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New to the Zoo: Pitt lands Miami transfer Nike Sibande

The former Miami guard averaged 15.1 points per game with the RedHawks

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 21 Miami OH at DePaul Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt landed a surprise commitment from a coveted transfer on Saturday, as former Miami (Ohio) guard Nike Sibande announced that he would be finishing his collegiate career in Pittsburgh. The move was unexpected, as Sibande narrowed his list of schools to a top five that included Alabama, Arkansas, Georgetown, Georgia and Xavier in May.

“Nike is an experienced, skilled and productive player who will fit in well with the culture we are building here at Pitt,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said in a release announcing the signing of Sibande. “He is an outstanding athlete who loves to compete and has a scorers’ mentality. We look forward to having him in the program and working with him as he continues to develop on and off the court.”

Over the last three seasons, the 6'4", 185-pound guard averaged 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Sibande also started 94 of 97 games during his time in Miami and finished his career with the RedHawks with a total of 1,463 points, 186 three-pointers and 311 made free throws.

For his contributions at Miami, Sibande earned third-team All-MAC honors in 2019 as well as All-MAC honorable mention, All-MAC freshman team honors and MAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2018. Last season, Sibande did not win conference honors despite posting 13.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and scoring in double-figures on 22 occasions. However, he did achieve a personal best with a career-high 31-point performance against Buffalo in the MAC tournament in March.

Sibande has one season of eligibility remaining and will have to sit for a season before being cleared to play unless he is granted a waiver. It is unclear at this point if Jeff Capel and his staff intend to pursue a waiver for Sibande or if they will decline to pursue one as they did with Delaware transfer Ithiel Horton last season.