiddle. They are looking at the program as someplace exciting.
As for the basketball program, with former Iowa State assistant Matt Abdelmassih moving on to join Chris Mullin at St. John's, everybody now thinks Cheick Diallo will automatically sign with the St. John's now. By my calculation, this is now the fifth so-called favorite for Diallo, including Pitt. The truth is, nobody knows what Diallo is thinking. He said again just two days ago that all are even. Are they really? Maybe, maybe not, but nobody I've talked to, and I've talked to many, knows for sure which way he's leaning. In fact, most tell me the same thing that Diallo says himself, and that's that he wants to see how things shake out. And why wouldn't he? Let's say, for instance, that he committed to Iowa State because of Abdelmassih. Where would he be now? It's smart to wait because he has no idea what's going to happen. Kentucky and Kansas especially are teams that could have a lot of shakeup with with additions and departures in the next few weeks. I'm not saying that Diallo will end up at Pitt because simple mathematics say that you have to start at a 20% chance since there's five finalists, but what I am saying is that it's a fluid situation and anything's possible.
I would be shocked if Maverick Rowan ended up at Pitt and despite what people are saying now, I still expect him to end up at an Adidas school.
On to center, I think the Panthers have a legitimate shot of landing Charlotte transfer Mike Thorne. The big man was rumored by many to be going to Virginia Tech, but they didn't even make the final three. The other two finalists, other than Pitt, are Kansas and Illinois. Like Kentucky, every time Kansas is mentioned with a player everybody expects they will end up there. But by the time Thorne will choose, Kansas may have found a better option, and that's a real possibility. Thorne is clearly Plan B, at best, for them, and I can easily see Kansas filling the spot well before Thorne visits. As for Illinois, it doesn't seem like it's as good a fit for the Charlotte native who could play in the ACC instead. Ideally, Thorne and Rozelle Nix are solid at the five, Mike Young moves to the four, and Jamel Artis finally learns the nuances of the three. I don't know if all of that will happen, but even if it doesn't it doesn't hurt to have a veteran 6'11" and 270 pounds player that can help out in the middle. Is he an instant impact player? Maybe not. But he's better than Derrick Randall and a one legged Joseph Uchebo.
A lot has been made of Jamie Dixon's late season recruiting, and more specifically how much he fails, but the truth is, not every player Dixon watches, or even offers, at the end of the season is somebody he really wants. In recruiting, you sometimes offer a player first almost like a placeholder, then decide if he's really worth is, if he fits, etc. For Thorne, Dixon really wants him so this will be an interesting test.