Jeff Capel was looking for a big man that could give him minutes and production. Eric Hamilton was looking for a place that could utilize his skills but yet win.
When you put those two things together, it was no real surprise today that Hamilton decided to make a quick commitment to Pitt. Capel has his big man and Hamilton has a program where he’ll be able to showcase his skill level.
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Hamilton (6’9″, 250) to talk to him about his decision and to find out more about the newest Pitt Panther.
“For me this decision was based on a number of things,” Hamilton told PSN. “Pitt reminded me of a situation that I had in high school which was a team that wasn’t really good previously and they were trying to make improvements but just needed an extra push, another player. When I made my first transfer in high school from North Gwinnett High School to Duluth for my senior season, it was a similar situation.”
“I was experience and I grinded and did what was asked of me and helped my team make it to the states for the first time and made history. I’m going to try and bring that same thing here because everything program that I’ve played for, we’ve won a minimum of 25 to 30 games. In college, I’ve been on teams that made it to the NCAA tournament, won conference championships and now I’m hoping to do that same thing at Pitt and I believe that can happen.”
Monday was Hamilton’s first visit to Pittsburgh and his first at-length conversation with Capel. He left the visit convinced that he could bring what his new coach is looking for but also that Capel could be the coach that would unlock the door to his untapped potential.
“I believe that Coach Capel and the pieces that they already have in place will allow me to really for the first time in my college career to play my game that allowed me to get recruited out of high school,” said Hamilton. “Coming out of high school, I had high major offers that I picked up in just a few months after playing on the AAU circuit. Back then I played a certain way and had a head coach that really believed in me and that’s the same feel I got after talking with Coach Capel.”
“I believe that Coach Capel will play me and help develop my game in ways that I haven’t had the opportunity or the courtesy of doing at my first two college schools. I can handle it, I can shoot it, I can drive it, I can play inside and out. The previous places I played, I didn’t have the opportunity to showcase that. From my conversations with Coach, I believe that there’s a very real possibility that this system will allow me to do that along with helping the team win at the highest level which is most important.”
With the addition of Hamilton, Pitt still has two available scholarships for the upcoming season.