By Mike White | Monday, April 26, 2010, 10:35 p.m.
North Allegheny High School basketball coach Dave DeGregorio got an up close view of Pitt's newest basketball recruit.
Jaylen Bond, a 6-foot-8 forward from Plymouth Whitemarsh near Philadelphia, recently made a verbal commitment to Pitt. He helped Plymouth-Whitemarsh win the state Class AAAA championship this season. In the semifinals, Plymouth Whitemarsh defeated North Allegheny, 71-47, and Bond had 26 points and 12 rebounds. He made 12 of 13 shots from the field.
"He's a phenomenal athlete," DeGregorio said. "You get a lot of guys who are listed bigger than they really are. But he's every big of 6-8, and he's a manchild."
Bond has long arms and is built well. Just take a look at a photo of him to the left from the state championship game against Penn Wood. Bond, by the way, is in the red.
If there is a knock on Bond it is his offensive skills. He scores most of his points close to the basket and doesn't have much of an offensive game outside of 10 feet.
I saw Bond play in the state championship and he definitely didn't show much game away from the basket. You know what he reminded me of? A bigger, longer Nasir Robinson. I say this because Robinson in high school didn't do a whole lot away from the basket, either. He played at Chester High School.
I think Bond can have a successful career at Pitt, but don't expect him to be an offensive juggernaut who can stick 3-pointers and handle the ball. That means he'll fit right in with some of Pitt's players. He also does not shoot free fhrows well, which means he might fit in well at Pitt.
But Pitt has a way of making good players much better.
"There is no doubt some offensive development needs to happn with him, but he has all the physical skills to play at that [Pitt] level," DeGregorio said. "What kid that age doesn't