Parker Stewart was the first member of the Pitt men’s basketball team to request his release from the program after the firing of former Panthers head coach Kevin Stallings in March. He confirmed he would leave the team on April 6, and on Friday, he announced his commitment to UT Martin.
Thanks to all the schools throughout the country that recruited me after I decided to transfer from Pitt. I will be staying HOME to play for my dad at UTM ☝ pic.twitter.com/GBvXSCOujD— Parker Stewart (@_PSTEW) May 11, 2018
UT Martin was one of four finalists for the former Pitt guard’s services, and it was the only program outside of the Power Five that caught his eye.
Stewart’s other three finalists were Kansas State, Maryland and Oregon, but the Skyhawks held advantages in that their campus is 20 minutes from Union City, Tennessee, which is Stewart’s hometown, and his father, Anthony Stewart, is the team’s head coach.
As a three-star recruit in the 2017 class, Stewart held offers from a number of Power Five programs and eventually committed to Ole Miss. However, he backed off that commitment after a few months and was recruited to Pitt by Stallings.
During his time with the Panthers, Stewart became the team’s most reliable option from beyond the arc, as he made 38.6 percent of his three-point attempts, leading all members of the team who saw regular playing time.
He also averaged 9.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game and was known for his ball security on an otherwise turnover-prone team. His 0.6 turnovers per game were the fewest among the eight Pitt players to take part in 30 or more games last season.
As for UT Martin, the program has only recorded winning seasons in six of the 26 years it has existed. With that said, three of those winning seasons have come in the last four years, and the most recent one came under Coach Stewart, who went 22-13 in his first season.
The Skyhawks add a skilled shooter in Stewart, who will have three years of eligibility after sitting out the 2018-19 season due to transfer requirements.