May 30, 2023

4-Star Papa Kante’s Big Switch: Michigan to Pitt Panthers

Jeff Capel, the revered head coach for Pitt men’s basketball, scored a formidable triumph on the recruiting landscape. Four-star center Papa Kante, hailing from South Kent, Connecticut, has swerved his commitment from Michigan, and opted to ply his athletic prowess in the Panthers’ frontcourt for the 2023-24 season.

Papa Kante’s pivotal decision to commit to Pittsburgh transpired after he asked for a release from his national letter of intent to play for Michigan. His top-notch skills, saw him ranked by Rivals as the No. 87 player nationally in the Class of 2023, highlighting the significance of this new college basketball recruit for the Panthers and Jeff Capel.

Nevertheless, this isn’t Capel’s first such victory. He has a notable history of enticing elite high school talent to join his team. His Pitt Panthers class of 2023 is now ranked 22nd in the country. Kante’s commitment leaves Capel with just one remaining scholarship to allocate for the upcoming season.

Kante Bolsters Pitt Roster

Kante’s recruitment journey has seen a surge of interest from numerous renowned programs since its re-opening, including Alabama, Memphis, Syracuse, Texas, and Villanova, to name a few.

With Kante joining the team, the Panthers’ frontcourt receives a significant boost, already featuring starting center Fede Federiko and the powerful Diaz Graham twins, Guillermo and Jorge, instrumental in Pitt’s journey to the 2023 NCAA tournament. These strategic additions to the team bode well for the upcoming season and Pitt’s aspirations.

It was reported in April that Kante had posted his request for release from Michigan on social media. Expressing gratitude for the blessings in his life and for the continued support from friends, family, and fans, Kante seemed eager to embark on a fresh chapter in his basketball career.

Under Capel’s guidance, Kante joins the Panthers’ robust recruiting class, sharing the court with four-star guards Jaland Lowe and Carlton Carrington, and three-star wing Marlon Barnes Jr., all newly recruited this year. Two more players, Ishmael Leggett and Zack Austin, have recently joined the roster, further solidifying the Panthers’ team.

As Jeff Capel gears up for the new season, Pitt’s bolstered roster displays a remarkable balance between fresh recruits and experienced players. This strategic composition makes the Pitt Panthers a formidable opponent for the coming season and places them in an advantageous position to compete in the ACC.

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