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Nelly Cummings, Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliott, Nike Sibande, Aidan Fisch Set to Depart Pitt Basketball Program



GREENSBORO, N.C. – The playing careers of guards Nelly Cummings, Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliott, Nike Sibande, and forward Aidan Fisch have come to an end. 

The No. 11 seeded Panthers fell 84-73 to the No. 3 Xavier Musketeers Sunday afternoon in Greensboro, North Carolina, officially concluding the playing days of a group that helped Pitt return to prominence in the college basketball landscape. 

The group guided Pitt back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years and the first March Madness win since 2014. The Panthers also broke a string of 2,591 days without being ranked, dating back to the 2015-16 season. Projected to finish 14th in the ACC Preseason Poll, Pitt concluded the regular season 5th and had a chance to win the conference entering the final game. 

A Midland, Pennsylvania native and Lincoln Park alum, Nelly Cummings finished his college career back home playing for the University of Pittsburgh and manning the point for two tournament victories. Cummings began his career at Bowling Green, scoring 109 points as a freshman before transferring to Colgate for three seasons. 

He flourished at Colgate, scoring 1,003 points in three seasons and leading the Raiders in points during the team’s 2021 (14) and 2022 (20) NCAA Tournament games. Cummings started all 36 games for the Panthers during Pitt’s incredible turnaround season and once again led his team in scoring during the First Four (15) and First Round (13). He averaged 11.1 points and 4.75 assists per game and scored 401 points in a Panther uniform, eclipsing the 1,500-point plateau against Iowa State. 

“PITTSBURGH!! Thank y’all for everything H2P for life! This year was nothing short of special  -Zero Out,” Cummings posted on Twitter.

Jamarius Burton earned First Team All-ACC honors as one of five players averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists throughout the country. Before becoming the second Pitt player to earn the top conference team nod, Burton started his playing days at Wichita State, scoring 530 career points in 67 games (52 starts) over two seasons. Burton left the Shockers for Texas Tech entering the 2020-21 season, scoring an even 100 points and averaging a career-low 4.3 points per game. 

His best seasons came donning a Pitt uniform. Burton eclipsed the 1,500-point mark against Iowa State. He averaged 12.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30 games (26 starts) last season. During the 2022-23 campaign, Burton started all 34 games he appeared in, setting marks of 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, also reaching the 1,500-point milestone facing the Cyclones.

Greg Elliott came to Oakland as a graduate student following four years at Marquette. He totaled 644 points in four seasons, playing a limited role for the Golden Eagles and averaging 5.6 points per game. He blossomed at Pitt and surpassed 1,000 career points during the First Four win. A threat from behind the arc, Elliott shot 42% from three and 87% at the free throw line, averaging 10.4 points and 4.0 rebounds at Pitt. His career concludes with over 380 rebounds and 170 made threes.

A redshirt senior in his sixth year of college ball, Nike Sibande scored 1,463 points in three seasons at Miami (Ohio), starting 95 of 97 games and averaging 15.1 points per game. Sibande scored 97 points in the 2020-21 Covid-shortened season, starting eight of 14 total games. He missed the following year with a torn ACL sustained in the lone exhibition game leading up to his final year of eligibility but returned for the 2022-23 season for his best in a Panther uniform. 

Sibande scored 304 points as the Panthers’ sixth man and the best in the conference, winning ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors.  He posted 15 double-figure games and averaged 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds during the regular season to run away with the crown. Sibande ended his career with 1,864 total points and 680 rebounds.

Initially a team manager, Aidan Fisch walked on to the Pitt program and played in 16 total games spanning three seasons, earning a scholarship his season year. The Murrysville, Pa native, and Franklin Regional graduate scored his first points this season, including the final basket against Syracuse on senior night.

“The past 4 years with [Pitt men’s basketball] have been more than I could’ve ever dreamed of. To all my coaches, I am eternally grateful that you took a chance on me and a huge thank you to all the amazing teammates, managers, and fans that made these 4 years what they were. H2P,” Fisch said on Twitter.

Gone but certainly not soon forgotten, Pitt’s five graduates changed the culture and began what the Panthers hope to be a new era of Pitt basketball for years to come.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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