University of Pittsburgh Head Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon is preparing to host a myriad of blue-chip players in the month of September. It appears that he and his revamped coaching staff are already off to a hot start. The Panthers received a verbal commitment from tough-as-nails Philadelphia combo guard Bradley Wannamaker (6-foot-4 inches, 200 pounds) from Roman Catholic High School. Wannamaker is the 2nd player to join the Panthers' class of 2007. He joins sharp shooting forward Darnell Dodson (6-foot-6 inches, 200 pounds) from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD.
The PantherDigest.com recently spoke with Scout.com National Basketball Recruiting Director. He was asked to comment on Wannamaker and he stated, "I think people are most impressed with how he carries himself and his ability to make buckets. He's a big, strong wing and you know the premium Pittsburgh places on guys like that who bring toughness to the position."
Wannamaker chose the Panthers over offers from Penn State, Virginia Tech, LaSalle, Rutgers, Dayton, Temple, George Washington and Richmond. He has been compared to former Panther great Carl Krauser.
"I really enjoyed my visit to Pittsburgh. It seems like a great situation and I felt comfortable there," stated Wannamaker. "Coach (Mike) Rice is a great guy and he's a big part of my commitment. I would say he's 90% of the reason I chose the Panthers. He's going to help me improve as a player and person."
"Coach Rice told me I would see playing time and I know he wouldn't lie to me. The Panthers are known for a tough style of play and it's a great fit for the way I play."
"I really liked the (Peterson) Events Center and the campus. The campus isn't really spread out and everything is pretty close."
Wannamaker led the Eagles to a 26-6 record as a junior. He averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Bradley had an active summer on the AAU circuit. He played in the Reebok Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas and ABCD Camp in New Jersey.
"Mike Rice was the first to invite Bradley to the Eastern Invitational Team Camp and they have had strong relationship since," stated Roman Catholic High School Head Basketball Coach Rasool Gresham. "He has know Coach Rice for nearly three years and their relationship heavily factored into his commitment."
"Bradley chose the Panthers for their style of play and his parents can come and watch him play when Pitt plays Villanova and plays at Madison Square Garden."
"Bradley was able to meet Mike Cook during his visit. They both played for the AAU team Positive Image. They didn't play together but they had the same AAU connection."
Recruiting Note: The Panthers will be hosting 6-foot-10 inch, 250 pound center Gary McGhee from Anderson Highlands High School in Anderson, IN the weekend of September 2nd. Basked on a recent interview with the PantherDigest.com, the Panthers appear to be in the driver's seat for the leading rebounder in the state of Indiana.
Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at email@example.com.