Unless you’ve been in deep cover or hiding under a rock you know already that Pitt has finished it’s search for a basketball head coach with the hiring of Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel III.

“We are excited to announce Jeff Capel as our head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Lyke. “Coach Capel is a high-energy leader committed to being a part of our university and the city of Pittsburgh. He has a tremendous basketball pedigree and a strong track record of recruiting, developing and mentoring high-quality student-athletes.

His relentless work ethic, passion for the game and clear vision of how to build a program capable of competing at the highest levels in the ACC and on the national stage are impressive. I look forward to our student-athletes, fans, donors and the Oakland Zoo getting to know Coach Capel and his family and watching this program flourish under his direction.”  

My first reaction was that I hoped he wasn’t hard over on the use of Roman numerals after his name because I ain’t doing it.

My second reaction was that it was a good hire – and I believe better than most Pitt BB fans thought it would be. He comes from a strong coaching line as his father, Jeff Capel II (couldn’t just use Jr?) was a BB HC also. Capel has been a HC at two different schools – Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Oklahoma.   His stint at Oklahoma was tinged a bit due to one of his assistant coaches, Oronde Taliferro, took part in financial improprieties with a player and an investment firm.

But by all accounts I can find that was done and kept to a lower level and was done without the direct knowledge of Capel.  But the NCAA did accept OU’s request that they be placed on probation and have wins vacated which the NCAA agreed to thus if you look at Capel’s won/loss record it is heavily impacted by those penalties.

You all know I’m a stickler for ethical leadership and am pretty adamant about it. Even with my thoughts of Pat Narduzzi not being that great as an actual X&Os football coach I applaud him for his off-field decision making in term of discipline awarded in player personnel cases. It is part and parcel of leadership of student/athletes and should be given highest priority from the Chancellor down to the equipment managers.

So this passes my litmus test for a Pitt hire. But folks – this really is the way Pitt does things…always with an eye toward proper actions. There was never a doubt in my mind that Pitt would not hire Sean Miller…not one.

There were a ton of rumors and false leads – and just pure unadulterated speculations – floating around since Pitt fired Kevin Stallings on March 8th. Some were just plain funny and some were, in my opinion, just flat-out ridiculous.

Especially the oft-repeated thought that a group of donors (or “Boosters” as they are now called) would pony up multiple millions of dollars to hire the coach of Arizona – ex-Pitt player Sean Miller who is currently under FBI investigation.  The fact that Miller made $5.2M in salary and bonus money in 2017 and that Pitt would almost surely have to replicate that never really occurred to the more rabid believers.

They were convinced mythical donors were going to ante up the difference between $3M (which is I think what we’ll pay Capel) and that approx. $5.2M for a five-year contract.  That extra $11M wasn’t ever going to happen friends and shame on people for believing those tweets and cock & bull message board items that Pitt has donors with pockets that deep to spend on …basketball.

Really – basketball?  Look, the bald truth is that Pitt is and always will be a football school first and foremost.  If there were $11M floating around out there you’d see big donations to that side of athletics but that doesn’t happen.  The biggest football donation in many years was the Guttman family’s $2M donation to the Football Championship Fund and that was heavily earmarked to the academic and life skills side of the programs.

Time to ratchet back the beliefs that Pitt has any kind of deep pocket donors on the athletic department if they aren’t building facilities like the Cost Center and the Duratz Athletic Complex on the Southside.  That and academic donations can run very large – but Pitt’s whale donors are not sports minded like some other universities are.

If there were big-ass donations to be used for Pitt sports it would have been used on the football side.

I’ll leave the nuts and bolts of this BB hire up to you readers to discuss. You follow it more than I do and you know more about college BB than I do – I’m a Pitt football fan really – but I will say this. Capel looks like an excellent hire and he’s really gotten the best of both worlds in a way.  Expectations of the BB team next season will be lower than they have been in the past so he really has nowhere to go but up. They will be a bit higher with Capel than had we hired some lower level Asst Coach I’m sure – but most realistic Pitt fans will realize there are a couple of tough years ahead regardless.

That is a real freedom for a guy in his first year at a new job.

Then he has a chance to succeed as a HC in the best BB conference with a ACC program and after that he can pretty much write his own ticket – whether that ticket is staying at Pitt or bumping over (or up) elsewhere.  Either way he’s and Pitt should both be very happy things worked out the way they did.

Here is a deeper look at how Capel dealt with his players in film room coaching:

and for some football:

Narduzzi:

DC Bates:

….and the rest of the Practice #8 videos.

352 thoughts on “The Jeff Capel III Show…

    1. This one should be the complete reversal from that one. To steal a line from the 76ers, now it is time to “Trust the Process”.

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    2. Was that real???? Did that really happen or is that just some internet chicanery to make it look like it was a real press conference????

      I thought that was just a bad dream.

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  1. Well glad that’s over with. I agree looks like a good hire and the bar is set pretty low. Beating Wake Forrest would be a good start.

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  2. I agree with the sentiment that although Branden Knight was a good player at Pitt, he doesn’t add much to the new BB coaching staff. I cannot recall one top notch recruit he is responsible for bringing in, and the current players don’t know him so there is no real continuity issue to consider. What are the chances Capel can flip a Duke commit to Pitt? I think I read that one of the current Duke recruits played at the same high school as Carr.

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  3. BTW Pitt POV’ers we have a total of 72, 404 comments on here since June 18th 2016.

    That is on 586 articles or 124 comments per article.

    I’ll venture to say that no other media outlet in the history of PGH sports can match that level of discussion..

    Way to go my friends!!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reed, I agree with everything you wrote with the possible exception of … “Look, the bald truth is that Pitt is and always will be a football school first and foremost.” While I agree that that is mostly accurate, I don’t believe that was the case in the late 2000s (08-010) by evidence of ..

