Pitt head coach Jeff Capel announced on Thursday that Texas Tech transfer Jamarius Burton has been granted immediate eligibility and will be able to play this coming season.
“We filed the waiver for Jamarius, and it has been granted; so he is eligible,” Capel said on Thursday. “We want him and need him to be a really good player. I think he has tremendous leadership qualities. He’s come from two really outstanding programs that have won, that have been in the postseason each year."
"Both of the programs, Wichita State and Texas Tech, they embody toughness, togetherness," he added. "And things like that, and hopefully, those are the things that, being an older guy, he can help instill here in our program.”
The 6’4”, 205-pound guard was once a star at Independence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he averaged 16.4 points, 4.9 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game and earned a three-star rating. At the college level, Burton enjoyed a breakout season as a sophomore at Wichita State, as he averaged 10.3 points, 3.4 assists and 3.5 boards per game and shot 38.1 percent from long range.
However, last season at Texas Tech, Burton’s role was diminished, as he was stripped of the starting role he held with the Shockers and appeared in fewer than 30 games for the first time in his career. And in that diminished role with the Red Raiders, he averaged 4.3 points, 1.2 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game.
In Pittsburgh, Burton should see more playing time than he did in Lubbock, 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 playmaker. Burton will have competition for that role in Femi Odukale, but if he can regain the form he displayed as in Wichita, he could become a starter again.