Josh Newkirk, a 6-foot-2, 170 pound guard from Word of God Christian Academy (NC) committed to Pittsburgh Wednesday, choosing the Panthers over the likes of Georgia Tech, Memphis, and Missouri.
Newkirk, one of the premier athletes in the 2013 class, is a consensus top-150 prospect, ranking No. 89 and 119 nationally by Scout and Rivals, respectively. His athleticism and quickness allow him to consistently drive the lane and finish above the rim. He’s a combo-guard learning to become a true point guard, and is transitioning well. He’s a good passer who doesn’t try to force things. Defensively, Newkirk isn’t as advanced, but he has the potential to be a good defender who at the very least will create some turnovers. He’s quick with the ball in his hands but needs to tighten his handle and improve his jump shot to become a more complete offensive player.
Newkirk comes from the same Raleigh, NC high school that produced John Wall. With the Panthers’ impending move to the ACC, it’s encouraging to see Pitt invading ACC recruiting territory. Establishing a pipeline in the talent-rich state of North Carolina would be beneficial to the program going forward, and with UNC and Duke usually reserving their scholarships for blue-chip top-50 type guys, borderline top-100 players like Newkirk are often up for grabs.
Newkirk’s commitment gives Pitt their second of the 2013 class. New Jersey forward Mike Young made his decision last month. Newkirk also had offers from Indiana, NC State, Arizona, Xavier, Tennessee, and Oklahoma State.
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