Panthers land commitment from four-star guard, No. 37 high school prospect in country Dior Johnson


AP Photo/John Minchillo

Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel works the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Boston College at the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s tournament on March 8 in New York.

By Frankie Richetti, Senior Staff Writer

Pitt basketball landed its highest-rated guard in program history on Monday.

Dior Johnson — a four-star guard out of Southern California Academy — pledged to the Panthers just four days after backing out of his previous commitment to Oregon. 

With one more scholarship available for Capel to dish out for the 2022-23 roster, Johnson became the Panthers’ eighth and final addition of the offseason. Johnson joins a deep group of guards that includes three other transfers — graduate students Nelly Cummings and Greg Elliott along with sophomore Cashius McNeilly. Graduate student Jamarius Burton and redshirt senior Nike Sibande return to the fold as well. 

Johnson’s decision to join the Panthers ends a lengthy recruiting saga that began with him pledging to Syracuse in Feb. 2020. Johnson was committed to the Orange until November of the same year before decommitting. Johnson later committed to Oregon in June last year. 

Johnson said in an interview with ESPN that he was looking for a coach who would hold him to a high standard.

“I was looking for a coach to challenge me and hold me in high account,” Johnson said. “I still have some things to work on and another level to tap into, in all phases of the game. Coach [Jeff] Capel has a great track record and was a great player himself. I honestly feel like he’s going to pour into me as a person and player. Having an elite leader like himself, after us talking I knew Pitt is where I needed to be.”

As a recruit, Johnson reached as high as No. 6 in the country and within the top 10 of his class up until September of 2021. According to 247 Sports, Johnson is currently ranked as the No. 37 player in the nation, making him the best available high school recruit in the country before choosing Pitt. 

Johnson expects himself to live up to the hype next season with the Panthers.

“No doubt in my mind I’ll be one of the best guards in the country next year,” Johnson said.