Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mid-day recruiting update

Khaleke Hudson committed to Michigan, which isn't a surprise, but at least he will help beat Penn State instead of help them win.

But the good news is that Missouri DL coach Chris Wilson is going to the Eagles. He is the reason Keyshon Camp was planning to visit Missouri this week. Wilson was hired by Missouri this season, but before that he was the DL coach at USC, and he's the one that got Camp committed to USC initially. This bodes very well for the Panthers.

54 comments:

  1. I have not heard anything on Alexander lately. Any chance for Pitt?

    Any idea what happened with Washington?

    H2P

    The Big Fish

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    1. I think Pitt realized what many before them realized about Washington- and that's that recruiting him is like pulling teeth.

      As for Alexander, they have cooled on him. I'm not sure why.

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  2. Chris, this is a basketball question. Over the past few years I have read just about every one of your articles and tweets and when it comes to Jamie Dixon, you have constantly stated that if he were to leave it would be his doing and not Pitt's. I understand that he is a great coach and has been very successful over the years, but at what point is it time to try something new? There is a lot of excitement around our atheletic programs now, but even with a great record our bball team doesn't seem to excite me like it should. We beat bad teams, almost embarrass ourselves against good teams, and struggle recruiting. Is it crazy to think that at some point the administration stops offering Dixon raises/extensions?

    I also have talked to Ashton Gibbs who told me that Dixon is definitely one of the best coaches in all of basketball but will never recruit well because he is socially awkward, which kind of worries me as a fan.

    Any thoughts?

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    1. He's too expensive to fire. Pederson and Nordenberg gave him a sweetheart deal. But there is stagnation in the program and that's why they got rid of Walt Harris. The best case scenario is if they both decide it's time to move on and Dixon leaves on his own. Well, technically the best case scenario is if Dixon makes the program great again. But that's not looking likely.

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    2. I agree completely. Unfortunately, I don't see many teams wanting to go after Dixon either. There are hotter names on the market right now, and up and coming coaches who wouldn't be paid Dixon's salary right away. Maybe an SEC school looking to become relevant takes a shot using its money earned from football to buy out Dixon? Then Pitt could go after someone like Archie Miller. That would be best case scenario.

      Well actually the very best case scenario is Calipari goes to coach the Kings next year, fails miserably, comes back to Pittsburgh... But that won't ever happen

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    3. Pitt has no chance at Miller. And many programs would love to have Dixon.

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    4. Grass is not always greener!! I would never want to Dixon to leave. Would you want Dixon to leave Chris?

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    5. Not yet, but that could change in a year or two.

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    6. Could they maybe convince him to get new assistants? One doesn't fit the region and the other two don't seem valuable at all.

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    7. I think what Dixon needs most is a fireball assistant, a rainmaker as a recruiter. Then Jamie can come in with his down-home demeanor and sway the parents and close the deals. He's not the only socially clumsy head coach.

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    8. I had one brief encounter with Jamie Dixon several years ago prior to a Pitt/ND football game at Heinz Field. He was by the South entrance and graciously took a picture with my daughters. He seemed far from socially awkward to me. First I've been aware of comments like that.

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    9. Chris:

      Your comments about Dixon are interesting in that they show a change in your thinking about him. Until now, you have been a strong supporter of Dixon, but now you are not so sure. Has the change to the ACC been the key factor here?

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    10. I think he'll be given 3 or 4 years to get back on track.

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    11. 3 or 4 more years!? Good grief, his team's haven't been relevant since 2010 and is on the verge of missing the tournament for what? The 3rd time in 4 years? Force him to replace his staff and if that doesn't work replace him in 2 years.
      He's one of the highest paid coaches in CBB. It's
      time to start seeing some results.
      One thing that gives me hope is our ADs background in basketball. Hell know when to make a change.

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    12. You come up with the 15 million or so to buy him out and maybe it will be sooner. But he's not going anywhere for at least years.

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  3. Dixon needs to get back to his old roots of recruiting tough-nosed kids. Since 2011-12 this team has been soft. I mean since the tough kids slowly departed we haven’t had nearly enough, if any, who would go to the floor for a freaking loose ball. Even a good player like Lamar Patterson use to bend down for loose balls and it drives me crazy. Best case is Wilson develops, Kithcart brings toughness as a freshman and the JuCo shooting guard recruit can defend on a knee that is rehabbed well.

    Dixon needs to push out Chris Jones and use his scholarship on a S.O.B. who lives for rebounding and going to the ground for every loose ball.

