Pitt coach Jeff Capel and his staff currently have two open scholarships at their disposal, and they have been pursuing a number of transfers to address their needs for the upcoming season. This week, that led them to get in contact with Rice transfer Trey Murphy and Wichita State decommit JaDun Michael.
Capel and his staff contacted Murphy on Tuesday, according to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers, and they joined a long line of suitors seeking the outbound Rice star's services. Some of the standouts among the 30-plus programs in pursuit of Murphy include Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Cincinnati, Creighton, Houston, Marquette, Memphis, Texas, UConn, Villanova and Xavier.
The 6’8”, 200-pound shooting guard averaged 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game last season with the Conference USA program. In addition, Murphy has been a reliable shooter, as he has shot 39.0 percent from three-point range in his two-year career, exceeding the 40.0 percent mark as a freshman and shooting at a 36.8 percent clip as a sophomore. He also made 82.4 percent of his free throws last season.
Pitt reached out to Michael shortly after he reopened his recruitment on Monday, per Weingarten. The four-star small forward decommitted from Wichita State, noting that he felt uncomfortable traveling far from home. With that said, home for Michael is Burlington, North Carolina, which is more than 1,000 miles away from Wichita. Pittsburgh is less than 500 miles away, making it a better option. But he also holds an offer from NC State, which is about an hour from his high school.
Michael is a 6’5”, 180-pound wing who holds a four-star rating from 247Sports and a three-star rating from Rivals. The former counts him among the top 150 recruits in the 2020 class and the No. 7 prospect in North Carolina.
It is unclear how prominently Pitt figures into the recruitment of either player, but Capel and his staff have already swung and missed on a number of transfers so far this offseason. The list includes Brendan Barry, who opted to return to Dartmouth; Ian DuBose, who transfered to Wake Forest; Alan Griffin, who quickly trimmed Pitt from his list; and Nate Johnson, who chose Xavier. Aside from Michael and Murphy, Pitt is still in the running for transfers Jamarius Burton and Landers Nolley II as well as 2020 recruits Karim Mane and William Jeffress.