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Reviewing Pitt Commit Ishmael Leggett’s Top Games at Rhode Island in 2022-23



PITTSBURGH – Ishmael Leggett became the second transfer to commit to the Pitt Panthers and head coach Jeff Capel on Monday, following High Point forward Zack Austin. The former Rhode Island guard visited Pitt over the weekend and was sold on becoming a Panther. 

Leggett averaged 16.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 32 games during his sophomore season while playing over 34 minutes per night. The 6-foot-3 Prince George’s County, Maryland native shot just under 39% from the floor, 49-of-154 (32%) behind the three-point arc and was an 84% free-throw shooter. He started every game this year and all 31 last season as a freshman after playing 25 games during the pandemic-effected 2020-21 campaign. 

His best showing came early in the year on Nov. 22 against Tulane, scoring a career-high 34 points and shot the lights out from three. He made 13-of-19 attempts from the field and was spectacular behind the arc, putting up video-game-type numbers by making 7-of-10 triples in a 78-75 home loss. Leggett’s performance far exceeded his previous career-best point figure (21) and he posted 14 or more points on 20 occasions. 

Leggett dropped 30 points on George Washington in a career-high 43 minutes at home following a tie game at the end of regulation. Rhode Island lost 89-80 in OT while Leggett paced the program in made field goals (9-of-23), three-pointers made (4-of-8), free throws (8-of-9) and offensive rebounds (three). He grabbed seven points and dealt two issues while playing in foul trouble. 

Led by head coach Archie Miller, Rhode Island finished 9-22 overall and 5-13 in Atlantic 10 (A10) competition. Leggett scored 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting in his last visit to Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve, losing to Duquesne by 11 (72-61). The program hovered under .500 the previous two seasons before losing over 20 games in Leggett’s final year.

He is a tough finisher able to score from multiple areas on the floor and take care of opportunities presented to him. He starred on Nov. 12 as the Rams hosted Texas State. He scored 21 points and did most of his damage at the free-throw line, making 14-of-15 attempts in the second game of the year. He also added four assists and two blocks.

The former three-star guard is a strong leader on the court and leads by example with credibility. Miller described his impact earlier in the year that “when he speaks, it’s going to mean something.”

Pitt has two scholarships remaining following the additions of Leggett and Austin. John Hugley IV and Nate Santos both entered the transfer portal and five seniors departed the program, which created gaps to fill in the starting lineup and reserve roles. Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings, Nike Sibande, and Greg Elliott all transferred to Pitt and ended their collegiate careers on a high note, bringing the Panthers back to notoriety. 

A similar chance greats Leggett with two years of eligibility remaining, joining Blake Hinson, Federiko Federiko, the Diaz Graham twins, and three incoming freshmen to compete for Jeff Capel. Pitt reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 and won two games in March Madness, defeating Mississippi State in the First Four and Iowa State in the Round of 64.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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