    Also, the program has stagnated because of point guards like Woodall and Robinson aren’t good enough to elevate the program.

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    1. I agree with some of this. You know it's funny, back when they were recruiting tough defense/rebounding first kids, I lamented their lack of ability to score and wished they'd recruit more offensive players. When they did, I was very happy that Dixon was willing to change philosophies a bit. But them starting to do that does seem to coincide precisely with the decline of the program. I don't know if maybe Dixon just can't really coach offense, or doesn't have an eye for offensive talent, but now we seem to be stuck with a team that doesn't play good defense AND doesn't really play good offense against decent teams. I think people are mistaking players who are just plain soft for good offensive players. They think well they don't rebound or defend well and make a jump shot once in a while so they must be offensively talented. I totally agree to just go back to the old ways of recruiting. They tried to change the plan, it didn't work, so go back to what got you there in the first place I guess.

      On a related note, four straight years (seems like forty)of James Robinson as your point guard isn't going to do much to help you stay a top-25 team. It is not hard to have a good assist to turnover ratio when all you do is walk the ball up, make easy passes around the perimeter, and never drive to create offense. Sometimes turnovers happen from people actually attempting to make a play.

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    2. Dixon needs to get Wilson out there more. Robinson's season is quickly turning into another train wreck. He was horrible against Clemson.

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    3. Him and Dante Taylor are the only two players I can ever remember who literally got no better at all from their freshman to senior years. That doesn't even seem possible.

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  4. Anyone else notice that in the OOC when Maia was getting 8 rebounds or so and controlling the defensive glass adequately we had no scoring problem? He has been invisible as a rebounder in recent ACC losses--2 rebounds vs Clemson for e.g. This is because, IMHO, he isn't talented enough to be a post in the ACC. As a result we we don't outrebound opponents in addition to not having a big enough threat to score in the low blocks. Without that inside threat, our perimeter game (which would be a strength) is taken away since no one needs to drop back to help inside.

    Hoping Maingault, or a better grad transfer, is the answer for next year.

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    1. He is no where close to an ACC quality center. He may get a few rebounds but has a hard time even getting a layup off. Clemson had two guys at the center position who were far better than him. Nelson AO is worse and in the end Pitt has guys trying to play the 5 who aren't supposed to be at that position. Lack of a legit center has been Pitt's biggest downfall the last two seasons.

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    2. Sad thing is... they both are an upgrade over last year.

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  5. I sure hope Nix is healthy next season. His size alone should make Pitt better at rebounding and pushing opponents off the block. Manigault looks like he'll back up Young at the four, and as for the five, I hope Pitt can land a center with the final scholarship. Also, I still hope Jones is pushed out and Dixon lands some scrapper who has an attitude when on the court.

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  6. Guard play. That is where this team is lacking imho. Without decent perimeter guys the opponents can collapse on the front line players and neutralize them no matter how good they are. A talented and quick point guard can make a mediocre post player into a real threat. A 2 guard who can light it up and play tough hard nosed defense will allow the boys room to manuver. Until Pitt returns to the early century roots and gets quick tough athletic guards who can elevate the rest of the team they will struggle. Young and Artist are potential pro talents...but without an above average backcourt they will not reach their potential at this level.

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  7. ESPN upped Manigault to a 4-star i have heard. Supposedly a tottal beast on the glass. Now, if he has really grown to a legit 6-9 and is 245-250 vs 6-8 230 junior year listing; then maybe he can be the answer by the end of next year's OOC. Grasping at straws, I am (with apologies to Yoda).

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    1. Manigault and Kithcart have both been excellent this year.

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  8. Chris,

    Do you know the "big rumor" as referenced by other sites? As a long suffering Pitt fan should I be worried?

    Thanks

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    1. Twitter posts seem to think that Shaka Toney (PS commit) might be visiting.

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  9. Haven't heard anything about Darnell Saloman the past few days. Is he still visiting this weekend? Any other uncommitted visitors this weekend outside of Hamlin?

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    1. He's not visiting. My guess is that the university said no.

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  10. The sad thing, on the basketball front, is that we should have seen this coming. What reason did we have to believe that Robinson would somehow be able to score & would magically get quick enough to defend acc point guards? That any of these centers would go from 'okay' stats at low levels to producers in one of the country's toughest conferences? Not that the young backups wouldnt improve, but to think theyd improve *enough* to make a big difference?

