Pitt landed a junior college transfer in forward Rapuluchi Ayodele on Thursday, as she announced her decision on her Instagram.
Ayodele hails from Madrid, Spain and is Nigerian. She is a 6-foot-1 forward and will arrive to campus as a junior with two years of eligibility remaining.
Ayodele played in her first season with Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa, Fla. in 2021-22. She played in all 32 games, starting 31 and scored 13.6 points per game, while shooting 54.5% from the field. She helped Eastern Florida State to a 28-5 record and all the way to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament Quarterfinals, where they lost in overtime to Jones College.
She played for Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla. last season. She played in all 30 games, starting 27 and led the team with 14.1 points per game and 53.3% shooting from the field. Ayodele played a large role for her team last season, leading them to a 25-5 record and an 8-1 conference record, before an eventual loss to her former squad, Eastern Florida State, ended their season in the conference semifinals.
Ayodele arrives as the 10th player on Pitt’s roster for the upcoming 2023-24 season and is the fourth transfer to join this season under new head coach Tory Verdi. She joins former USC guard in junior Bella Perkins, former JUCO guard in junior Mia Simpson and graduate forward Jala Jordan, the daughter of former Pitt men’s basketball forward Gerald Jordan.
Ayodele comes in at an important time for the Panthers, as Verdi is trying to build his team up with just four returning players and two recruits coming in. Nine players have left the program this offseason following the dismissal of head coach Lance White and Class of 2023 recruit Hannah Mills-Watson decommitted, making it 10.
Here is the Pitt Roster listed for the upcoming 2023-24 season and also the departures from the program below it.
2023-24 Pitt Roster + eligibility
Junior Mia Simpson: two years (Morton College (JUCO))
Junior Bella Perkins: two years (USC)
Sophomore Marley Washenitz: three years
Sophomore Aislin Malcolm: three years
First-year Jasmine Timmerson: four years
Graduate Jala Jordan: one year (Seton Hall)
Senior Gabby Hutcherson: two years
Senior Liatu King: two years
Junior Rapuluchi Ayodele: two years
First-year Lauren Rust: four years
Graduate Dayshanette Harris: one year (Clemson)
Graduate Emy Hayford: one year (Fordham)
Graduate Destiny Strother: one year (Niagara)
Senior Sandrine Clesca: two years (Monmouth)
Senior Taisha Exanor: two years (Monmouth)
Sophomore Avery “Ace” Strickland: three years (Tennessee)
Graduate forward Amber Brown: one year (St. John’s)
Redshirt senior Cynthia Ezeja: two years (Loyola Marymount)
Junior Maliyah Johnson: two years (Houston)
First-year Hannah Watson: four years (Toronto Metropolitan)