On a day in which many Pitt fans have been fed up with the state of college basketball recruiting, some positive news has come out regarding the program’s future.
On Monday afternoon, 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward Chris Payton decided he would be taking his talents to Pitt and playing for Jeff Capel.
— Chris Payton (@chris_payton_) May 10, 2021
Payton went to high school at Bloomington High School in Illinois before playing two years at Indian Hills Community College. In high school, he was once committed to Illinois State, but chose to de-commit from there in January of 2018. In his most recent season at Indian Hills, he appeared in 24 games, averaging 12.5 points and ten rebounds per game, while shooting 56.9% from the field. Payton shot 71.7% from the free-throw line and 33.3% from three-point range.
After his time at Indian Hills, Payton held offers from Texas A&M and Mizzou, and out of high school he held offers from SIU, Bradley, Saint Louis, Valpo, Murray State, New Mexico, MTSU. In addition to those two offers out of JuCo, he was also recently receiving interest from Maryland, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, and more.
Payton was one of the top junior college prospects still on the board this year, as he improved his game greatly in his recent sophomore season, after being held back by injuries during the beginning of his freshman campaign.
Payton, along with Oakland transfer Daniel Oladapo and the development of second-year Erie native Will Jeffress, should help the Panthers offset the loss of leading scorer and rebounds Justin Champagnie, who declared for the NBA Draft earlier in the day on Monday.