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Pitt secured its first commitment from the 2022 class in four-star guard Judah Mintz on Friday. Mintz chose the Panthers over Georgetown and Penn State, among others. The 6-foot-4 guard was ranked the No. 1 high school player in the 2022 Washington, D.C. class and will bring the Panthers value on both ends of the floor.
The writing on the wall has been there throughout the past few weeks. Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy described his visit to Pitt’s campus earlier this month as a “don’t-mess-it-up endeavor” and ranked Pitt as the top destination for the D.C. native.
Panther fans met the news with a combination of excitement and surprise. Many in the fanbase have been outspoken about how the staff has been unable to seal the deal on top targets in the past. But as head coach Jeff Capel anticipated, getting recruits back on campus to take official visits and facility tours would pay dividends — a theory that proved true ater Mintz’s announcement. The guard described the environment at Pitt as a “family feeling” to Panther-lair — sealing the deal for his commitment to the Panther program.
In the past few seasons, Capel has clearly put an emphasis on defense, athleticism, length and players who can run the floor and push the pace.
The commitment of Mintz fits the mold in each aspect. He will also help fit the need of another ball handler and a player that can get to his spots and create his own shots, something the team has lacked for years.
The guard transferred to Oak Hill Academy in April, where the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Rajon Rondo played their high school basketball — all three being perennial All-Stars in the NBA. He also plays his AAU ball for Team Durant, one of the best AAU programs in the country and also where current Pitt sophomore forward William Jeffress played before joining the Panthers last year.
Securing a 2022 four-star recruit early on in the recruiting period gives the Panthers and Capel a boost in their quest to reload after an offseason that saw many of the program’s stars depart.
This class has the potential to be one of the best in Capel’s tenure, especially after seeing the level of high-end talent that has been consistently brought on campus since the live period for visits to schools began on June 1.
Mintz is not the last big-name recruit that plans on visiting Pitt this summer. If the staff hits on a few more recruits, it could change the landscape of Pitt basketball.
Mintz’s commitment was the first domino to fall and it is yet to be seen who Capel and his staff will target specifically as the next recruit from the 2022 class — a situation Panther fans will certainly be keeping their eyes on over the next few months.