Pitt landed its point guard of the future on Sunday as three-star guard Justice Kithcart announced his decision on Twitter. The 6-foot-2 Kithcart had a very good summer on the grassroots circuit and made his commitment to the Panthers during his official visit.
An aggressive, attacking guard, Kithcart is very quick and he uses his athleticism to get in the paint whenever he can. Also a strong defender, Kithcart will have to improve his perimeter jumper before hitting the college ranks, but he’s already very good in transition and should be able to put pressure on defenses right away with his speed.
Playing with Team Loaded Virginia in the adidas Gauntlet this spring and summer, Kithcart averaged 11.3 points, 3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Kithcart is Pitt’s second commitment in the 2016 class, as he joins three-star forward Corey Manigault.
Class of 2016 point guard Cassius Winston will announce his college decision on Friday, Sept. 18, the Michigan native tweeted on Friday night. The 6-foot-0 Winston is one of the premier floor generals in the country and he’s currently rated as the No. 28 overall player in the Class of 2016.
Winston has taken official visits to Stanford, Pitt and Michigan State during the recruiting process and Michigan was recently dropped from his list.
Limited to 14 games with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer because of a broken wrist, Winston averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. The guard also shot 47 percent from the field, 79 percent from the free-throw line and 41 percent from the 3-point line during that stretch.
While the in-state Spartans appear to be the favorite here, this is an intriguing recruitment since Winston’s final three spans across the country in three unique conferences. If Winston does opt to stay in Michigan and play for head coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans will have commitments from three major pieces as they try to reel in five-star wing Miles Bridges, a teammate of Winston’s on The Family.
Both Winston and Bridges are taking their official visits to Michigan State this weekend as the college football world focuses on the Spartans’ top-ten clash with visiting Oregon.
Pitt is counting on Brown graduate transfer Rafael Maia to help produce on the interior this season, but the school announced that he’ll be out indefinitely with a thumb injury. According to a release from the school, Maia suffered the injury in practice on Tuesday and his right hand is currently in a soft cast.
Maia will be reevaluated in two weeks.
The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on 53 percent shooting as a junior. This injury shouldn’t hurt Pitt too much if Maia is able to return before games begin, since he already has three years of productive ball under his belt, but it would have been nice for the forward to acclimate to his new teammates in the first weeks of practice.