Dixon Comments On Signees

It couldn't be a wider spectrum, geographically speaking, as Jamie Dixon talks about signees Shaquille Doorson of the Netherlands and western PA natives Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther

It's been a few weeks since National Letter of Intent Day for basketball.

The ink has been dry for quite awhile, but today Pitt made it official by announcing the signings of center Shaquille Doorson, Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther.

What's significant in announcing it, is that it's the first public opportunity we have for head coach Jamie Dixon to be able to talk about these players.

Doorson verbally committed to the Panthers two weeks ago. A 6-11 center from the Netherlands, Dixon says it's become the norm to find the 6-11, 7-0 type players overseas. Look no further than the last big man to come here, Steven Adams from New Zealand.

"It's a small world," Dixon joked, when answering how they came to find Doorson.

Dixon also says that while some come from overseas to play their high school ball in the United States, in some cases, recruiting players internationally is becoming more the norm.

"It comes and goes but if you look at the list of guys, most of the big guys is coming from international," Dixon said. "With the leagues overseas, more are coming over here. There's more and more size overseas, and for obvious reasons--the whole world is playing basketball now."

Doorson, a bit of an older freshman who will be 20 by the man he starts up at Pitt this summer, has played organized basketball for only two years. Still, he's one of 50 players, now, to come out of Canarias Basketball Academy, and sign a letter of intent for a Divison I basketball program. That's also in a span of six years that the school has been in existence.

For Jeter and Luther, two local prospects, it gives this Pitt program even more of a local representation. Already waiting for these two, Duquesne native Mike Young, a good nucleus of local talent for the foreseeable future.

In both cases, a couple of different paths that both prospects took to get to Pitt. Jeter spent his freshman year at Vanderbilt, where he played in all 33 games for the Commodores, starting seven. After averaging 6.8 points a game and 19.4 minutes, Jeter decided to transfer out. A transfer to Pitt was denied b the school. So, he took a bit of a different route. He is attending classes at Polk State Junior College in Winter Haven, Fla. He's not playing for Polk State, whic gives him an extra year of eligibility at Pitt.

But maybe a lesson to schools trying to block schools of choice, and other prospects who opt to make a move closer to home. Jeter could have joined the Pitt team as a walk-on. He chose the junior-college route for a year. Though he's not playing at Polk this year, it certainly doesn't have Dixon worried about him.

"It's exciting, both Jeter (and Luther) are younger for their class," Dixon said. "I just see them getting better and better."

Luther, considered a late-bloomer, is a hybrid type of player. He's listed at 6-9, but he's also the type of wing player that can be a good three-point shooter.

And something rarely heard from Dixon, he praised Luther for being a multiple-sport athlete. He's had multiple-sport guys in the past, even in the case of Jeter too--a football player at Beaver Falls. He seems particularly excited about getting Luther on campus.

"I think Ryan Luther's going to be a good player, as well," Dixon said. "I'm excited about his development. He's taller and bigger than he was. The other thing that excites me is that he played football year-round. Now, he'll play basketball year-round."

If going to see Luther play this weekend, you can count on seeing Dixon in attendance at this Saturday's game with Norwin. Luther enters his senior season, already as Hampton's leading scorer wih 1,390 career points. He's also had four 30+ games, 20 games of 20 or more points, and double-figures in 79 of 81 career games played.

Dixon publicly comments on this 2014 recruiting class for the first time:

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