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Gorman: Pitt hoops could soon have Western Pa. flavor

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Saturday, May 18, 2013, 11:03 p.m.
 

Neither DeAndre Kane nor Sheldon Jeter have announced that they are transferring to Pitt.

It is considered a mere formality, as both basketball players are expected to fill major needs for the Panthers in the future.

That would give Pitt three Western Pennsylvania players for the first time in two decades.

Kane starred at Schenley and won three City League titles and a PIAA crown before going to Marshall. Jeter led Beaver Falls to a WPIAL Class AA championship and the PIAA final before going to Vanderbilt.

Those two could join incoming freshman power forward Mike Young, a McKeesport native who played at Shady Side Academy as a freshman but finished at St. Benedict Prep in Newark, N.J.

Not since the early 1990s, when Pitt featured Blackhawk's Sean Miller, Perry's Darelle Porter and Jeannette's Jermaine Morgan, have the Panthers had such a Western Pennsylvania flavor.

Of course, Kane and Jeter have to pick Pitt for that to happen.

Kane, a three-year starter at Marshall who averaged 15.1 points and seven assists last season, told CBS Sports that he was picking Pitt because “it's a perfect situation for me.”

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard should step in as a starter, given that Tray Woodall has graduated and Trey Zeigler has transferred.

First, Kane has to pass two classes at Marshall so that he can graduate. If he earns his degree, he will be immediately eligible to play for the Panthers as a fifth-year senior next season.

Young also has a shot at cracking the starting lineup next season, now that Pitt coach Jamie Dixon confirmed this past week at the ACC spring meetings that he's helping senior-to-be J.J. Moore find a school to which he can transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Young would likely replace Moore at power forward, with 6-9 senior Talib Zanna sliding over to center to replace NBA early entrant Steven Adams and the graduated Dante Taylor.

Vanderbilt announced Friday that Jeter was transferring, with coach Kevin Stallings saying Jeter “indicated that he'd like to play closer to home.”

Jeter tweeted that he does “not know what school I will go to,” calling it “another conversation to take place at another time with my family.”

Perhaps the 6-7 swingman will pick Penn State instead of Pitt, which did not offer him a scholarship last year. But he knows that Pitt will be looking for perimeter help in 2014-15, when Jeter would be eligible to play.

First, both Jeter and Kane have to pick Pitt. By doing so, they and Young could put the Pittsburgh back in the Panthers.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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