William Jeffress makes the call for Pittsburgh | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / February 28.
  • William Jeffress makes the call for Pittsburgh

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    By JACOB POLACHECK

    William Jeffress is headed to Pittsburgh.

    Jeffress, the 6-foot-7 wing from McDowell (PA), chose Pitt over Baylor, Penn State, Stanford, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Virginia, Notre Dame and Villanova.

    “Pitt is in my backyard,” Jeffress told ZAGSBLOG via text Tuesday. “It’s close to home where I have my support system: my family, my friends and the City of Erie.”

    He noted head coach Jeff Capel as a main reason for his commitment.

    “The fans of Pitt were so passionate about me. I felt the love,” he said. “Coach Capel was also one if, if not the biggest parts of my recruitment. He believed in me before I believed in myself. He was one of the first coaches to ever contact me.”

    “He told me his vision for me as a player and the program,” Jeffress said. “A man true to his word, he’s a great guy and recruiter.”

    After recently electing to reclassify from the 2021 class, Jeffress is ranked as the No. 58 overall player in the Class of 2020 and the No. 1 player from the state of Pennsylvania.

    “Will is a versatile and skilled player with a big upside at only 16 years old,” said Pitt head coach Jeff Capel. “He comes from a terrific family and will be a great representative of the University of Pittsburgh in all areas. We are excited to add him to our program and believe he will fit in nicely with our core group of players as well as the rest of our incoming class.”

    The Erie, Pa., native finished his career as the Trojans’ all-time scoring (1,673 points) and rebounding (578 rebounds) leader in just three seasons. He is a three-time all-state selection and has twice named PIAA District 10 Player of the Year.

    “I want to be a part of something special,” Jeffress said. “And I believe that is what’s being built at the University of Pittsburgh.”
     
    Jeffress, an all-state and region player of the year selection in 2020, led McDowell to a 23-3 record and PIAA Quarterfinals appearance before the playoffs were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He averaged 24.4 points per game, while scoring  20 or more points in 18 games, including six games with 30 or more points.

    Jeffress also helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championship in Brazil. He becomes Pitt’s first commitment with a gold medal in international competition since James Robinson joined the program prior to the 2012-13 season.

    “Pitt is getting a player who can do it all,” Jeffress said. “I’m very versatile in my skillset. I can play the 1-4, but I’m mostly put on the wing at the three.”

    “They are getting an offensive threat as a scorer, a playmaker, and a person who is a leader on the court,” he said. “One who gives passion and energy to the floor and can defend many positions really well.”

    He joins John Hugley, Noah Collier, Max Amadasun and Femi Odukale as the fifth commit in the Panthers’ 2020 class.

    Photo: Pitt Athletics

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