    1) Dixon was making much more than Wanny even though they started as HC less than 2 years apart
    2) the FB recruiting budget was slashed in 09, the BB budget was increased
    3) plus the fact that Pitt was welcome into the ACC because of its BB … it was clearly an effort to return the ACC to the top CBB conference as the BE had surpassed it.

    I vividly remember when noted CFB analyst Paul Finebaum comparing Syracuse and Pitt’s exit from the ACC to if Alabama and LSU left SEC football. Back then — BE Basketball received as much national exposure as any conference while BE FB was clearly at the bottom of the heap.

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  5. Knight was a great player at Pitt, one of the best defenders ever and a stellar passer. But no one ever tried to steal him from Jamie and Jamie didn’t take him west. He is at Rutgers, not known for its sporting excellence.
    Just don’t get the infatuation. Would think that Capel could do much better.

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  6. Great Assistants will make or break a coach. Jamie had Herrion and Slice. Agree with gc on BKnight. This could be part of the negotiation between AD and Board/Donors who want a tie to the past and replace miller with knight.

    Just read that UAB is building a football/basketball stadium for 100’s of millions. Yes, the same UAB that just started over in football last year.

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/city-of-birmingham-takes-first-step-in-bringing-uab-new-football-stadium-basketball-arena/

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  7. I would trust JC with his connections which obviously run deep in the geographical region and beyond.

    Reed, congratulations on the following. This is a great place to hang out….

    Can you come up with a list of top 5 or 10 posters… I would guess Iek,wwb, Emel, gc would be in competition for the number one position….just asking

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  8. Reed, it’s hard to believe how successful your blog (or whatever the young kids call these things) has been in such a short amount of time. It is really impressive that this outlet has reached the point where Pitt AD staff actually monitors these posts to keep track of fan sentiment on the key issues affecting Pitt sports.

    They must undoubtedly know that the POVers favor a return to an OCS for Pitt football. It might not do any good but at least they can tap into the thoughts of us cranky old timers who go back to the days of Ferris and Esposito in the backfield, and Ralph Cindrich, the “Soul of the Defense”, at LB.

    Many thanks for letting me participate on your blog.

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  9. “Not only did we select Coach Capel, but he also selected Pitt” “… and Coach Tomlin’s welcome call to Jeff and his family was invaluable”

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  10. Jeff Capel on taking the Pitt job: “I’ve had opportunities throughout to maybe branch out and take over a program, but for us … it has to be the right fit.”

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  11. Make no mistake about it, It is Reed’s prolific writing and his willingness to engage in the discussion that is the reason for the success. Also that, although he doesn’t enjoy it, his ability to referee, but only when it is absolutely needed.

    I think that Jeff Capel is the first thing that everyone has agreed on. Pretty amazing. I was going to write last week that no matter who was picked Ike would love it and UPitt would hate it. Really happy to be wrong. Also glad that the dark cloud has been lifted, hoprfully for a while.

    Also, we should chip in and send a case of Iron City Beer and Pittsburgh Pierogies to Hurley.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If anyone gets a link to press conf I’d love to hear it later today. I bet he gets a really good assistant.

    Congrats Reed on hitting those milestones.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. @CraigMeyerPG
    Jeff Capel: “I like man-to-man defense.”

    I’m sold.

    @BrianBatko
    Jeff Capel: “I’m not a coach who’s married to a particular style. I know how I’d like to play – I’d like to play fast.”

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  14. Craig Meyer@CraigMeyerPG
    Jeff Capel has met with Pitt’s players and plans to meet with them individually in the coming days to talk to them about his vision for them and the program.

    “I want them back. I think they’re talented. But we’ll see what happens.”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Tomlin called Capel while Capel was cooking, trying to relax (as he does). Saw a PGH area code, thought it might’ve been a player or someone looking for a job.

    “‘Hey Jeff, this is Mike Tomlin.’ And I thought I was being punked, to be honest with you.”

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  16. Gallagher closed the deal!! I think the quote was something like “Wow, that dude is for real”. You don’t usually get that. That is a revelation but happy to hear that for sure!

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  17. Jeff Capel on the construction of his coaching staff:

    “I have an idea of who I want. Now it’s a matter of getting them here.”

    Jeff Capel on if he has a geographic niche for recruiting

    “I believe I can recruit a kid from anywhere.”

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  18. Thought he definitely “won the press conference” He was very polished and spoke without notes. Even Filliponi and Cook are impressed

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  19. Interesting to see Parker Stewert there. I heard he has one and a half of a foot out the door. He wants to go home to his home state of Tenn where I think Hardaway is now the coach. << forget the actual school.

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    1. I believe his dad had known Stallings for a while which impacted his decision to attend Pitt. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him leave

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  20. WOW! I watched the press conference and what a way to start your career at Pitt Coach Capel. A first class person in every way. Impressed that he used no notes in his introductory speech. Spoke from the heart.

    Have a feeling we are in for some great times with our new Coach! Was impressed that all the basketball players were present and how the Coach was honest in how he will handle a very difficult situation was those players who may want to leave. Coach seems to be a very sincere person. Thought our AD Lyke is also a true professional in how she handles her role.

    Thanks Reed for letting us share out thoughts on any Pitt athletic subject. H2P!!!!!!!

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  21. Hardaway was Stewert’s AAU coach as well.

    btw, a nice job by PITT with the Capel press conference today. Who turned on the light switch down in Oakland?

