On Monday night, the entire Pitt hoops staff hosted one of its top early transfer portal targets, Jaylan Gainey, on a zoom meeting to discuss all things Pitt basketball.
Gainey, a 6-foot-9 forward and two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, had the chance to meet the entire Pitt staff and get to know each of them in the meeting.
“It went well,” Gainey told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I love the place. Love the coaching staff, love the facilities. It’s just a big difference from their facilities to my facilities. It’s a big improvement.”
Gainey averaged 9.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this season for Brown, and also racked up 63 blocks on the year. He entered the portal back on March 8, and is one of the most sought-after recruits out of all 300+ players that have already entered.
“They [Pitt] started off with the entire coaching staff on the zoom, and they all did introductions,” Gainey continued. “The academic advisor was on there too. They kind of went through the program’s history, the development of players, they showed me the locker room, the practice facilities, and then they showed me the improvement of their transfer players that came in. Just how players come in, and also Justin Champagnie, how his numbers improved.”
Gainey first heard from assistant coach Jason Capel just hours after he entered the transfer portal. Now that he has met the entire staff, he has a better feeling of head coach Jeff Capel and who he is as well.
“He’s a great guy,” Gainey said about the head coach. “I like how he keeps it real with me. He doesn’t promise you anything, he’s just a stand-up coach.”
For Gainey, this is is first zoom meeting with any program since he has entered the portal. So what did he think of Pitt’s pitch revolving around past transfer talent and homegrown players that it has developed?
“That’s big time,” he said. “I also have goals of playing professionally, going to the league, and I feel like if they can do that for them, they can do it for me. Like they said, it’s not even about them. They have the resources, and it’s about how much effort I put in. I like that about them.”
Gainey said he is also being recruited by Iowa State, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, among others. However, so far, Pitt has stood out by being the only program to have him on a zoom call this early in the process.
“Right now, Pitt was the only zoom I had planned for this week,” he said. “We’ll probably plan some others later, but right now, Pitt has been in constant contact, they’ve been recruiting really hard. I was the first person they zoomed with as well.”
Gainey does not have a timeline for his commitment as of now. He also included that he discussed an actual campus visit with the Pitt staff, but nothing official is planned yet.