    Artis & Young are very good players. To me, though, Jeter is the most frustrating guy on this team. Hes the most physically gifted athlete on the roster who does everything very well, but only in spurts. He embodies the inconsistency that defines this team.

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  11. Chris another rumor to look into. Former 2015 4 star leaving Michigan. WR/S.

    http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2016/01/report_wrdb_brian_cole_release.html

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  12. Pitt still can't shoot. Dixon doesn't recruit pure shooters. He prefers a stocky defender and "good" rebounder for guards (See Robinson) as opposed to anyone who can shoot!

    Offense is stagnant and boring. ANd that's being nice.

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  13. To me, Nix does not look athletic at all. More like Baby Huey. Not sure how serviceable he'll be at the 5 spot. Hope I'm wrong.

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    1. Pitt looks like his only real option at the moment.

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    2. He looks impressive as hell, much better than alot of the other D recruits. That could be a really nice development. Although I will say the one thing that Pitt has been doing for years and I really hope they stop doing-- They seem to play OLB at DE and players that should be DE at DT. They need to stop doing that. This guy can be a steal. Keep up the good work! Thanks. td

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  15. Chris,

    I was wondering if you had any info or hunch on who is going to decommit from Pitt. It seems like Miller could be leaning toward Miami, Pine visited VT (should have scholarship taken away), Campbell I hear is at PSU and Winfree is 50/50 with Colorado. These are all good players who would make an impact at Pitt... Do you think we get any of these guys?

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  16. Miller is iffy. I'd say the chances are the other three will stay. But I can't guarantee that, of course.

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    1. By the way, I should also point out that as far as I know, Campbell isn't visiting anywhere and Winfree is visiting Memphis.

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  17. Thanks! And I'm pretty sure Campbell is in State College... My friends go there and texted me he was there but they could have been mistaken

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  18. It would stink to lose some of these verbals, but if Cole and Neal transferred to Pitt that would ease some of the blow. Landing Camp of course would be huge. Flipping Shaka Toney is always possible, too. Definitely need Winfree since wide receiver is in need of big-play potential.

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  19. Campbell is solid and Pine is as well. Kids take trips to hang with buddies, get out of the house ect. Hudson is a Pitt enjoying being with friends. He is going to Michigan but you never know. Pitt will lose a commit and gain a recruit Wednesday. In nay event things are very positive. PSU has zero buzz on the last week of recruiting except for de-commits. Scandals aside, never thought Pitt would be the place to be in PA right before last chance recruiting. Franklin is in trouble with all the distractions and changes. Seasoned coaches leaving or being blamed has isolated Franklin and his program. Franklins sophomoric statements and antics are now biting him on the a**.

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    1. Perhaps but even with decommits psu still has a solid class. It's not like they have nothing left.

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  20. But they needed greater numbers than they are getting (unless they add a pile of 2-star projects on LOI day).

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    1. They could use some more players, but according to 247 they have 17, 1 5* 8 4* and 8 3*. We have 21. I am just saying I think we are blowing this out of proportion. Just like we did when early on they got a lot of recruits and it took months for us to get one. They started early and are losing some and we started late and are gaining some. As for his comments yeah, they are coming back to haunt him, but I am sure he isn't alone in saying stupid things as a coach. Which coach out there is not a cheerleader for their program.

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  21. The issue is their are coaches, families and even their own alumni that don't like Franklin or Holgy. Nobody has a bad thing to say about Narduzzi. The HS coaches like him. The parents do not feel he is shady. Things have changed

    Mac

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  22. I keep checking your site, hoping that you will make a new post about everything that is happening this weekend.

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    1. I don't post unless I actually know something for sure and Pine, Winfree, Hamlin, and Camp aren't talking.

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  23. Wonder what actually happened with Salomon and Winfree... I could see if Pitt stopped recruiting Salomon but I don't know if I see Pitt pulling Winfree's scholly. Maybe more info came out?.. I saw reports Mathews was on campus this weekend (although no one seems to know for sure). Is it possible Narduzzi decided to recruit him as a WR?

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    1. Mathews is not an option. Pitt did a poor job with their due diligence so now it looks like they will be shorthanded with their WR class.

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    2. I wouldn't be so sure about mathews there mr. Dokish.

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  24. Matthews always wanted to play WR. PITT was offereing him as safety. PSU is taking him as a TE, safety or OLB. It very well could be Matthews w/ Winfree's decommit

    Macchiato

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