Pitt adds a transfer forward
Jeff Capel added another piece to the 2021-22 roster on Monday night when Oakland transfer forward Daniel Oladapo committed to Pitt.
Oladapo entered the transfer portal two weeks ago and had interest from a variety of high and mid-major teams, but he got an offer from the Panthers on Sunday and made a quick decision.
“I think over the last couple of days I grew a fond relationship with them,” Oladapo told Panther-Lair.com. “They told me I can come in and be an immediate impact player, and I feel I can.
“I feel like they have a great team coming back even if JC (Justin Champagnie) doesn't come back. We still have a great team and I feel like I can add energy and all those things I feel like I can bring to the team."
In two seasons at Oakland, Oladapo averaged 11 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. This past year, he averaged 12.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 56.9% from the floor.
In the final 11 games of the season, Oladapo stepped up his game and nearly averaged a double-double, putting up 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
The highlight of the season came in western Pennsylvania, when Oaldapo went off for 25 and 20 in a loss at Robert Morris in February.
At season’s end, Oladapo was named to the Horizon League Second Team and earned All-Tournament honors for putting up 23 points and 15 rebounds in two games of the conference tournament.
Now the Bladensburg (Md.) native is looking forward to showing what he can do in one of the best basketball conferences in America.
“I think Oakland definitely helped, obviously we play one of the toughest schedules out of the mid-majors, so we're always going against Power Five conferences, so preparing for the ACC is all about work ethic and I think I got a great work ethic, so I'm not really worried, I'm excited more than anything.”
Oladapo, 6’7” 220, joins a Pitt roster with a lot of needs. The Panthers primarily need post players, and while Oladapo would be an under-sized center if he plays that spot, he could fit in nicely as either Champagnie’s backup or his replacement if the junior-to-be opts for the NBA this offseason.
“They love my rebounding, a lead rebounder,” Oladapo said. “They feel like I can add some offense and being a mismatch problem for four's and three's, even sometimes playing the five, a little bit of small ball. I think I can add scoring around the rim. My versatility will show, obviously being with better teammates in the ACC, so it's exciting.”
Capel has plenty of room to add more transfers, so Oladapo likely won’t be the last current college player to join Pitt’s roster. That said, Oladapo thinks Pitt fans will like what they see when he takes the court.
“What Pittsburgh fans can expect from the boogeyman is an energetic guy who loves to compete and will do anything to win and is a loving and caring person for all fans and teammates."