Pitt landed its second transfer in two days on Tuesday night, as Jamarius Burton, a combo guard on his way out of Texas Tech, announced his commitment to the program. Burton is the third recruit Jeff Capel has brought in this offseason, as Oakland transfer Dan Oladapo committed on Monday and 2021 small forward Nate Santos committed on April 7.
Burton earned a three-star rating from Rivals after averaging 16.4 points, 4.9 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game at Independence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his time in the Tar Heel State, he led Independence to a state title and earned MVP honors in the championship game. He then committed to Wichita State in 2018 and played under Greg Marshall for two years before transferring to Texas Tech.
The 6’4”, 205-pound combo guard played in a reduced role at Texas Tech as a junior last season after becoming a standout at Wichita State. In two years with the Shockers, Burton started 52 of 67 games and became the team’s top assist man, with 3.4 per game as a sophomore. That season, he also ranked second on the team in three-point shooting, as he sank 38.1 percent of his long-range shots. And he was third on the team in scoring, as he contributed 10.3 points per game.
However, Burton saw his minutes cut and came off the bench under Chris Beard in Lubbock. As a result, he averaged fewer than 20 minutes per game for the first time in his career and made just four starts in 29 games. And when all was said and done, Burton had averaged a career-low 4.3 points and 1.2 assists per game amid limited playing time.
At Pitt, playing time should be less of an issue, as the program is searching for a replacement for three-year starter Xavier Johnson at point guard. Johnson was one of five players to transfer out of Pitt this spring, and with him gone, the team will need a reliable play facilitator. Whether Burton will secure that role or not remains to be seen. But his two years of experience as a starter at Wichita State should give him a leg up over Femi Odukale.
In addition, if Burton can regain the form he displayed in his sophomore year, Pitt could have an answer to the problem posed by the loss of two of its top scorers this offseason. And if Capel can convince Justin Champagnie to stay on campus and land another frontcourt contributor, the new-look Panthers may enter next season in relatively good shape.