OAKLAND--Pitt received its second commitment in a matter of days when a sort of position-less offensive weapon in Jared Wilson-Frame committed to the Panthers Friday.
Wilson-Frame, a 6-foot-5, 230-pounder, attends Northwest Florida State, which maintains one of the more relevant junior college basketball programs in the country.
The Raiders won the JUCO national championship in 2014-15. Last season, one year removed from the title, Wilson-Frame ran the point guard.
“He's very, very talented, and he’s very versatile,” Northwest Florida State coach Steve DeMeo told PantherMore.com after Wilson-Frame’s pledge to Pitt.
“He’ll play the two and the three for us this year. He’s big enough to post people up at the four. He probably won’t play the four in the ACC, but he’s a big, physical guy who can defend in the post. He just has a very high IQ for basketball. His ceiling is very high. He’s just got to bring it all together, and when he does that, when he dots every “i” and crosses every “t”, he can become one of the premiere players at that level,” DeMeo added.
Wilson-Frame was one of the Raiders’ more productive scorers last season as a freshman. He scored 15 points per game and is poised to become even more of a threat this season when he has the ball in his hands. DeMeo said that Wilson-Frame is a threat from 3-point land, especially from the corner.
Wilson-Frame will need to improve defensively in the coming years, though, if he hopes to see starting minutes for Pitt coach Kevin Stallings and staff.
“He needs to improve, that’s one area,” DeMeo said of Wilson-Frame’s defense. “He can defend, he’s got quick feet, and he’s a big-time defensive rebounder. What he does so well is when he gets the rebound, he’s able to push the ball up the court and make plays for other people.”
DeMeo added that he’s seen improvement from Wilson-Frame on the defensive side of the ball since Wilson-Frame touched down at NWF, and that he’s constantly pushing Wilson-Frame to become an ACC-caliber defender.
Although it was clear that Pitt was in pursuit of several highly-rated high school prospects, the Pitt staff was in on Wilson-Frame since day 1. It only took a couple days after new Pitt assistant coach Jeremy Ballard’s hiring in the spring to get in touch with DeMeo and Wilson-Frame.
“We were happy with how Jeremy and coach Stallings recruited him,” DeMeo said. “We thought [Pitt] was a good fit geographically from where he is from, as well. Because Hartford [Connecticut] is not a far commute to Pittsburgh, and his family can come watch him play. The ACC is the premiere conference in the country, and coach Stallings is one of the premiere developers of talent in the country.”
In high school, Wilson-Frame, who spent time with Expressions Elite in the EYBL, had an offer from the hometown UConn, in addition to offers from Providence, Georgia, VCU and Rutgers.
In the end, Wilson-Frame chose Pitt over West Virginia, Wichita State and NC State. He joins a class of Aaron Thompson, Terrell Brown and Marcus Carr. The Pitt staff could add at least two more players in the class dependent on mid-season or postseason roster movement.