Former Duke star and assistant Jeff Capel is putting together a solid class in his first few months at Pitt. After landing guards Trey McGowens, Xavier Johnson and Sidy N’Dir (the first two are high school players and N’Dir comes over from New Mexico State as a good-to-go grad transfer), Capel headed down to Fayetteville’s Trinity School where he had helped recruit Joey Baker for Duke.
He came back with a commitment from 6-6 junior Au’Diese Toney who has now reclassified and so will be eligible next season.
Toney is not seen as an elite recruit - he’s not Top 100 - but as we’ve seen so many times, that’s meaningless. Guys who are 16 and 17 are nowhere near what they’ll be in a few years as Steph Curry, who barely got any offers, reminds. That was true for Dennis Rodman too and David Robinson was only offered by Navy because he had huge feet and then-coach Paul Evans figured that he might not be done growing at 6-7. Scottie Pippen came out of Central Arkansas where he started his career as a 6-1 walk-on.
You just never know and Capel has seen him play a lot so he has a very good idea of what he’ll get out of Toney.
The main thing is that he’s acquired some young talent that he can mold and help direct. Next year might be bumpy for Pitt but in Capel Year II, he’ll have more players and in Year III the majority of those players will be sophomores and juniors.
Pitt fans should be excited and optimistic. Things are definitely looking up.
In general that is. Some specifics are still lagging. For instance whoever is maintaining Pitt’s site is doing a dreadful job. Not only are the guys who transferred out still listed as active players, they haven’t even gotten around to putting in the new staff - including the new head coach. That’s really bad and reflects poorly on the program. We really hope Capel addresses this soon. The small things count, especially when you’re building.