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Nov. 18, 2009

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball program signed three student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent, Head Coach Jamie Dixon announced on Wednesday. The NCAA Division I fall men’s basketball signing period began Wednesday, Nov. 11 and ends today, Wednesday, Nov. 18.


Those three student-athletes include guard Isaiah Epps (Plainfield, N.J./Hargrave Military Academy/Plainfield H.S.), forward J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y./South Kent Academy, Conn.) and guard Cameron Wright (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine H.S.). Epps, Moore and Wright will enroll at Pitt in August, 2010 as freshmen. Moore committed to the Panthers last Wednesday.


“We are extremely excited about Isaiah, J.J. and Cameron,” Dixon said. “All three are good players from winning programs and all three have outstanding work ethic.”


Pitt (2-0) is back in action on Thursday, Nov. 19 against Eastern Kentucky in the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.


The following is detailed information on Pitt’s 2009-10 men’s basketball signees:



(early signing period for men’s basketball runs Nov. 11-18, 2009)



Guard, 6-2, 170, Plainfield, N.J./Hargrave Military Academy/Plainfield H.S.


A lefthanded combination guard, Isaiah Epps is described as a quick, agile point guard with elite level speed who will provide a new element to the Pitt program. One of the nation’s most prolific passers, Epps is a pass-first player who makes his teammates better. He has been compared to former Pitt point guard Levance Fields for his unique passing ability, shifty ball-handling skills and spot-up shooting in clutch situations. Epps can shoot the three, get to the hoop or knock down pull-up jumpers. On the defensive end, he is very creative and his long arms enable him to get steals. He is an intense, hard working player with good speed, athleticism and court vision.


HIGH SCHOOL: Will play his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. for Head Coach Kevin Keatts…Season is underway…Has already been named the team captain…Had to transfer to a prep school because of New Jersey state age regulations…Played three years at Plainfield High School for coaches Jeff Lubreski (2008-09) and Pete Vasil (2006-08)…Second Team All-State, Group Four First Team All-County and All-Union First Team selection as a junior…Named to All-Area First Team by…Averaged 15.6 points, six rebounds and 5.5 assists as a junior in 2008-09…Led Plainfield to a 23-7 overall record and North NJSIAA championship in 2008-09…Scored 24 points (four 3-pointers) in a 70-67 Group Four Semifinal game against Paterson Eastside…Finished with a game-high 21 points in leading Plainfield to a 70-52 North 2 Group Four title game win over Piscataway…Registered a game-high 27 points with four 3-pointers vs. St. Peter’s Prep…Totaled 13 points and a career-high 14 assists in a 91-70 win over Elizabeth…Scored 30 points with five 3-pointers vs. Seton Hall Prep…Registered 26 points vs. Shabazz…Scored 24 points and was named MVP of the Hoop Group Tipoff Showcase after a come-from-behind 73-61 win over Paterson Catholic…Hit five 3-pointers and finished with 23 points vs. Watchung Hills…Averaged 16.5 points, 6.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 steals as a sophomore…Guided the Cardinals to an 18-7 record as a sophomore…Played several games on the Plainfield varsity as a freshman and guided the Cardinals’ JV program to the Union County title…Attended the Deron Williams Skills Academy, sponsored by Nike and attended by the nation’s top high school point guards…Rated one of the “top passers” at the Williams Skills Camp…Plays AAU basketball with the New Jersey Playaz for Head Coach Jim Salmon…Ranked the nation’s No. 40 recruit and No. 8 point guard by…Rated the nation’s No. 50 recruit by ESPN-U…Rated the nation’s No. 69 recruit by, The Sporting News and Lindy’s Magazine…Ranked the nation’s No. 92 recruit by…Invited to attend the 2008 Reebok All-American Camp in Philadelphia…Named the 2008 Rumble in the Bronx MVP…Selected as the Most Outstanding Prospect at the Hoop Group Elite Camp…Played in the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, an AAU Tournament held at the Petersen Events Center.


PERSONAL: Born Isaiah S. Epps on August 16, 1990…Son of Danielle Epps…Originally from New York City, moved to Plainfield, N.J. with his mother before the eighth grade…Nickname is “Easy”…Became the first Plainfield player to sign with a Big East school in more than 25 years…Second cousin is current Pitt guard Travon Woodall…Pitt assistant coach Brandin Knight is a New Jersey native and also played AAU basketball for the Playaz…Favorite player is LeBron James because he “looks for his teammates before he scores”…Committed to Pitt on January 12, 2009, midway through his junior year…Selected Pitt because he felt “comfortable, loved the school, loved his visit and loved everything about it”…Playing at same prep school as former Pitt All-American Sam Young…Played on same team with fellow Pitt signee Cameron Wright at the Lebron James Nike All-American Camp…Also considered Maryland, Florida, Texas, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John’s, Georgetown, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Providence, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Michigan State in the recruiting process.



Forward, 6-6, 200, Brentwood, N.Y./South Kent Academy (Conn.)/Brentwood H.S.