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  22. WOW! The current batch of Pitt BB players are quite an interesting group.
    1. None of them are even a 2 star recruit (except Luther) and yet they got to play a whole year in the ACC.
    2. Then, they very unwisely LEAVE the only power 5 school that would ever take them and now they are hoping to get back on the team.
    3. Yes, Luther was a 3*(4?) but every time he plays hard his leg breaks.
    4. Us fans, being fans, have our favorites from this current batch of players. But realistically, John Wooden couldn’t of won with this group of players.
    5. So, we all want Capel to win ASAP, however, the FACT is he can’t win with this group of players whom many of us like on an emotional level.
    6. What’s a coach to do??????
    My guess: Replace as many as possible and keep the ones that can fill in around the edges. But realize, the more that get replaced the better our team will be! If I was one of these kids I would always cherish the fact that I got to play in the ACC during my college career, even if it was for only one year.

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  23. Loves the ACC and will sell the crap out of that for recruits. He has the cache and persona to get big time talent to Pitt. This is a sea change for Pitt BB. Pitt is all in here to bring a high level program back to the Pete. Very honest genuine presser and has a sense of humor and humility that is refreshing to see. But make no mistake he is here to win. Pitt brass showed their class and interest in speaking to the program they envision. He was impressed with honest cards on the table approach to what they program needs and can be. If you think very talented recruits are not going to buy what he is selling, think again. He will elevate the talent like Majors did in football. The question is who is his TD that changes the program.

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  24. this is interesting

    Brian Batko@BrianBatko

    Also saw Kevin Sutton, a Pitt assistant under Kevin Stallings, at Jeff Capel’s opening presser today as well as director of basketball operations Jason Richards.

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  25. Yes the Guard from Butler will be on the radar here. Also Capel will be all over the big guy from Kennedy Christian who was a WVU lean at this point. As to his recruiting, he can go anywhere for top recruits that fit his vision. Top recruits will take his phone call.

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  26. For all of us who questioned what was going on with Heather, you were able to hear the process during the press conference. One day after Hurley turned Pitt down, Heather was in touch with Capel. He said he was focused on getting his team to the Final Four. For those who questioned her flying to meet him on Monday, well Gallagher and several others were with her, and they met for three hours, and it sold him.

    Based on the presser, he’s the real deal – Pitt should be happy they have him, and a great job by Heather.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. BTW, if you get a chance to see a picture of Capel’s wife, he passes the James Franklin test of being a good recruiter (flared nostril and all)

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  28. All the Heather bashing can stop now. The return to greatness won’t happen over night, but this is an excellent start. She got the best available guy. On her first opportunity, she hit it out of the park. Congrats to her and to all the people that worked behind the scenes to make this happen. And yes, consultants can be very good when used appropriately.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Some of us, PITT basketball fans, need to take a look at what has been happening at Rutgers Basketball. It is a lilly white clean program too boot.
    I have no idea who is doing the recruiting, but Pikiell, Knight, or whoever are signing up kids PITT would love to have.

    Plus in two years they are winning some games!

    Alot better than Stallings

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  30. Yes Black-man, PITT has really hit one out of the park with Capel. Listen to all the feedback and it’s practically unanimous. The fact that Capel is a fine fine family man and looks to be a good coach who can turn the BB program around is just great by me. The fact that he is a black man is irrelevant to me but I’m glad for you, so take another twirl around during your happy dance. A win win for everyone. ike

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    1. I might get in trouble for this, ike, but I am damn happy we hired a black man. I mean the majority of the players are black.

      Our recruiting profile just skyrocketed in places like Philly, DC, Cleveland, Atlanta, etc, etc.

      Who is a black player going to relate better to — Dixon, Stallings, or Capel??

      Capel being a black man is a big bonus in my book.

      Go Pitt.

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  31. No wonder he can recruit.

    I am thinking not all the players return. He will pick and choose who he wants. He has seen them play in person.

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    1. NRS, I hope you are right. I don’t believe that all the players SHOULD be allowed to return. Some I believe just don’t have ACC level talent. Hopefully, Capel can snag us a a few HIGH 3 stars or maybe even a 4 star…(we are on a roll after all)

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  32. He is all about the ACC. Northern basketball, be gone! Most probably has an out to go to Duke if their coach retires. Hopefully it will be another 3-4 years. Very similar actually to Syracuse losing their guy because he was tired of waiting for Beehime to retire. Feinstein made a comment about the hire as well and reiterated exactly that. Jamie D was not Pitt’s first choice after Howland either.

    Going forward, maybe Pitt should release the first and second failed attempts so that we can appreciate more the person we got.

    Someone also made a point that Todd Graham had a great presser too. I think this is different. Hearing his impressions of Gallagher is making me re-think a little bit about the chancellor…not a lot yet on Gallagher, but a little. Time will tell.

    Let’s see if he can get some new recruits, perhaps even some he recruited to Duke that were unable to sign because their class was full. Also, Pitt and Duke are both Nike schools. Not trying to insinuate anything here…it was just an observation.

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  33. At the very beginning of the news conference I suddenly thought to myself. OMG, what if this thing is muffed up and Heather and or Capel bomb with this introduction? Didn’t happen, Capel only gained a few more fans with a very impressive performance today.

    Hopefully the entire PITT administration learned today that spending money on big time college athletics such as basketball and especially football is an investment that pays dividends and not just a necessarily window dressing and another monthly bill. All in or all out. … ike

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    1. I’m hoping as well but this is Pitt. Past 7 years of basketball mediocrity and 35 years wandering the desert since our last national championship. And I mean last championship in any sport…period. I’m not counting Frisbee Golf. Pitt still doesnt and wont support sports like it should. Its a cultural thing. I’m very hopeful that basketball can get back on track quickly particularly with a coach known as an ace recruiter.

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  34. Craig Meyer@CraigMeyerPG
    Jeff Capel on fellow Duke assistant Jon Scheyer’s name being connected to the Pitt job:

    “I thought it was hilarious. I was sitting next to him on the bus like ‘Yo, you going to Pitt?’ The whole time, I knew I was the one talking to them

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  35. I didn’t think the current players looked particularly thrilled during today’s press conference. Maybe just me….

