November 6, 2007

Woodall can't wait

Pitt's Class of 2008 has three commitments from the Philadelphia/New Jersey area: Nasir Robinson (6' 5") represents Chester (PA), while Seton Hall Prep Ashton Gibbs (6' 2" 210) and St. Anthony's Travon Woodall (5' 11") represent New Jersey. Pitt has proven its success in recruiting players from the New York City area, and is now looking to again extend its ties into the state of New Jersey.

Woodall was in Pittsburgh over the weekend to tour the campus, meet with the players and coaches, and, of course, watch the Panthers play in person, as they defeated IUP 83-31 on Sunday. Woodall gave the Panthers a verbal commitment in January, and following his official visit, he is as strong in his commitment as ever.

"I like the intensity of the team," Woodall said of Pitt's performance on Sunday. "They set the tempo early. That's how we try to do it at St. Anthony's. I was in the locker room before the game, seeing how they get ready for a game. When they took the floor I was ready to go out there with them. I can't wait."

Woodall came to Pittsburgh on Saturday morning after taking his SATs. He got caught up with fellow '08 commit Gibbs, and current freshman Brad Wanamaker. Wannamaker is the one current player he knows the best, though he already feels like part of the team thanks to the other players.

"I'm cool with (Wanamaker)," Woodall said. "We kicked it around for a bit. I know him from playing against him. Everybody on the team is real cool."

Woodall is a guard for St. Anthony's, the No. 6 ranked team in the nation in the Rivals Fab 50 preseason rankings. The Friars were 28-1 last season and have six future Division I players on their roster. Woodall, after his visits to Pittsburgh, is looking forward to being a future defensive specialist for the Panthers.

"I talked with the coaches about the defense," Woodall said. "That's my main concern, concentrating on playing defense. Coming from St. Anthony's, defense is the key. Coming to Pittsburgh this weekend, I got a chance to see how they run theirs."

Of the members of the current coaching staff, Woodall looks at new director of basketball operations Brandin Knight as a role model. Knight came from Seton Hall Prep, another New Jersey powerhouse, and has been a pioneer in Pitt's resurgence over the last eight years.

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