Dalton Pepper, the Pennsylvania AAAA High School Player of the year in 2008-09, is going to transfer from West Virginia, according to his high school coach. Temple, which was the runner-up to WVU when the Pennsbury High grad picked a college, might well be his destination.
But nothing can happen until WVU officially grants Pepper his release. That has not yet happened.
"He has to give an official letter requesting [his release] to West Virginia which he will probably do [today]," Pepper's high school coach, Fran Sciolla, said last night.
Even though sources said coaches expected Pepper to be a starter for the Mountaineers next season, coach Bob Huggins said in a statement yesterday that WVU would grant the release.
Temple's name has been out there for several days as Pepper's destination, even though the process that would enable the player to talk to Temple could not start until the official release.
Pepper's dad, Jack, was the all-time leading scorer at Pennsbury until his record was broken in 2005 by Jason Vegotsky (Bucknell). Dalton Pepper broke Vegotsky's record.
As a freshman, Pepper was a deep sub for WVU's loaded 2010 Final Four team, averaging 3.1 points in 7.6 minutes. Last season, he averaged 3.9 points in 12.4 minutes. A very good shooter in high school, Pepper shot 36.7 percent as a freshman, 38.1 percent as a sophomore, 33.3 percent from the arc in both seasons.
Pepper's best WVU moments came in the 2011 NCAA win over Clemson when, with his team leading by just five points and 1 1/2 minutes left, he had three steals in 33 seconds and scored twice on runouts.
Under transfer rules, Pepper will have to sit out next season and will have 2 years of eligibility left at his new school.