Pitt Contacts Newly Available Five-Star PG

The Pitt Panthers are going after one of the best players in the class of 2024, who just became available again.
Stepinac's Boogie Fland puts up a shot against Nazareth during the CHSAA city championship at
Stepinac's Boogie Fland puts up a shot against Nazareth during the CHSAA city championship at / Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News / USA

PITTSBURGH -- One school's misfortune is another's gain and the Pitt Panthers could reap the rewards of a recent coaching change at Kentucky.

With John Calipari out and Mark Pope in, some members of Kentucky's latest recruiting class asked for a release from their national letters of intent. One of those players was Kentucky's Johnuel "Boogie" Fland, a five-star point guard who's now been contacted by Pitt alongside Louisville, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida State, St. John’s, Illinois, Providence and Seton Hall, according to ESPN basketball recruiting insider Paul Biancardi.

"I am back to square one. I am open to hearing about other schools. This is the second time around, so it will be a more straightforward process," he told Biancardi. “NIL definitely plays a part, but the basketball and coaches are most important. Wherever I go, I understand that I have to earn my playing time. I will look to set up my visits soon."

The Panthers appear to have filled out their backcourt for the most part but they certainly wouldn't be shooing off Fland should he want to come to Pittsburgh. Fland is unanimously considered a top-25 player in the class of 2024, with Rivals ranking him as high as the No. 10 player overall and No. 1 point guard in the class. ESPN and Rivals both have him rated as a five-star prospect, while On3 and 247Sports consider him a four-star player.

Fland, a 6'2 and 175-pound native of White Plains, New York, plays his high school ball at Archbishop Stepinac and has won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup.

Pitt was able to retain star guards Ishmael Leggett and Jaland Lowe for another season and they recently added former Houston and Temple veteran Damian Dunn through the transfer portal. Three-star guard Brandin Cummings will join them as part of the 2024 recruitng class as well. But with two scholarships left to use, a five-star point guard isn't a bad way to burn one.

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Stephen Thompson

STEPHEN THOMPSON

Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper.  He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press.  During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.  You can reach Stephen by email at stephenethompson00@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter. Read his latest work: