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Nike Sibande cleared to play

The Pitt shooting guard was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA

Pitt shooting guard Nike Sibande was publicly jammed up in his transfer process by staff members at his former school, Miami (Ohio), but on Wednesday, the NCAA intervened, granting Sibande, as well as all other pending transfers, immediate eligibility.

The decision was handed down by the NCAA’s Division I Council, which voted to clear all remaining transfers who had been left in limbo for immediate participation. As a result, Sibande will be eligible to take part in Pitt’s ACC opener against Miami on Wednesday night, and could play if Pitt head coach Jeff Capel believes he is prepared for competition.

The 6’4”, 185-pound shooting guard averaged 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game over his three seasons at Miami (Ohio). Sibande also started 94 of 97 games during his time with the RedHawks and finished his Miami career with a total of 1,463 points, 186 three-pointers and 311 made free throws.

Sibande could provide Pitt with the depth of talent it needs to succeed in the ACC. Up until this point, the team has been heavily reliant on Justin Champagnie, but it has also gotten offensive support from Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney on a regular basis. At this point, it is unclear how adding Sibande to the mix will impact the team, but having him available can only improve matters for a Panthers team that appears to be on an upward trajectory.