Pitt basketball gets verbal commitment from 4-star point guard
Before he tried his first jump shot last season, Pitt recruit Trey McGowens was a relative unknown to most college recruiters.
Everyone started paying attention to the 6-foot-3 point guard when he enrolled at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy and scored 30 points in a season-opening scrimmage against highly regarded Oak Hill (Va.) Academy.
Then, he kept up the scoring pace in games that mattered and finished with averages of 18.4 points, 6.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 steals. Meanwhile, Hargrave won 33 of 37 games against a national schedule.
Lucky for Pitt, one of those recruiters keeping an eye on McGowens was coach Jeff Capel.
Ranked 80th in the nation by Rivals.com after he was unranked in preseason, McGowens verbally committed to Pitt on Tuesday and has a chance to be the Panthers point guard next season. Capel was in the market for one after Marcus Carr announced his decision to transfer.
McGowens, rated a four-star recruit by Rivals, is the first player to verbally commit to Capel since he was hired less than a month ago.
"Trey is a rare breed these days in the basketball world," Hargrave coach Lee Martin said in a statement. "He improved by leaps and bounds this season as a player, and his recruitment reflected the tremendous effort he put in."
McGowens played only his senior season at Hargrave after attending Wren (S.C.) High School as a junior. McGowens helped lead Wren to the AAAA state championship game, was named all-state by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association and Region 1 AAAA player of the year by The Independent Mail newspaper.
McGowens received scholarship offers from 40 Division I schools, including Kansas State, Wake Forest, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Providence, Virginia Tech, TCU, N.C. State and Georgia Tech. He chose Pitt over four other finalists — Clemson, St. John's, Minnesota and Ole Miss.
"Trey is one of the nicest young men you will meet and puts the same effort into his schoolwork as he does to his basketball game," Martin said. "He is truly a special talent, and I know coach Capel will love coaching him for years to come."
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.