A somewhat hidden talent out of Long Island, J.J. Moore’s stock soared this summer as his skill set improved to the point that it matched his explosiveness. A good teammate and leader, Moore has emerged as one of the nation’s most complete wing prospects. A big, aggressive, athletic wing with an impressive game, Moore excels at attacking the rim, is a versatile scorer and stellar on-ball defender. He is an explosive leaper and streaky shooter with improving range who has good size for the perimeter. He has good hands and can catch off penetration and convert threes. Flying under the radar for the majority of his high school career, Moore was discovered by major NCAA Division I programs this summer with outstanding performances in Philadelphia and North Carolina.


HIGH SCHOOL: Will play his senior season at South Kent Prep Academy in South Kent, Conn. for Head Coach Kelvin Jefferson…Has already emerged as a team leader…Attended and played his first three years at Brentwood High School for Head Coach Anthony Jimenez…Brentwood is located in Long Island, N.Y.…Averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and three assists as a junior at Brentwood while being forced to play center and power forward because of his height…Led the Indians to a 17-5 overall record…Consensus All-Long Island selection…Named to Newsday and Suffolk All-County Long Island Teams…Ranked among the county’s top-5 leading scorers…Scored 28 points and hit three 3-pointers in Brentwood’s NYHSA playoff loss to Deer Park…Scored 27 points and added nine rebounds vs. Floyd…Ranked the nation’s No. 52 recruit by Hoopscooponline…Rated the No. 76 player in the nation by…Ranked the No. 107 player overall and the No. 23 small forward by…Joined the New York Panthers AAU Basketball program in 2009 and played for Gary Charles…Also played for Team Underrated…Competed at the All-American Camp in Philadelphia where he impressed college coaches with a game-high 18 points…Shined on the summer AAU circuit at the IS8 League and Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in North Carolina…Nassau-Suffolk All-Star Game…Invited to compete in the NBA Top-100 Camp…Named an All-Star at the Reebok All-American Camp after performing as one of the top-5 players at the camp.


PERSONAL: Born Johnathan J. Moore on May 25, 1991…Son of Monique Ballard…Youth league coach is Hunt Bresky…Playing at the same prep school as Pitt forward Gilbert Brown…Visited Pitt on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 on an unofficial visit…Committed to Pitt on November 11, 2009, National Signing Day…Selected Pitt because of the Jamie Dixon and the coaching staff, the city of Pittsburgh, location and he “felt at home”…Other players who starred at South Kent include the Washington Wizards’ Andray Blatche, Miami Heat’s Dorel Wright…Also considered Louisville, St. John’s, Florida, Connecticut, Syracuse, Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Providence and Oklahoma.



Guard, 6-4, 195, Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine H.S.


Cameron Wright is described as a “complete” package who fits perfectly into Pitt’s style of play. He is physical and competitive, can defend and rebound in traffic, runs the floor, has a good mid-range game and his shot is improving. Wright is an athletic wing with size who slashes to the basket for layups on north/south drives. He is explosive and aggressive off the dribble and in the open court, attacks the rim with his slashing ability or power drives smaller players. He also has a presence on the offensive glass, is agile, has proven to be a tough defender and his athleticism is good. Wright plays with energy and urgency on both ends of the floor and will be a capable multiple position defender in Pitt’s defensive system. Wright is also an honor roll student who has been said to work as hard in the classroom as he does on the floor.


HIGH SCHOOL: Will play his senior season at Benedictine High School in Cleveland, Ohio for Head Coach Rob Stircula…Begins his season on December 4 vs. Cleveland Kennedy H.S….Will break the all-time Benedictine career scoring record in either the first or second game of the season…Two-time All-State selection and three-year varsity starter…Named Ohio Division II First Team All-State and co-District II Player of the Year, sharing the honor with teammate Derek Jackson, following his junior year…Averaged 20.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.5 steals per game in leading Benedictine to a 17-6 record as a junior…Scored 20 or more points in eight games during his junior year…Scored 29 points with 11 field goals against Walsh Jesuit…Named Ohio Division II Second Team All-State as a sophomore…Averaged 18.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a sophomore while leading the Bengals to a 19-6 record…Scored over 20 points in eight games…Scored a sophomore season-high 29 points two different times against both Youngstown Cardinal Mooney and Poland Seminary…Hit a 35-foot game winning shot to defeat Madison during his sophomore year…Averaged 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists in leading the Bengals to a 15-11 record and regional final appearance as a freshman…Started as a freshman…Delivered on a game-winning drive to give Benedictine a one point, 52-51, regional semifinal win over Fairless as a freshman…Ranked the nation’s No. 74 recruit by…Played AAU Basketball with the King James Shooting Stars…Invited to play at the King City Classic.


PERSONAL: Born Cameron W. Wright on January 1, 1992…Son of Kevin and Cheryl Wright…Honor student with a 3.7-plus grade point average…Committed to Pitt on Sunday, August 9, 2009 after visiting the campus, saying it was an “unbelievable” visit and that he “found his home”…Impressed with Pitt’s facilities, but most impressed with the people and coaching staff…Committed less than 24 hours after visiting the campus…Played on same team with fellow Pitt signee Isaiah Epps at the Lebron James Camp…Also considered Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Notre Dame, UCLA, Georgia Tech and West Virginia.







Hometown/High School

Isaiah Epps




Plainfield, N.J./Hargrave Military Acad./Plainfield H.S.

J.J. Moore




Brentwood, N.Y./South Kent Prep (Conn.)

Cameron Wright




Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine H.S.




Men's Basketball Signs Three Student-Athletes to a National Letter of Intent

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