Pitt strongly in the mix for NY Power Forward

The University of Pittsburgh's basketball recruiting class of 2007 is signed, sealed and delivered. Head Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon is anxiously waiting to learn the status of a wildly talented big man from New York. Will this 6-foot-10 inch Sudanese big man become a 2008 target? Read on.

University of Pittsburgh Head Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon and his revamped coaching staff expressed a tremendous amount of interest in 6-foot-10 inch, 205 pound power forward Teeng Akol from Our Savior New American High School (Centereach, NY) over the summer. Although the Panthers have finalized their 2007 recruiting class, it appears that Akol remains a viable recruiting target.

Scout.com currently ranks Akol a "four-star" recruit and the 27th best power forward in the class of 2007. A native of Sudan, he arrived in the United States in 2005.

"Right now, Teeng's status is up in the air. He's trying to get his academics in order," stated Our Savior New American Assistant Coach Eric Jaklitsch. "We don't know if he's going to be classified 2007 or 2008 at this point. Teeng is working very hard to improve his grades and everything else should fall into place."

Schools from the Big East, Big Ten and ACC have expressed interest in the athletic big man. "Pittsburgh has been one of the schools recruiting him the hardest and there's heavy interest in the Panthers," he said. "Their coaching staff is well aware of his status."

"Teen is really long. He's 6-foot-10 inches tall and roughly 205 pounds," said Jaklitsch. "He's tall, runs the floor and shoots well for someone his size. Teeng can hit from the three point line. He's a great perimeter shooter."

Jaklitsch was quick to add, "He's going to be a "4" (power forward) in college, but he has to add weight and improve his strength. Once he does that he should improve on the defensive end."

"We should have a better idea of where he's at with his transcripts soon. He has enough school monitoring his progress. They should know when we know. He's high on Pitt and they seem to be one of his strongest options."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.

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