Pitt redshirt junior forward William Jeffress is ready to make a comeback after sitting out last season with injury, as Jon Rothstein reported Thursday morning that the program cleared Jeffress to partake in basketball activities.
Jeffress suffered a foot injury prior to the 2022-23 season, which head coach Jeff Capel originally thought would only keep him out short term. Capel eventually realized the severity of the injury and shut down Jeffress in early December for the remainder of the season.
Jeffress played 16 games and started four in his first year with the team in the COVID-19 impacted 2020-21 season. He averaged 2.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 17.1 minutes per game, respectively, that season. He improved his playing time as a sophomore in the 2021-22 season, playing in 31 games and starting 16. He averaged 3.4 points per game, 3.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 21.0 minutes per game, respectively, that season.
The former four-star 6-foot-8 forward out of McDowell High School in Erie, Pa. has much to prove going forward as a Panther. He will have three years of eligibility left, thanks to an extra year for COVID-19 if he chooses.
Following the transfer of Nate Santos to Dayton on Tuesday, Jeffress is the longest tenured player on next season’s Pitt team. He is the only player who played on the 2021-22 team that finished an abysmal 11-21 overall and 6-14 in the ACC.