Last December, Pitt got a commitment from Jalen Hood-Schifino, then a five-star point guard in the 2022 class at Combine Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since then, the blue-chip recruit has dropped to a four-star rating and transferred to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, and on Monday afternoon, Hood-Schifino announced that he would be decommitting from Pitt.
“Pitt will always be at the top of my list, but it might not be a bad idea to look at different options,” Hood-Schifino told Corey Evans of Rivals in an interview on Monday. “I kind of want to experience the whole process. I just think that I did everything too fast without enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Hood-Schifino’s decision comes just one month after he announced his move from Combine Academy to Montverde Academy and told Brad Everett of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was still firm on his commitment. However, he continued to hear from other programs after making his verbal pledge to Pitt, and that may well have contributed to his decision to reopen his recruitment.
“A lot of schools, when you commit verbally, they respect that,” Jalen’s mom, Angel Schifino, told Everett. “But I will get people who have relationships with those coaches who ask me, ‘Are you really sure he wants to go there?’ There have been two big schools that have reached out and kind of wanted to know that, ‘If it’s not 100 percent, let us know.’”
While the possibility exists that Hood-Schifino could recommit to Pitt, historically, such occurrences have been rare. So despite the ties the Pittsburgh native has to the area, it appears there is a significant chance Pitt has lost him for good. That’s an especially tough blow for the program, as Hood-Schifino was the most highly rated prospect to commit to Pitt since Steven Adams did so in 2012.
Now, with Hood-Schifino presumed to be heading elsewhere, Pitt head coach Jeff Capel is back to square one in terms of his plans for the future, with zero 2021 or 2022 recruits now committed to the program.