After losing Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney to the transfer portal, Pitt had been starving for some good news. That news came on Thursday night, via the Jeff Capel Radio Show.
“I think I’ll be coming back next year, for sure,” said Nike Sibande, Pitt’s senior guard who has shown off his limitless potential in recent games to end the season.
Five games into this season, Sibande had still not even seen the court in a Panthers uniform, as he had not yet received an eligibility waiver after transferring from Miami Ohio. After making his debut against Miami, Sibande still did not settle in until later on in the year.
Everything changed once Johnson and Toney both transferred, as Sibande is now a regular starter for this Pitt team. After scoring more than five points just once in his first nine appearances, he has scored 12, 9, and 23 in his last three games, respectively.
His 23-point performance against Wake Forest was one of the best games by a Pitt guard the entire season, as he went an efficient 7 of 13 from the field including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-4 Sibande also hit all six of his free-throws, leading Pitt to its first win in nearly an entire month.
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) March 4, 2021
With him returning next season, Pitt keeps at least some experience on the team. In his career at both Miami and Pitt, he has averaged 14 points, 1.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game in four seasons. With Johnson gone, it is likely going to be Sibande, Ithiel Horton, and Femi Odukale leading the way in the Panthers’ backcourt.
Sibande and the Panthers will look to close out the regular season on March 6, when they travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers at noon on AT&T’s Regional Sports Networks.