There has been much talk about Mustapha Heron and his commitment to the University of Pittsburgh. The backdrop is just this: Heron’s father and past Pitt assistant, Barry ‘Slice’ Rohrssen, have a solid friendship that dates back to their relative youth. When Rohrssen looked to land the steady sophomore early on, Heron gave his word and gave a verbal to Jamie Dixon’s program. However, Slice has taken the open assistant position at the University of Kentucky that was left once past Pitt great, Orlando Antigua, stepped away and took over the University of South Florida job (funny how things work). Hence, many believed for Heron to back out of his word and verbal to University of Kentucky shortly after. This has not been the case and at the NBPA Camp on Wednesday night, HoopsIntel was able to catch up with the Connecticut native.
For those who haven’t been able to catch a viewing of Heron, the well-built wing can practically play any spot on the floor. When placed off the ball, the 6’6 junior tends to favor the baseline and has really developed a more consistent stroke from deep and can post up the smaller defender from the short corner region on down. Out atop of the key with the rock, Heron is deadly in getting into the lane, drawing the defense, and making appropriate reads in either scoring it through the contact at the bucket, or kicking out to open teammates on the perimeter. Ranked within the top-30 of most sites, it is good reason that Pitt fans might be a bit worried about losing the bluechip recruit to Calipari and his Big Blue Nation.
Getting the one million dollar question out of the way, Heron was asked where he stood with his commitment to Pitt. “I am 100% committed to Pitt. I am working on building a better relationship with Coach Dixon. I just talked to him the other day.” Planning on taking another visit to Oakland in the coming weeks, Heron was sold on a few specific things when he took last visit several months back. “I think the players go there and they develop. The coaching staff, they get their guys better. When I went up there on my visit, it was like watching a family interact. How the coaches and players interact. They really sold me on that. That’s where they got me.”
Much has been said about where he can play at on the floor. Heron gave his insight as to where the Pitt staff and he see him at the next level in the backcourt. “I see myself gradually playing the one but wherever they want me at the one through three, I’ll do that.” Many prospects that have superior size sometimes attempt to lead the point guard spot on the floor, yet fall short on the many dimensions of running a team. With Mustapha Heron, the Sacred Heart High School product is more than capable of playing whichever spot that he and the Pitt staff feels that is in their best interest due to his hard-working mentality and versatility on the hardwood.
The Pitt commit did go on to say that he felt that he had gotten much better handling the basketball and that his defensive capabilities have gotten a ton better over the last few months. When asked what he felt he and the Pitt staff wanted him to do next in order to reach the next level within his skillset, Heron stated that, “I have to just continue to work on my skill development and that they will put me in a situation to be successful.”
So, rest assured Oakland Zoo, your bluechip recruit in 2016 is standing firm with his commitment to the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. Unfortunately, the rest of the ACC should continue to feel a bit queasy at the thought of having to deal with the bull that you call Mustapha Heron.
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