When it came to 6′-7″ forward Jamel Artis and the Pittsburgh Panthers, the question wasn’t if Artis was likely headed to the Panthers, it was when. That question was answered on Friday, as Artis made a long awaited pledge to the Panthers. The Panthers have a very solid recruiting class, as though it lacks a star, all three prospects are ranked among the top-150 for the 2013 class. Artis is ranked No. 128 nationally, in the Hoopniks.com player rankings.
Artis, a Baltimore-native that played at Notre Dame Prep (MA), is somewhat of a tweener as a combo forward, but there’s enough there for him to be a solid player in the ACC. He can score and shoot a bit, but he’s good rebounder for his size and position, and that will attribute is likely to get him on the floor at Pitt. Artis is strong on the break, and can shoot enough to keep defenders honest.
Artis joins point guard Josh Newkrik and power forward Mike Young in the class at Pitt. All three are understated but talented players, with Young having perhaps the highest upside.
Next on Pitt’s radar is Newkirk’s former high school teammate Joseph Uchebo, a junior college center. Given the loss of freshman center Steven Adams to the NBA, Uchebo is a top priority recruit. Uchebo was originally slated for the NC State Wolfpack as a member of the 2011 class, but went to Chipola JC (FL) instead. He is expected to have three years of eligibility. According to JUCORecruiting.com, Uchebo is set to make a trip to Pitt this weekend.
Assuming Pitt can add Uchebo to its already solid three player haul, the Panthers will be in great shape heading into the ACC. While Artis may not impact next season, he’s the type of guy that has become a solid upperclass starter in the past under coach Jamie Dixon.