Pitt gains first top-100 basketball recruit since 2013


New men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel received his first commitment for the 2018-2019 season with Trey McGowens, Pitt’s first top-100 recruit since 2013. (Photo by Mackenzie Rodrigues | Contributing Editor)

The Pitt men’s basketball team received its first verbal commitment of the 2018-2019 recruiting season today at noon when four-star recruit Trey McGowens announced his commitment to the Panthers via Twitter.

McGowens, a senior 6-foot-3 guard at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., chose Pitt from a field of other finalist schools that included Clemson University, University of Minnesota, University of Mississippi and St. John’s University. He chose to forego his planned postgraduate year at Hargrave and will graduate in the class of 2018 instead, meaning he will play the 2018-2019 season at Pitt as a first-year.

“This has been a very tough decision but I have found the university and basketball program that I can accomplish all of my goals,” McGowens wrote on Twitter. “That being said, I am verbally committing to continue my basketball/academic career at the University of Pittsburgh under the leadership of Jeff Capel and his staff and come out with the Class of 2018.”

The addition of this star recruit is the first major accomplishment for new head coach Jeff Capel, whose reputation as a top-notch recruiter dates back to his time under Coach Krzyzewski at Duke. According to 247Sports.com, McGowens is the 88th-rated recruit in the class of 2019, making him the first top-100 player to commit to Pitt since Michael Young in 2013.

With the commitment, McGowen is set to fill the Panthers’ most needed position — a ball-handling guard. With first-year guards Marcus Carr and Parker Stewart both transferring, first-year Khameron Davis and junior Jared Wilson-Frame were set to be Capel’s only two returning guards.

Next on the recruiting trail, Capel will likely look to address the Panthers’ lack of height, as first-year Terrell Brown is the only returning player taller than 6-foot-6 who saw consistent court time last season.