Pitt freshman Shamiel Stevenson announced on Instagram that he will remain with the Panthers after previously requesting his release from the team on March 16. His announcement came shortly after Jeff Capel was named Pitt’s new head coach on Tuesday.
Officially listed on Pitt’s roster as both a guard and a forward, Stevenson was one of Pitt’s more versatile players during the 2017-18 season, as he averaged 8.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. In his first year in Pittsburgh, he was the only player other than Ryan Luther to put up more than four points and grab more than four rebounds per game.
In December, then-head coach Kevin Stallings described Stevenson as a potential difference-maker for the Panthers, provided he could turn a corner and start contributing regularly.
“He’s a guy from a talent perspective that has a chance to be a difference-maker over the course of his career,” Stallings said, according to Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m not saying he’s an all-league player right now or anything like that, but he’s got a chance to be a guy that can get a lot of things done.”
Stallings’ vision never quite came to fruition, as Stevenson struggled with consistency despite spells of excellence during the conference schedule.
In 19 ACC games, Stevenson was held to eight points or fewer 11 times. He was also an iffy free-throw shooter, as he made just 60.7 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe. With that said, he also led Pitt’s regular starters in field-goal percentage, converting 50.5 percent of his shots from the field, including 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts.
While the news about Stevenson is certainly positive, it’s worth noting that Capel is not obligated to allow the return of players who were previously granted their release from the program, according to Meyer, who said those players had been “given bad advice.”