Pitt has been in the market for backcourt reinforcements since Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney entered the transfer portal in February, and it appears Jeff Capel and his staff could be closing in on a pledge from a coveted combo guard, as Marshall transfer Jarrod West named the program one of his three finalists on Monday afternoon.
West’s three finalists were revealed by Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers, and aside from Pitt, the list also included Louisville and Ohio State. That makes Pitt the option closest to home for West, a native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, but Pitt has also been the least successful of the three programs over the last five years.
The 5’11”, 181-pound combo guard is coming off arguably his best college season to date, as he averaged 12.5 points, 6.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game for the Thundering Herd while shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range. West was also careful with the ball, and he finished his senior season with the 18th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the nation, with 126 assists to 44 turnovers.
Given his proven ability to contribute as both a play facilitator and shooter, West would likely slot into Johnson’s abandoned point guard post at Pitt, addressing one of the team’s most pressing needs this offseason. West would then pair up with Nike Sibande or Ithiel Horton, both of whom proved to be reliable shooters as well last season, with averages of 43.6 and 37.1 from three-point range, respectively.
Of course, one of the key questions facing Pitt this offseason is who will man its frontcourt next season with Terrell Brown and Abdoul Karim Coulibaly gone. Such questions could dampen enthusiasm for the program among recruits like West, but the same roster issues should also serve as a reminder that minutes will be easier to come by in Pittsburgh than in Columbus or Louisville. So which program fits West best will depend on his priorities.
With that said, West appears to have his priorities in order and will not wait long to make a decision, as he plans to commit to one of the three programs on Wednesday.