Marshall transfer Jarrod West committed to Louisville on Wednesday after Pitt head coach Jeff Capel made a push to bring the point guard to Pitt. The coach's efforts landed Pitt in West's top three along with Ohio State and Louisville, but his pitch ultimately fell short and saw the coveted recruit head to an ACC rival.
Go Cards! #BulldogMentality pic.twitter.com/asn8E8WzGC— Jarrod West (@jarrod_west) March 31, 2021
West would have addressed a major hole in the Pitt roster at point guard left by the departure of Xavier Johnson. But with the Clarksburg, West Virginia, native no longer an option, Pitt will have to look elsewhere to fill that void.
West joined the Thundering Herd in 2017 and seized a starting role on a team that would win the Conference USA tournament and earn an NCAA tournament berth in his first season. By his junior year, West ranked second on the team in points and assists, with 14.2 and 4.2 per game, and led the Herd in steals, with 2.0 per game. And as a senior, West further refined his game, averaging 12.5 points, 6.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He led the team in the latter two statistical categories.
The 5’11”, 181-pound point guard also could have help the Panthers address their long-range shooting issues, as he is a dangerous three-point shooter who made over 40 percent of his three-point attempts in two of his four seasons at Marshall. Beyond that, West ranked 18th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio this season, with 126 assists to 44 turnovers, and would have been an improvement over Johnson in that respect, as Johnson ranked 155th, with 103 assists to 59 turnovers.
With West heading to Louisville, Pitt will have to prepare to face an aggressive defender and a skilled floor general in the coming season. However, West may not even secure a starting role in the Bluegrass State, as Cardinals point guard Carlik Jones, a recent candidate for ACC Player of the Year, may decide against entering the NBA draft and return for another season.
As for Pitt, the program is still in need of an overhaul this offseason, with holes to fill at point guard, power forward, center and potentially small forward if Justin Champagnie enters the NBA draft. And at the moment, 2021 recruits Nate Santos and Efton Reid and Florida International transfer Antonio Daye Jr. appear to be the top names to watch.
Santos, a versatile 6'7", 200-pound small forward known for his shooting ability, noted that he is focused on George Washington and Pitt and will be committing soon. Reid, a five-star center who checks in at 7'1" and 235 pounds, has had a quiet recruitment, but Rivals analyst Jamie Shaw predicted on Tuesday that Reid would commit to Pitt. And Daye, a 6'3", 188-pound point guard, previously placed Pitt in his top four but reopened his recruitment.