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  36. Hey Mom, I too was trying to gauge the players interest but couldn’t tell much. I did see the one player I’m thinking is leaving in Stewert. He did look very intent to me though. Just another time I will defer to the coach, seems his first two recruiting jobs are the current players and building his coaching staff.

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  37. I think the players looking at a new boss who is different from the one they just had and like all of us have had that feeling as well.

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  38. Their not thrilled because they have no idea if Coach Capel will even entertain bringing them back. They wanted out and their wishes were granted. Now maybe they want back in but their wishes may not be granted. Capel needs all the room on the roster he can get to fill in with some recruits he has his eye on.

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  39. What was the year that Carl Krauser hit that fade away jumper to beat Duke at Madison Sq. Garden? I wonder where Capel was then.

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      1. LeVance Fields in mid December 007 or 08. Then he was injured the very next game at Dayton and had to sit nearly 2 months. Couple that with Cook (forgot his 1st name) who was injured late in the Duke game and it ended his collegiate career

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          1. To clarify Mike Cook tore an ACL. Fields broke a foot.

            Levance with the crossover, step back 3 to down Duke. #heroball

            Sam Young dominated the Big East tourney in 2008 and propelled Pitt from somewhat of a bubble team to a 4 seed.

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      1. I could have added another John to that mix….Sugar Bowl, Gator Bowl, and the #4 ranked 9-1 no bowl team. Is it karma, is it coincidence, it is something else. But it is strange.

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  40. I can’t help but compare the stark contrast in my gut between when we hired Stallings 2 years ago at Easter, versus this year heading into another Easter weekend with quite a different feeling. I’m not sure the 2 press conferences could’ve been as different either.
    One thing I was thinking about was how well Capel knows himself now, given his past successes and failures, and how he might shape a coaching staff around him to compensate for any areas where he may not be as strong. He has enough going for him where if he fills out his staff properly, he could do really well for a long time.

    Yeah, and how about moving your family to the city where you’re coaching, what a novel idea…

    Hail to Pitt

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  41. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some more information coming out of the Pitt practices for football and had some ability to get in there and write some actual articles about it so that we can segue from this into football at this time instead of dithering around for dribs and drabs coming out of the Southside?

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  42. Here is a good, detailed article on the border on Rival’s Chris Peak:

    https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/capel-is-an-elite-level-recruiter-

    The list of players new Pitt head coach Jeff Capel recruited to Duke isn’t just impressive; it’s a virtual parade of All-Americans.

    Jabari Parker. Jhalil Okafor. Tyus Jones. Brandon Ingram. Justice Winslow. Marvin Bagley. Harry Giles.

    And those are just a few.

    “I would say he has been responsible for probably 75% of Duke’s one-and-done guys,” says Clint Jackson, basketball recruiting analyst at DevilsIllustrated.com. “He’s an elite-level recruiter, and I mean elite in the fact that he forms relationships that are so genuine, trustworthy and impactful. That’s one of the things that make him such a good recruiter.

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    1. I appreciate this view. However, as said previously on this blog, recruiting for Duke does not involve rocket science. Elite level university, elite level basketball team, elite level coach. We will find out how elite he is as a recruiter when he starts recruiting Duke quality players (both athletically and academically) to come to Pitt.

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        1. Emel, I am satisfied with this hire, not as effusive as some on this blog. I am currently in wait and see mode. But for the dour looks on the current players’ faces, the press conference was successful. Did not mean to be a wet blanket, just a realist.

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  43. Father in law of new coach was a prior chairman on the BoT for Duke. Cool!!

    In 2014 Coach made 525k in total compensation, which typically means salary of about $375k. Health benefits and the like total around 30% but I ain’t no HR guru.

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  44. He has his supporters and he is a Pitt guy. There may be some effort to repair any exit damage that might have occurred and bring him back home. No one continues up the ladder of success after Rutgers.

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    1. What’s his name became a NFL HC. …….for awhile. The Tennessee Vol gig didnt get off the ground.
      But that was more to do with his past affiliation with Creepy Valley State.

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  45. Given all the criticism of Heather since she was hired I think this should be seen as an indication of her insight, tenacity and intelligence that she made this happen. I think this proves her quality as a representative of Pitt and an effective salesperson for the university. She made the initial contact and must have been compelling.

    As for Capel, I don’t think they could have made a better hire. He was incredibly impressive at his intro press conference. Clearly a man who knows himself, basketball and how to relate most positively with all ages.

    Thank you Reed for your fortitude and intelligent leadership on this blog.

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    1. I could be totally wrong, however Heather seems like a genuine person. And Capel seems to be one too, and that is why he was impressed with Heather. It takes one to know one.

      (or again I could be totally wrong and it was the $2 mil plus and the opportunity of O fries on a daily basis)

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  46. I was just thinking that I have been following Pitt BB since the Sixties and this is, beyond a doubt, the most impressive BB hire in that time period.

    Coach Capel may or may not get us back to a top ten or top twenty team, but the “hope” has certainly returned.

    Go Pitt.

    PS: Don’t know what to think about bringing Knight back – perhaps with a closer like Capel BK could be more effective at recruiting.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing MajorMajors. Brandon has lots of contacts in the NYC/NJ market, but either he couldn’t close the deal or Dixon’s poisoning of the AAU fouled the deal. Capel can teach Brandon how to be a better ‘closer’. Something Jamie was not good at. Which is how the program slid.

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  47. Major, the Capel hire is one of the best in my lifetime considering the reaction and fanfare. Wanny does rival this, I believe… Did JM, JS, BH. or JD do the same thing for the fan base/ I don’t know?

    I think BK is being brought back for partly PR and he has stepped up at Rutgers. That program is building up their BB program.

