Despite the recruiting dead period that was recently imposed by the NCAA, it has been a busy couple of days for Pitt head coach Jeff Capel and his staff. So far this week, they have seen Ryan Murphy enter the transfer portal and Femi Odukale commit to the program. Capel and his staff have also been busy courting transfer targets, as they have been in contact with Wichita State transfer Jamarius Burton and Virginia Tech transfer Landers Nolley II.
Corey Evans of Rivals reported on Monday morning that Pitt was one of more than a dozen schools that had gotten in contact with Burton since he entered the NCAA transfer portal last week. The 6’4”, 200-pound guard averaged 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in Wichita last season while shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Burton is one of five Shockers who entered the transfer portal over the past week. He has been joined by Noah Fernandes, DeAntoni Gordon, Grant Sherfield and Erik Stevenson. The moves followed a season in which Wichita State finished fourth in the AAC behind Cincinnati, Houston and Tulsa. The team has failed to reach 25 wins in its last two campaigns after doing so annually between the 2009-10 season and the 2017-18 season. It is unclear if there are currently any front-runners for Burton.
Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers reported on Tuesday that Pitt was one of 17 teams in pursuit of Nolley. The Virginia Tech transfer entered the portal on Monday and has since heard from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgetown, Maryland, NC State, Oregon and TCU, among others. The 6’7”, 225-pound forward is a former four-star prospect and top-100 recruit in the 2018 class. He redshirted his first year in Blacksburg and made the ACC all-freshman team last season.
Nolley’s departure follows a regime change in Blacksburg that saw Buzz Williams leave for Texas A&M and former Wofford coach Mike Young take the helm in 2019. Williams recruited Nolley in 2017 and coached the Hokies to four straight seasons with 20 or more wins. Under Young last season, the Hokies ended that streak, finishing 16-16.
Decision timelines for Burton and Nolley have yet to be announced, and Pitt has one open scholarship at this time. However, that total has fluctuated in what has been a busy offseason and could do so again. Capel is also in pursuit of four-star wing William Jeffress out of Erie, Pennsylvania. Jeffress is widely presumed to be Pitt’s top target, and it is unclear how landing a transfer like Burton or Nolley would impact his recruitment.