Last May 6-7 forward Sheldon Jeter chose to attend Vanderbilt, picking the Commodores over Penn State and Wisconsin and South Carolina with Pittsburgh showing some interest late but never offering the Beaver Falls, Pa. native.
Jeter played 17.5 minutes per game as a freshman, averaging 5.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. And after one season in Nashville Jeter has decided to transfer, as announced by the school Friday afternoon.
“Sheldon has indicated that he’d like to play closer to home, and we wish him the best,” Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said in the release.
Even with Jeter’s decision to transfer the Commodores don’t lack for depth in the front court. Rod Odom (10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Josh Henderson (21 starts in 2012-13) both played prominent roles in the rotation last season and will return, as do Shelby Moats and James Siakam.
Vanderbilt also signed two solid forwards from Texas in the 2013 class, Damian Jones and Luke Kornet. With all of those players on board, it may have been tough for Jeter to see a significant bump in minutes had he not wanted to play closer to home.
As noted above Jeter received a scholarship offer from Penn State when going through the recruiting process, and it remains to be seen if head coach Patrick Chambers looks to make another run at Jeter.
In addition to rising sophomores Brandon Taylor and Donovon Jack the Nittany Lions will have freshmen Payton Banks and Julian Moore fighting for minutes this season.
As for Pittsburgh, the Panthers have five players capable of playing small forward but just three at the power forward and center positions. Senior Talib Zanna is the most experienced of the three, with junior college transfer Joseph Ochebo and freshman Mike Young being the others.
Obviously with no announced list from Jeter it’s anyone’s guess as to which schools he would be interested in. But with both major conference schools in the area likely having room for another front court player, he won’t lack for quality options.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.