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  48. I just hope Capel wasnt the bagman for Duke. You will see this mentioned on Duke and NC boards. Particularly NC…go figure. Pitt has no money to throw around to recruits. And I’m pretty sure all the bluebloods do. Like I said Pitt will be a more difficult sell. But, all Pitt needs are some 4 stars. He doesnt need to recruit one and dones. You see how Calipari struggles at times with that strategy. Pitt has a bunch of 2 star players with a full year of ACC experience. I’m pretty sure Pitt will see an immediate improvement. Zero ACC wins is a very low hurdle to clear. I hope he moves his family here unlike Stallings and Heather. It seems to me he wants to make his mark at Pitt and from what I see he’s a good fit. Assistants will be the key to his ultimate success. Brandon I guess would be o.k.

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    1. That’s funny coming from Tarhole boards….with all the improprieties that go on and have went on in Chapel Hell for the last couple decades. lol

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    2. Txpanther, I have seen a number of comments about Ms. Lyke and Mr. Capel moving their families to Pittsburgh, not just this recent post from you. As a former military spouse, I have a few thoughts on this issue. (Tho I am not equating coaching bball to serving in the military). The decision to move a family is difficult. How old are your children? Where are they in school? Where is your support system located? Does a particular child need special attention for some reason?Is there an aging or ill parent? There are lots of reasons to keep the family in a different place than one parent. So, Ms. Lyke or Mr. Capel need to make the decision that is best for their particular situation. This isn’t an issue for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand all those things and respect your personal insight. But I also understand that families being apart can and will impact job performance. Its at best a short term situation hopefully. A family is best in close proximity and I think you would agree. Thats why many companies have clauses in contracts that require the moving of the entire family, and the company often pays for the move. Its stressful enough being an executive. Compounded even more when away from spouse and children.

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        1. Thats why progressive companies often interview the candidate and the significant other (invite them both out to dinner, make a few phone calls, ask around). Pitt didnt do that with Haywood, Graham and Barnes. We see what that led to. Thats why I think Pitt hired a vetting company. I would think they vett spouses as well. You’re only as good as your better half. 🙂

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  49. Speaking of one and dones…..a HC can save a university a lot of athletic scholarship money by recruiting one and ones. Think of it…..instead of having someone on a free ticket for 4 years. That person is gone after only 1 free year.

    The savings can actually pay for the coach’s salary or at least part of it. 🙂

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  50. Emel, I met and spoke with Heather on 3 occasions. She seemed genuine to me. Of course, she may have only spoken to me because she thought I was in RICHMAN’S posse. Haha.

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    1. That’s the take I get, just seeing her on video. She’s not full of herself, doesn’t appear to have any con artist attributes (like Herman) and she seems pretty mid-western….which is a good thing.

      I don’t know Richman, but if he has a posse….good for him. lol

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  51. One and done is soon to be finished. A possible rule change allowing high school players to go straight to the NBA again. Two year minimum stay for players that accept a scholarship to a college.

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    1. That would really help Pitt win. Of course now we have a coach who can recruit some of these top 50 guys so, just our luck. 😉

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  52. Seems that suddenly Heather is showing herself as being well equipped to be a successful AD at a P5 University. Could be that we suddenly need to be aware that she could be catching the eye of some of the so called “big boys”.

    This was a great day for her and for Pitt Basketball.

    HTP!

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  53. Interesting the 1st question Jeff Capel had to answer was from Meyer of the Pedo Gazette and the schmoe includes Oklahoma in the question. What a schmuck !

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        1. The one I particularly chuckled at was : the question of who would be on the team next year. He totally blew that stupid question…..out of the room.

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  54. No one had a clue what Heather could or couldn’t do. She was hired by a fairly unfamiliar employer and she took a good long look around to evaluate what her future decisions would be. Like most new managers would do. Unless there was some sort of an edict upon her hiring, she wasn’t or shouldn’t have been in any hurry to make silly, rash and uneducated decisions.

    She could have failed and she still may. Looks like she was involved in a really good hire at this moment but her job is nowhere near finished and it never will be as long as she is the AD at PITT. I’m sure there will be questionable decisions down the road where she makes an unwise and/or unpopular call. History tells us there will be plenty of detractors to point that out for us all to the point of nauseousness .. .ike

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  55. Reed, You have press credentials. Please call and interview Scott Barnes to get his take on Pitt’s new BB coach! 😉

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  56. Another thing I caught, Jerry DiPaulo was the only sportsschmoe that actually Welcomed Capel to Pittsburgh.
    And the only I saw who actually dressed for the occasion. The rest of the sportschmoes all looked like the
    bums they are. Not a pro-Pitt one among them and their questions reflected that, including Zeise.

    Like

  57. Great day for Pitt and Capel knocked it out of the park today. He’s gonna be good in living rooms talking to recruits and their parents.

    Some folks here were mocking the AD for flying to the candidate, after tearing her up for going on a vacation at the single most important moment of her career as an AD. She went down to Durham with a team including the guy who some said should stay away from athletics and go back to counting things. That guy helped seal the deal – imagine that for a supposed physics nerd.

    And how about all of those expert comments that a good AD doesn’t need a recruiter along with the boastful comments about how they could do the job for less money?…and not having her candidate sewn up before firing Stallings.

    Well, the physics nerd and the compliance lady had a good day today and are clearly more savvy than many of us realized. Perhaps we should cut them a break until the first football loss this fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. when Pitt becomes a consistent sports powerhouse across most programs like Stanford and Wisconsin, you can talk smack about how great our AD and Chancellor are. You do know that practically every program at Pitt ranks near the bottom of the ACC? You do know that we are one of the worst P-5 programs historically when it comes to ‘Cup’ standings? Do you know its been over 40 years since Pitt has won a championship in any program? If you think that the culture has suddenly changed by a perceived good hire, you are sadly mistaken.

      Like

      1. No one said anything about culture change, TX.

        I’m only pointing out some of the stupid things that were said during the past few weeks. It’s fair game.

