Pitt head coach Jeff Capel continued to add to his recruiting Class of 2020 on Tuesday with the addition of three-star guard Femi Odukale, from Springfield Commonwealth Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Odukale announced one Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that he plans on signing with JeffCapel and Pitt, joining four-star forward John Hugley, three-star forward Noah Collier and three-star center Max Amadasun.
The 6-foot-5, 180-pound Odukale, who made an official visit to Pitt in February, selected the Panthers over UMass and Seton Hall.
After offering him in early February, Pitt made Odukale a priority as they kept in constant contact with him and sending multiple assistants to some of his games.
With this commitment, Pitt is adding depth to their guard position, in particular someone who can give Xavier Johnson a break so that he’s not forced to play over 30 minutes a game and has something left in the tank late in the game for Pitt. Odukale will also help offset the loss of depth when Ryan Murphy entered the transfer portal earlier in the week.
The other big thing that Odukale brings is another elite on-ball defender to pair with Au-Diese Toney.
Odukale’s head coach Nick Couluris told PSN in a previous interview some of the things that Capel liked about his star guard.
”They love his ability to play with the ball in his hands as a playmaker,” Couluris told PSN. “Also and maybe more importantly for Pitt basketball, the level of defensive intensity that Femi plays with. He’s a guy that’s willing to guard 1-5. From the point guard spot, he’s got great size at 6-foot-5. He makes plays without the ball in his hands on the defensive side which is huge and Femi’s IQ is at a super high level. They told him they love tough, big guards and he checks all those boxes.”
Pitt lands @TheAcademy_MBB Femi Odukale. Not sure there was a post-grad in the country who helped themselves more this season. Long, athletic, & multi-positional with vastly improved guard skills. pic.twitter.com/xU5XGZTdUH
— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) March 17, 2020
Couluris, who’s coached other high level Division I players, is proud of the work Odukale put in to get better and looks forward to watching him continue his development at Pitt.
”He plays so hard and truly loves the game,” Couluris said. “He’s in the gym consistently. There’s nothing he’d rather do than be on the basketball court competing. I think, that he’ll have a chance to make an impact immediately. Guys follow him, he’s a natural leader and the way he plays and goes about his business, I think he not only make an impact but has a shot to play at the next level after college.”
The addition of Odukale puts Pitt at one under the scholarship limit and hope to use that final one on Erie McDowell 4-star wing Will Jeffress.