The hits keep coming for Pitt head coach Jeff Capel on the recruiting trail, and the latest blow was delivered by Villanova transfer Jahvon Quinerly, who committed to Alabama on Sunday night. The news was confirmed by Alabama in a press release.
Quinerly is a former five-star point guard who attended Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, from 2015 to 2018. During his high school career, he averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals over 109 games and was an exceptional shooter from beyond the arc.
Pitt was one of four finalists for Quinerly, who also considered Arkansas and Georgia in addition to Alabama. The 6’1”, 175-pound guard visited both Alabama and Pitt last week, but it appears his trip to Tuscaloosa was a greater success. That outcome came despite the fact that Quinerly and Capel have a longstanding relationship that many thought would lead the elite recruit to come to Pitt.
”No one has a longer-standing relationship with Quinerly than Pitt's Jeff Capel, dating back to his time as a Duke assistant, whenever he was recruiting Quinerly out of Hudson Catholic,” said Corey Evans of Rivals two weeks ago. “Trust will go a long way with Quinerly, which might be on Pitt’s side.”
Ultimately, Capel’s familiarity with Quinerly failed to pay off, as the former Wildcat saw the situation at Alabama under recently hired Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats more appealing. Since he was hired on March 27, Oats has convinced Tide stars Kira Lewis and John Petty to stay in Tuscaloosa and brought in Quinerly as another key piece.
While missing on Quinerly is a tough break for Pitt, it is hardly a devastating blow to the 2019 recruiting class, as the backcourt is currently manned by Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens. However, the addition would have eased concerns about Pitt’s future in the event that Johnson enters the NBA draft after next season. For now, though, adding to the frontcourt remains Capel’s top priority for the remainder of the 2019 recruiting cycle.