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        1. Hey, and I probably said some myself. I was terribly impatient with the speed and as it turns out, it was wasted energy. I will try to remember that the next time an issue pops up at Pitt.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree Tx. Yet when you don’t know what you’re talking about. Well……… then don’t talk smack on someone or something you don’t have a clue about.

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  58. Adam Zagoria reports Carr keeping all options open after meeting with Capel. Maybe he should option to go back to Canada and learn how to dribble in traffic Ehh.

    Like

    1. That’s a 2 way street. Capel is keeping all his options open as well. The kiddos got some bad advice from someone when they asked for their releases.

      Like

  59. At least four top 150 uncommitted recruits in the 2018 class that are PG’s.

    Get one recruit and a grad transfer if Carr wants to leave. I wish him the best – he is welcome to stay by me – coach Capel, I’m not sure of his thoughts on Carr.

    Options are open could mean anything…

    Liked by 1 person

  60. He stressed that he needs a point guard. I’m guessing he wants one with good ball skills. Carr didn’t show much of that. After meeting his knew coach if he’s still wavering then he should just go

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    1. Guard play can quickly make a team exceptional. He should know. He’s a former guard. Look at all the Final 4 teams this year. Listen to what those NBA greats say on the TV talk shows. They all say guards. Why? Because the ball is always in their hands. Just like a football QB.

      Like

      1. That’s true Tex. We never advanced that far in the NCAA’s because guard was our weakness. We never had that killer 2 (shooting)Guard who could nail outside shots when it mattered. Gibbs was good, but then we didn’t have the good PG to go along with him. The year we got to the Elite 8 was the year LeVance was a Senior PG, he was good, but we didn’t have a very good 2 G. Pitt’s outside shooting was always very suspect in the Dance.

        Duke was handicapped this year by not have a great PG, even though they had a great frontline.

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        1. Agree, Pitt’s best guard balance probably goes back to Wanamaker and Gibbs. If not those two then perhaps Krauser and Ramon.

          Remember Gibbs dribbling the shot clock away in 2011 with the lead against Butler? He couldn’t create a shot. Foreshadowed 2011-2012.

          The Fan, who was all over Pitt since firing Stallings, can’t stop praising the Capel hire.

          Did anybody watch the Penn State-Mississippi State NIT game on ESPNU the other night? It was an incredible Penn State love fest nearly the entire game. I hope they paid for that kind of promotion.

          Like

          1. The only time we reached the Elite 8 is when LeVance Fields completely took control of the SW 16 game versus Sean Miller’s Xavier team in 09. With less than a minute left, Pitt was trailing and as the shot clock was about to expire, Fields hit a long 3-pointer to put Pitt ahead. Then on the ensuing possession, Fields stole the ball and then was fouled, and he made the FTs. Final – Pitt won by 5.

            Fields was money in the crunch time. Remember the winning FG vs Duke at MSG? And even in the loss to Nova in the E8, he made 2 free throws with 5 seconds left to tie the game (Before Scot Reynolds shot.)

            Barvo, the shot clock expiring in the Butler game when Pitt was up one with 10 seconds left still haunts me.

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            1. I had midcourt seats at the Butler game and of course most people there loved the upset. Terribly mismanaged last minute of the game by Dixon. Get the quick score to increase the lead to three and then go into defensive mode.Not before. My BP rose just thinking about it!

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  61. and just something to think about. Pitt stayed clear of Miller due to possible pay for play violations. Pitt just hired a coach that was fired at OU for similar stuff. An assistant making payments. There is a reason he was untouchable for 7 years. There is a reason why he’s called Mr Money Bags. Look at the Bagley recruiting. I’m pointing out some hypocrisy in Pitt. So crucify the messenger.

    I personally like the hire however. I personally believe if you aint cheatin you aint tryin. I personally would have hired Tressel as AD and his baggage really isnt that heavy. So I think Pitt did get a bit desperate as time went on. They deviated from their initial check list. And a phone call from Coach K probably certainly helped.

    But to think that Pitt suddenly ‘gets’ what athletics is all about because of a Wanny like hire, I think that might just be a bit too Hopeful.

    I promise I want say another disparaging word about Heather the Presenter and Mr Atom counter until I hear another Fanta giveaway or see another fan sleeping in their yellow Heinz seat.

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      1. I give Ike and his ‘evil’ eye permission to chew my arse out if I break my promise.

        I’ll move on to disparaging Nard Dog for his closed practices and recruiting shortfalls.

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    1. He was offered the job at GT in 2016 and turned it down. Not sure when he turned down Arizona St., so he wasn’t untouchable for 7 years.

      It’s not Heather’s fault some bozo got drunk before a Pitt game…he should have been drinking Fanta.. 😉

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      1. he reached out to Pitt in 2016 as well but of course Barnes wasnt going to collect money or favors so he passed. So untouchable for 5 years. These scandals will taint coaches. Head coaches are supposed to know what their assistants are doing. I’m interested to see how Capel sells Pitt because Dixon couldnt. Now Capel does have connections in the Circuit but thats when it becomes a bit dirty. Is Pitt ready for that? I’m fine with it myself. Some of the greatest names in sports have been known as cheaters. The smart ones dont get caught or can shake it off. America loves a winner.

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        1. Maybe Coach Capel can relate to players and their families and just has the gift of instilling confidence.

          Jamie Dixon seemed to be a bit awkward and was by some reporting — as described by his assistants — not a good closer.

          This is the first time in my lifetime where Pitt has had a head BB coach who is considered an “ace” recruiter. So we shall see what he can do.

          If teams like Butler bring in good players, why not Pitt? We have a lot to offer any recruit.

          Go Pitt.

          Like

        2. Capel is going to sell himself, he creates a bond with the recruitee and they believe in him. The university of which he is selling, doesn’t really matter that much. It’s the salesman, not the product that makes the sale.

