Sudanese big man on Pitt's radar

University of Pittsburgh Head Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon has been pursing a number of quality 2007 big men. Sudanese import Teeng Akol (6-ft-10 inches, 200 pounds) from Our Savior New American High School in New York has turned into a hot commodity amongst the nations top basketball programs.

To gain some perspective on Teeng Akol, the spoke with Our Savior Head Basketball Coach Ron Stelzer.

"Teeng is still raw but he has a lot of positives. He's very tall, athletic and he can shoot the ball quite well," said Stelzer. "He's a great perimeter shooter. You don't find many big men that can hit 3-pointers the way he does."

Schools from the Big East, Big Ten and ACC have expressed serious interest in Akol. The Pitt Panthers have been one of those programs evaluating him.

"Teeng hasn't been in the country long and he's getting used to the American style of basketball. He needs to add weight to him long frame and work on his defense. I think the two go hand in hand. Once he packs on some pounds, he'll be more physical in the paint."

When asked if Akol was a "4" (power forward) or a "3" (small forward), Coach Stelzer replied, "That's a good question and it's hard to tell. He's athletic and he can shoot the ball but he's not fast enough to be labeled a wing forward. Teeng is tall but doesn't have the size you associate with a power forward. He needs to gain some muscle first. I guess he's a bit of a tweener right now."

"Pitt has done well in the New York. I assume they will continue to monitor his progress. He's only going to get better."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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