Men’s Basketball: Doorson reopens his recruitment

By Ryan Bertonaschi / Senior Staff Writer

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In early March, it seemed as though Pitt men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon had the first Kobe-Shaq duo since the Los Angeles Lakers. It wasn’t to be.

Kobe Eubanks, a highly rated shooting guard prospect from Florida, would commit to Baylor University over Pitt and other schools in March. The Pitt News learned Tuesday that Shaquille Doorson, a prep-schooler who signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Dixon in December of last year, will no longer attend Pitt in the fall.

The Doorson news, first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, is certainly a blow to Dixon’s latest recruiting class, which was left out of’s list of top 40 recruiting classes of 2014 and didn’t appear in’s top 30. Doorson, a 6-foot-11-inch, 265-pound center from the Netherlands, was rated a four-star player by and was pegged as the No. 20 center of 2014 by ESPN. Doorson only played two years of organized basketball before making his commitment, but he displayed raw interior skill that could have panned out with the prototypical growth curve of a Pitt big man.

“Shaquille is a big body that we’re excited about,” Dixon said during a press conference conducted Dec. 5 after Doorson committed. “There’s not many guys that big. We couldn’t find one nearby or throughout the country. He’s a hard worker, great kid, good student.”

It is unclear if Doorson remained eligible academically but according to a tweet by Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Doorson was “released from his [scholarship] in January.” Additionally, Rothstein of CBS Sports mentioned via Twitter that Doorson visited Rutgers last week.

It is uncertain where Doorson will play in 2014-15 or if he will play at all.

Doorson’s recruitment by Pitt was primarily handled by Dixon’s former assistant coach Barry Rohrssen, who last month accepted a position with John Calipari’s staff at the University of Kentucky.

“He’s a guy who I think will develop because he’s such a good kid, such a hard worker and he has the tools from what I’ve seen physically,” Dixon said. “We’ve got to get some basketball to him.”

Dixon added that the Dutchman’s initial interest in signing with Pitt was a testament to the success stories of foreign-born centers Talib Zanna and Steven Adamsboth were projects while at Pitt but eventually became starters

Now he’s someone else’s project.

[Editor’s note: Rothstein reports on June 25 via Twitter that Doorson has committed to Rutgers.] 

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