Ahead of the 2023-24 season, PSN will be introducing every Pitt player and updating each player’s current situation on the roster. We continue our breakdowns with a redshirt junior from Erie, Pennsylvania.
Hometown: Erie, PA
Height, Weight: 6’7, 210 LBs
Year: Redshirt Junior
Last year: In September 2022, Jeffress injured his toe, sidelining him for multiple weeks to start off the season. On November 20, Jeff Capel told reporters that Jeffress “Will probably miss the year,” and unfortunately, that came true. Jeffress received surgery on December 1, and rehabbed his injury throughout the spring while sitting on the bench cheering Pitt on in its NCAA Tournament run.
The storyline: Jeffress was cleared from his injury in June 2023, and should be 100% healthy heading into this upcoming season, his fourth in the Pitt program.
The wing position is a crowded one for Pitt, who has transfer Zack Austin coming into the mix and already has Blake Hinson (who will play the four) hovering around the three-point line often offensively. Jeffress struggled to score the ball from that position in his first two years, shooting 27% from the field and 19% from three-point range and averaging three points per game.
However, every team has room for a strong defender and a leader. From what Capel has said about him, it sounds as though Jeffress is looked at as a true leader on this team beside Hinson and that he will be a defensive strength when on the floor for the Panthers. Any offensive boost that Jeffress can provide coming off his injury would be a major plus for the Panthers.
In his own words: “I was a lot more hesitant,” Jeffress said about the last time he was on the court in front of fans. “I think I’m taking that out of my game to become more quick and more decisive with my decisions.”
In Capel’s words: “He [Jeffress] has had a really good summer,” said Capel. “We need Will to keep everything simple. We think he can be a really good defender, a great cutter, and be able to make a shot.”
“I think he has the ability to be a really good leader, so we’re going to need that from him.”