          Personally I don’t think Jamie, while a great guy, wasn’t a very good salesman. Big difference.

          Now don’t get me wrong having a good product, helps. But Pitt was sold to blue chippers when we had far less basketball history, and while we were playing a old field house. Again it’s the salesman.

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  62. Reed, congratulations on the number of hits and comments on the POV! I’m sure the POV’s success is not a surprise to your faithful POV family. The POV like “Cheers” is where Pitt fans go “where” everybody knows your name”. What a glorious day to be a Pitt fan!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe so, Ike. Funny, that might be a good POV puff piece during a slow news period…casting various movies or TV shows with POVers!

        Like

  63. As to whether the current players stay:. It will only be enough to fill the roster after Capel gets whoever he can get at this stage. Might as well have a full bench.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Excellent post JoeL…just got into Toronto and not one damn Pitt bar. Haha. Guess I’ll try to convert one tomorrow night. Still riding high over the presser today.

    Like

    1. Prepared to get left behind then. Its the shade of grey that one plays in. Sports is not black and white. Everyone cheats in some way to get an edge from players to coaches to administrations. Elite schools become elite by cheating. Its all relative. Some are very blatant. Some go to the extreme. Others are more subtle about it. The programs that make or bend the rules are the programs most successful. You see it in everyday life outside sports. Cheating is breaking some rule or standard. Who is to say that the rules or standards are fair in the first place?

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      1. Agree. The NCAA has essentially been telling teams it is OK to cheat since it wants as many good teams as possible for the NCAA tourney, its money maker. Not sure why people don’t want Pitt cheating. It’s not like the cheating affects our lives. I’ll still wake up and go to work if Pitt is cheating, come home, love my wife and live my life.

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  65. If you are going to compare Capel at Oklahoma and Miller get some things right. Capel was never implicated on the action of minor violations of his assistant. The agent did more than the assistant coach in fact. Millers long time assistant was indicted and is going to trial. . Far different violations here. Plus Miller is still on the FBI investigative radar and discovery of the pending trial. Is Pitt giving Capel what he needs to bring in top talent?, That is the plan. Their are ways to do things and Duke is a expert in distancing itself from the shoe money and deals made between the top recruits. Pitt however will never break any NCAA regs for anyone and will insure that is the case.

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  66. Many lawyers jobs us to advise clients how close they can get to the line that separates law breaking from law abiding. At some point the line becomes blurry and that’s what makes lawsuits and prosecutions. But that does not mean that it’s OK to cheat, i.e. break the law or written rule. Then there are violations for which there are only minor consequences. A company or an individual has to decide whether the risk is worth the reward. It does get squirrelly at that point. I will acknowledge that. But pay to play? Come on.

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    1. The “lines” are drawn and redrawn everywhere and then argued and interpreted every day. Nothing is black and white, or at least not the same black and white for very long….

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    2. I’m not saying be blatant about it. But these elite schools are elite for a reason. they play in the grey and bend the rules. That make the rules fit them. And the NCAA actually encourages this. They want the elite teams to stay elite.

      So it Pitt doesnt engage in bending of rules, it will be left behind. Well – it already has. If Pitt wants to be squeaky clean and abide by every asinine rigid NCAA rule by not deviating by any degree, it will be tough to compete against schools that know how to play the game. Schools break rules all the time and are rarely punished and if punished its generally light…the rewards were worth the risk.

      But Pitt isnt crafty enough. Its culture and leaders walk a straight line. I’m sure Capel knows the grey thats why it will be interesting to see if he plays in that area at Pitt. I’m not saying back up the Brinks truck to a recruits home.

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  67. Loved Heathers quote in today’s PG when getting praise for coaching hire, “ I did my job”. Stunning how we go ga ga over this. We where just so used to complete messes that when something goes as it should we can’t believe it. It was a wonderful job an a very good hire!

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  68. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about the Oklahoma assistant issues and I give it a clean bill of health for Capel and I’m pretty discerning when it comes to things like ethical conduct.

    Yes head coaches should know what his last coaches ar doing all the time but that’s not the reality and again, like said above it was really the agent and the player who were the key principles in this situation, no Capel. I wouldn’t hold him accountable for what happened

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  69. Hey Iek, good call but looking at Friday afternoon for the tailgate. We drive back home Saturday. Plus I consider 3pm Good Friday as the unofficial end of Lent…I always give up beer.

    Like

  70. Here is an interesting take on the coaching search by Tim Benz of the Tribune-Review:

    http://triblive.com/sports/columnists/timbenz/13473202-74/tim-benz-jeff-capel-was-tough-to-find-but-worth-the-search

    “Despite all those other names linked to the Pitt job, Lyke insisted the only person to receive an offer — besides Capel — was Hurley.

    I can believe that. After Hurley declined, all the other names easily could have been exploratory interviews or mere discussions but not offers.

    You’ve got to go through the process,” Lyke said. “It’s not about speed. It’s about getting it right.”

    If it couldn’t be Hurley, I believe Lyke got it right with Capel.

    It’s not as if the process dragged as much as it seemed, by the way.

    Consider the timeline. Lyke admitted making an offer to Hurley. Sometime between Wednesday night, March 21, and Thursday morning, March 22, Hurley accepted the UConn job over the Pitt offer.”

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    1. as I recall, Oates said that he did not have a conversation with Pitt; he said his agent had an exploratory discussion and that was it. There was nothing that I read where either Crean or Matta was offered.

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  71. But OU did use this scandal to fire him with cause. This incident probably helped OU make their case since 14 win seasons werent acceptable.

    Recruiting is a dirty business. If sheer personality could sell, I would think Narduzzi would be doing much better. I’ll be interested to see how Capel does recruiting at Pitt and how Pitt’s ‘compliance’ culture impacts it.

