Pitt coach Jamie Dixon addressed reporters tonight before the team headed to the airport for its charter to New York City and the N.I.T. Tip-Off.
It was the first time Dixon was able to talk about new signees Mike Young and Josh Newkirk who signed letters of intent last week.
Young is a power forward who is originally from McKeesport. Newkirk is a point guard from North Carolina.
Dixon had some interesting observations on the recruitment of both.
Here is what he had to say about Newkirk: “Josh is a guy we knew about and just didn’t think he’d be there. We thought Duke and North Carolina at the end of the day would be there. To be honest with you, they didn’t offer. That’s the kind of guys you have to get. Most places it’s based strictly on your local recruiting. We’ve had to do it a different way. You try to find places where guys might slip through the cracks. They took guards and we might have gotten a pretty good one. He was a guy they looked at and they weren’t quite sure about. It’s something we have to do. Most places stay in their backyards. We have to find the Sam Young, the guy Georgetown and Maryland didn’t think was good enough. The Aaron Gray that Villanova and Rutgers didn’t think was good enough. Generally, kids are going to stay close to home.
On getting his first recruit from ACC country: “It’s good thing. It’s a different thing for us. Not too many schools have made a living going to warm weather paces in the Northeast. That’s something that won’t be a regularity. But there’s a situation where a kid wanted to play in the ACC and the two local schools [took] other point guards earlier, then you get the guy who developed a little later. That’s something you have to be on top of. He’s not someone we thought we could get a year ago, but it fell that way.”
And here is what Dixon had to say about Young, who will play his senior year at St. Benedict’s in New Jersey after playing at Hudson Catholic: “He’s getting bigger and better. He’s been at good schools. We generally don’t want to go with guys who have been at a number of high schools. But we think we made some good decisions and got into good situations. For the right reasons, he made the right choices. I’m excited about him. He shoots the ball really well. He’s a great kid. He’s excited about coming to Pittsburgh. It’s good to have a guy with some roots in Pittsburgh.”
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