Jeff Capel’s efforts to resurrect Pitt’s basketball program yielded a potentially big catch Monday when four-star Dior Johnson, one of the top point guards in the Class of 2022, announced plans to enroll this year.
Johnson is ranked 38th overall in his class and the No. 7 point guard, according to Rivals.com. He is Pitt’s highest-rated recruit since Steven Adams, who was rated the No. 3 center in 2012.
— Dior Johnson???? (@3Diorjohnson) June 13, 2022
Pitt is the third Power 5 school to receive a verbal commitment from Johnson, who recently played at Southern California Academy in Santa Clarita, Calif. But he also has played for nine other high schools, according to USA Today, including IMG Academy and Oak Hill Academy.
Johnson, who stands 6-foot-3, committed to Syracuse as a sophomore in 2020, but signed with Oregon. He backed off his commitment to the Ducks after second-team All-Pac 12 guard Will Richardson withdrew his name from NBA Draft consideration June 1. Oregon also recruited guards Keeshawn Barthelemy of Colorado and Jermaine Couisnard of South Carolina from the NCAA transfer portal.
After de-committing from Oregon, Johnson had recently listed Mississippi State and Washington State, along with Pitt, as his final three options.
The Panthers’ roster will have a remarkably different look this season.
Johnson is the fourth member of Pitt’s 2022 class, joining twins Jorge and Guillermo Diaz Graham and Fede Federiko. Capel also has added transfers Cashius McNeilly, Greg Elliott, Nelly Cummings and Blake Hinson to returning starters John Hugley and Jamarius Burton.
The influx of new talent is expected to give Capel several lineup options while he tries to improve on his 51-69 four-year record (21-53 in the ACC).
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .