Pitt prioritizes size, inks three in early signing period

Welcome to the Pitt Panthers, Max AmadasunNoah Collier and John Hugley.

Tuesday, the team announced it inked the three high-school prospects during the D-1 early signing period — and a quick glance at these players paints an obvious picture.

Pitt's adding size. Big time.

Amadasun, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center, is the biggest of the bunch. He hails from Dublin by way of Nigeria and most recently played this summer for the New York Lightning on the Nike EYBL circuit, where he averaged 6.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on 57 percent shooting.

"Max is a fast-rising post prospect with a great combination of size and athleticism,” Jeff Capel said of Amadasun. “He has the ability to be a high-level shot blocker and rebounder. We have been impressed with how quickly his offensive skills have developed in the past year and like the energy and effort he plays with. Max has the opportunity to be another outstanding Pitt Panther to come out [of] New York City.”

The Panthers certainly need him, a point proven early in this 2019-20 season. Friday against West Virginia, Pitt lost, 68-53, largely because they had no answers for the work inside from 6-foot-9, 250-pound Oscar Tshiebwe. He posted 20 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks, dominating Pitt's bigs at both ends of the floor. Capel admitted the challenges in preparing for somebody with Tshiebwe's size.

“We can’t simulate it, and certainly in a day, in two days preparation, it’s not something we can do,” Capel was saying after the game. “We don’t have those types of bodies yet. But it’s something that we do work on. Obviously we did a better job against Florida State. They’re big too. So we did a better job there, but we have to become consistent in doing it.”

Amadasun represents a step in the right direction toward filling that need.

Forwards Collier (6-foot-8, 210 pounds) and Hugley (6-foot-9, 240 pounds) aren't much smaller. While Amadasun is a long, lanky and athletic center boasting a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Hugley, in particular, represents more of that Tshiebwe mold. Check him out in action:

Not bad, eh? Hugley is Pitt's top-rated player in the 2020 class and the second top-100 player overall signed by Capel and his staff (Trey McGowens is the other).  Rivals.com ranks Hugley at 95, and he's a consensus four-star prospect who averaged 16.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for Ohio's Charles F. Brush High School.

“John is a skilled forward with excellent size and a well-rounded offensive game,” Capel said. “He has very good footwork on the block as well as a nice shooting touch from the perimeter. We really like the work ethic, toughness and commitment to the game John has shown since we began recruiting him. He has the opportunity to make an immediate impact in our program.”

Collier, meanwhile, is a more versatile forward and will likely be utilized all over the floor within Capel's system. He's a top-150 player in the nation per Rivals, and he's coming off a summer on the Nike EYBL circuit where he averaged 8.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game in 17 contests.

“We are excited about the versatility and explosiveness in Noah’s game,” Capel said of Collier. “He has the ability to guard multiple positions on the floor and possesses a balanced offensive skill set. Noah comes from a terrific program at the Westtown School and has developed winning habits throughout his high school career.”

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