Four-star basketball recruit Gerald Drumgoole commits to Pitt


Four-star high school recruit Gerald Drumgoole, pictured here with head coach Jeff Capel during his official visit over the weekend, committed to Pitt Monday evening.

By Trent Leonard, Sports Editor

The Pitt men’s basketball team has been in a funk. Losers of seven straight, the Panthers find themselves at the very bottom of the ACC standings. In other words, the team could’ve used some good news.

They got just that on Monday evening, when highly-touted four-star recruit Gerald Drumgoole announced his commitment to Pitt’s program.

“Dear God, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to experience so many positive things in my life,” Drumgoole said in a tweet. “As I continue to live my dream, I want to attend a school where I can help the team and develop into the best basketball player I can possibly be.”

As a 6-foot-6, 200-pound small forward with a sweet shooting stroke, the Rochester, New York, native should certainly help the team as soon as next year. Before transferring to La Lumiere School in La Puerta, Indiana for his senior year, Drumgoole averaged 19.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in his junior season at Rochester’s Irondequoit High School.

Drumgoole’s stock has been on the rise during his time at La Lumiere — especially after leading his team with 18 points in an impressive win over the nation’s top-ranked high school program at the time, Montverde Academy, in December’s Iolani Classic. Now, La Lumiere has established itself as the nation’s best high school team, manning the No. 1 spot on USA Today’s rankings for the past several weeks and currently sporting a 26-0 record.

In addition to being one of the best players on America’s best team, Drumgoole plays for the City Rocks AAU team on the Nike EYBL circuit, often considered the premier youth talent pool in the country. Composite recruiting website considers Drumgoole the 116th-best recruit nationally, the 27th-best small forward and 4th-best prospect in the state of New York. He chose Pitt over other finalists Minnesota and South Carolina after visiting campus over the weekend.

Drumgoole’s profile as a lengthy shooter will be a welcome presence for the Panthers, who rank No. 226 out of 353 Division I teams in 3-point percentage at a pedestrian 33.3 percent. Aside from senior forward Jared Wilson-Frame’s 59 3-point makes, no other Pitt player has made more than 30. With Wilson-Frame gone to graduation next season, Drumgoole should slot in to replace his scoring production at the forward spot.

The commitment of Drumgoole appears to be another step in the right direction for head coach Jeff Capel’s Panthers, and Pitt fans can only hope that it opens up a floodgate of other top recruits who want to join the so-called “Zoo Era” and speed up the program’s rebuilding process.