Jeff Capel wasn’t successful the first time but he’s going to try again for a former top recruit.
Oregon center Franck Kepnang announced on Monday his intentions to transfer and enter the transfer portal and a source tells Pittsburgh Sports Now that Capel will once again try and recruit this talented big man to Pitt.
The 6-foot-11, 247-pound center played in 35 games this season for Oregon and averaged 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game in 14.7 minutes per game.
.@franckkepnang 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙮𝙨 protecting the paint.
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) March 16, 2022
Two years ago, Pitt heavily pursued Kepnang, who was from Westtown School in Norristown, Pa, where he was a teammate of 2020 Pitt commit Noah Collier.
A native of Cameroon, Kepnang was the No. 6 center in the country, the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania and rated as one of the Top 20 players in the Class of 2021. Pitt was the first major conference team to offer Kepnang, with Capel extending a scholarship just after he was hired in June 2018.
Before committing to Oregon, Kepnang also held offers from and getting recruited by Auburn, UCLA, UConn, Dayton, Fordham, Georgetown, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, La Salle, Kansas, Maryland, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn, St. John’s, Saint Louis, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, VCU, Wake Forest and Washington.
Flush it, Franck!
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) February 25, 2022
Back in May of 2020, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Kepnang following a Zoom Call that he had with Capel and his assistants.
“What stood out to me was the history they told me about Pitt basketball, they had a very strong history of winning and were a powerhouse,” said Kepnang. “That was something that I really didn’t know about them. That was one big thing that I took from our talk along with it being very interesting to talk with Coach Capel and his staff. I believe that Coach Capel is a very nice guy and a naturally nice person.”
“He made it very simple and was like you’d come just like any other basketball player and all the coaches would really develop me and teach me the game,” said Kepnang. “I take his word that he would help me develop all my talents and bring out my strengths. He would put me in the best position to show off my talents. “I want to be an impact player so whatever team I go to; I really want to have a big impact and hopefully lead them to a championship.””