Former Brown Bears power forward Rafael Maia, who led the Ivy League with 8.7 rebounds per game last season, has graduated and will join the ACC’s Pittsburgh Panthers next season. Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald reported the story.
Maia will be immediately eligible to play for a Pittsburgh team that went 19-15 (8-10 ACC) last season and finished 227th in the league in rebounding.
The team’s lack of interior depth and power kept them out of the NCAA tournament for just the second time under longtime coach Jamie Dixon, but it was also Pittsburgh’s second time in four years not making the big dance.
In 2015, all the Panthers could do was reach the NIT and get bounced by George Washington in the first round.
The 6-foot-9, 245 pound transfer from Sao Paulo, Brazil should make an immediate impact. In his three seasons at Brown, Maia posted 9.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. The Bears were just 13-18 (4-10 Ivy) last season, but ranked 71st in the nation in rebounding.
Now that he’s set to play for Pittsburgh, fans should be excited as their team is now in a prime position to get back to the NCAA tournament where it belongs.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Brown University