The Pitt men’s basketball team isn’t only suffering from an exodus of transfers — now, it’s losing recruits as well.
According to a press release Friday night, the university granted incoming freshman point guard Aaron Thompson a release from his National Letter of Intent, which he signed Nov. 13.
Thompson originally pledged to come to Pitt in May, becoming Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings’ first verbal commitment. He was regarded by some as the team’s best incoming recruit, ranked by 247Sports as the No. 35 point guard in the class of 2017 with a three-star rating.
Once an early signee of Pitt’s 2017 class, Thompson has now left the group with only five players. Three — point guard Marcus Carr and forwards Terrell Brown and Jared Wilson-Frame — have already signed their National Letter of Intent, while forward Shamiel Stevenson and center Peace Ilegomah have yet to do so.
Thompson marks the second recruit the Panthers have lost this month. Last week, Polk State guard Troy Simons — a Pittsburgh native — decommitted and signed with New Mexico. But despite the team’s dwindling numbers, Stallings remained optimistic in a statement put out Friday.
“We are excited about the five players we currently have signed and will continue to recruit players committed to forming the foundation of this program,” Stallings said in the statement. “We have added five talented players that will help build a sustainable winning culture through selflessness, accountability and execution.”
Pitt now has five roster spots open for next year, and the team will most likely turn to graduate transfers to fill the class. The signing period for the class ends May 17.