Monday, May 16, 2011
Posted: 10:56 p.m. Updated: May 17, 12:28 a.m.
By Ryan FeldmanCSNPhilly.com Contributor
The speculation has been ongoing for days, weeks and months, and now it's is finally over.
West Virginia sophomore shooting guard Dalton Pepper, a graduate of Pennsbury High School, will transfer to be closer to his father, who is ill.
"Yes," Pepper said late Monday night via text message, "leaving because of father's health."
Pepper would not confirm where he is transferring -- "Not sure," he added, "Got to figure out what's up with father" -- but multiple sources close to Pepper have indicated that it's Temple, his second choice coming out of high school.
Pepper has informed his teammates, left the West Virginia campus, and is currently at home in Levittown, Pa.
Multiple sources indicated throughout the season that Pepper was considering transferring, and that Temple would be his destination if he elected to transfer. But a source said in early April that Pepper was very impressive in off-season workouts and had basically secured a spot in the starting lineup next season and had been leaning toward staying at West Virginia.
Pepper shined in the second round of the NCAA tournament in a win over Clemson. He scored 10 points and had two late steals to secure the victory. He averaged 3.9 points in 12.4 minutes per game as a sophomore after averaging 3.1 points in 7.6 minutes per game as a freshman.
Pepper was ranked in the Rivals 150 coming out of high school, where he led Pennsbury to the PIAA 4A state semifinals as a junior and quarterfinals as a senior.
According to NCAA transfer rules, Pepper will have to sit out the 2011-12 season before joining the Owls for the 2012-13 season. In the meantime, Pepper will still be on scholarship at Temple and will be able to practice with the team.
Temple loses just two seniors this year, one of which is Peppers former high school teammate Lavoy Allen. Juan Fernandez, Ramone Moore, Micheal Eric and Scootie Randall are all seniors next season, which will allow Pepper to likely step right into the starting lineup.
Ryan Feldman covers college basketball and the NBA Draft for his website, TheHoopsReport.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.