Coach Dan72’s Outlook for Pitt BB 2022

Editor’s Note #1: FR Dior Johnson has been suspended by the University due to arrest on various assult and kidnapping charges.

Editor’s Note #2: The Supreme court has allowed college athletes (and high school players I gather) to earn money by selling their NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) rights for sometimes big money – Just ask Jordan Addison. Pitt has made a decision that the University still will not pay players but a consortium of business has jumped to the top of the mix and opened their wallets. The details of this can be found in this article by Pittsburgh Sports Now.

Pitt’s 2022 Basketball Roster and Outlook

This is the most talent accumulated on a Pitt Basketball in a long time. I think at the very least the make the NIT but wouldn’t be surprised if they are upper tier ACC. How was Capel able to be so successful? It’s all about the Benjamins! NIL $$ .

Pitt has the #15 ranked recruiting class coming in next year.

I expect the only returner TO START will be Hugley. Here are the newcomers:

1. Dior Johnson – 18 yr old from California. A 4 Star former 5 Star prospect POINT GUARD 6’3” 180lbs. Some rated him the best HS PG in the USA last year. I believe he starts for Pitt all year. His tapes show no weakness. He can shoot and distribute with the ACCs best. Stud!  He was offered $1 million NIL $ by others yet he chose Pitt. You do the math.  He may be one and done. No worse than two and done.

2. Nelly Cummings – grad student  Top 5 transfer guard from Bowling Green then Colgate. Played against Pitt last year and is from Pittsburgh. 6” shooting guard Avg 14.7 PTS per game with a 38.4 shooting%. I think he may be first off the bench.

3. Blake Hinson – 6’7” small forward Junior from Ole Miss then Iowa State where he didn’t play a game. Avg 10.1 pts per game 4.6 rebounds. Slick ball handler and can drive to the hoop. Big upside. 4 star prospect out of HS.

4.  Greg Elliot – shooting guard transfer from Marquette. 6’3” 180 lbs. senior. Avg 7pts per game 88.7 Free throw shooter. 38.9 FG % 38.6 from the three point line. It’ll be interesting where Capel fits him in.

5. & 6. Guillermo and Jorge Diaz Graham. 6’ 11” twin towers from Spain. These guys are projects but as Many have said “you can’t teach height” both can pass and score inside and have given Hugley fits in practice. Both have put on weight since coming to Pitt this summer. Both very hard workers and Coach O’Toole has been their mentor all summer. Both are frosh but I suspect each will play three years for Pitt before turning pro. Here’s an article about them...

7. Vason Stephenson – walk-on guard from Montour HS 6’3” – freshman

8. Fede Federiko -6’11 220lb  center sophomore originally committed to WVU. Juco transfer avg 11.7 pts/ game 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. I project him as a starter and a great combination w Hugley. Capel loves him! Played on Finland’s National team.


John Hugley – maybe the best underneath player in a while for Pitt. He’s hurt and out 2-3 weeks with ankle injury . Full time starter when he returns.

Nick Siband – Guard 6”4 senior shooting guard avg 6.9 pts/ game 41.5 shooting percentage …suffered a torn ACL vs Gannon last year and missed the season. Avg 6.9 pts/game two years ago. Shot a team best 43.9 from three point range. Appeared in 14 games with eight starts two years ago. Transferred in from Miami of Ohio.

Nate Santos – small forward 6’7” appeared in 25 games last year avg 2.8 pts/ game and 1.9 rebounds.

Jamarius Burton – guard 6’4” 200 lb first on team w minutes played last year. Played his first two years at Wichita State. Avg 12.4/pts/ game 3.5 rebounds 2.5 assists. 88% FTs

KJ Marshall -5’10” junior guard. Bench player appeared in 6 games last year with one point scored.

William Jeffress – guard without a lot of basketball sense. Moments were just too big for him last year. Left ankle is injured and he’ll be out for a while.

Aiden Fisch – former Pitt Basketball Manager. Appeared in six games last year. Senior from Murraysville, PA. (Ed: He’s a happy kid!)

That’s our team for ’22 – ’23 season. Like most teams our success will depend on how they gel together and how well they are coached. Free throw shooting and three point shooting should improve massively. Injuries or lack thereof should be a part of the equation.

This is the most talent I’ve seen on a Pitt team in maybe…..ever. The sky’s the limit.

Hail to Pitt !