    Like

    1. It is not correct that he was fired with cause. The reason he was fired was the teams record after losing 3 key players – one of whom was Tiny Gallon, who took the $3000 loan from the agent. All three were McDonald’s All-Americans. The three bolted when the threat of sanctions loomed and he failed to recruit the same kind of high caliber kids while under that cloud. He was in fact paid a buyout of over $2M as a part of a termination settlement.

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      1. he was fired right? just like stallings. thats what I mean by cause.
        his last two seasons were what 13 and 14 wins because he couldnt recruit because of a scandal under his tenure
        i know he cant control what a kids agent does but the NCAA sanctioned OU
        OU used this incident to make their case

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        1. With all due respect TX, the word “cause” has meaning in employment contractual matters. I understand the point you are making, but “cause” indicates a breach of contract which allows an employer to terminate without severance.

          OU did not and was not required to make a case for the termination because it settled via buyout.

          Like

    2. Narduzzi is handicapped by the yellow seats, so he can’t offer a recruit everything the recruit might be looking for; while Capel can offer everything a recruit could be looking for – except a bag of money…:-)

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  72. Great discussion as always on here Reed that’s why the POV is great. This seems like a good hire to me. I like you Reed am a football fan first but I disagree with you on saying Pitt is a football school first. I believe since 2000 that PITT made a conscious decision to become a basketball school. They built a new arena and consistanly have paid the bball coaches more than football coaches. I was thinking this new administration was pro football now I’m not so sure.
    With the dwindling attendance in basketball AD Lyke was forced to make a move cuz I believe in the last 20 years basketball makes more money than football. I hope I’m wrong I want the basketball to succeed but God I wish football would get some more money if not I feel well be stuck in mediocrity.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. If Duke is dirty, then everyone is. We know Carolina gave out grades. And Calipari has a history and gets all those one and dones every year. Questionable behavior at MSU, Syracuse and of course the whole FBI thing.

    Hopefully the one and done thing ends soon. I would prefer 3 years and out. And Maybe the FBI will scare some people straight.

    But I do agree, it puts you between a rock and a hard place when everyone is doing it.

    I’d like to think Pitt is different and can play it straight. But it makes you wonder.

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  74. a few thoughts:

    Judging by public speaking ability alone, I can see where Capel will be a better closer than Dixon. Capel instills confidence, Jamie not so much. As we know, JD is a heck of a coach, but he needs good recruiters on his staff to compete on the higher level.

    The incident at Oklahoma occurred in 09 .. and nothing has yet surfaced to implicate Capel. I agree that the HC is responsible for the program but a one-time indiscretion that occurred that long ago can be forgiven. It’s not like he covered up a rape

    The talk is that Capel seems to think that having an assistant with Pitt ties is important. Thus, he is trying to get Brandin Knight back. If he bring back Knight and gets 2 other young, eager assistants – that would be fine with me

    Like

      1. I’m not sure if Knight did a poor job of recruiting under JD or JD just couldn’t close the deal on those brought to the table by Knight. But I think we know with Knight having several extra recruiting years under his belt today he should be in a better position to help Pitt on that front now.

        Like

  75. I’m curious about recruiting. In football, you’re establishing pipelines with coaches from power high schools. Then you’re talking with the recruit and meeting his family.

    In basketball, if you want an elite you’re dealing with his handlers, agents, the basketball ‘club’ that he’s associated with. It seems its far less about knowing the kid’s high school coach and family. A basketball recruits family are his handlers.

    I’d appreciate any insight since I can see how recruiting in basketball is different than in football and how asa result, its far dirtier.

    Like

    1. I would think boosters gets involved in both FB and BB … and the top level programs can get away with players receiving gifts from outsiders without the knowledge of the coaches (purposely). This is still illegal but unless the player tells (and why should they?), it is likely not to be exposed.

      But unlike FB, BB seems to be inundated with handlers and AAU team coaches, etc. Remember when Herb Pope committed to Pitt, yet was coaxed to decommit by the local AAU coach who was best friend with Huggy Bear who was K-Sate HC at the time? Remember when Khem Birch left Pitt in December to go to UNLV, influenced by his handlers? Guarantee these handlers were getting something out of this.

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  76. Looks like Heather offered Hurley who turned down PITT, then waited on Capel to be available. In the meantime she looked for Plan C type of coaches although Plan B was as far as she had to go. In other words, she appeared to have everything under control the whole time. ike

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  77. Again, can’t remember where but read that the Pete is showing signs of age and needs work. Hope PITT learned from their football stadium and they keep it updated. or they can replace it with a new PITT stadium…

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  78. TX panther,
    Tex, please consider letting the OU situation go at this point. By ALL accounts (even Reeds) our coach was clearly not involved. Also, we FINALLY have something in Pitt BB to be happy about and you keep throwing a wet blanket over it. From one Texan to another, just let it go. Thanks Tex!

    Like

    1. Just dont want history to repeat itself
      And want to better understand how an ace recruiter will get kids to come to Pitt because Dixon was not able to
      I’m sure Duke plays in the grey area
      Will Pitt allow Capel to? And if not, how will that impact his recruiting?
      I think those are all legit questions
      I’m thinking Capels personality and experience will win over some recruits
      His connections will help but thats when the grey creeps in

      Like

  79. One interesting comment in Heather’s interview: she didn’t say that she would have waited for Capel if he wouldn’t talk until Duke’s NCAA run was over and it went to the Final Four. I think that is a plus that tells me she was doing what’s best for Pitt rather than any one individual. As for cheating, we should try to remember that this is a sport we are talking about, not life and death. When a program is disgraced through cheating it devalues the brand and hurts everyone who graduated from its programs. I for one could not enjoy an ACC or NCAA championship if Pitt was caught cheating in the process. Let’s hope that Capel was not involved in any under the table payments to Bagley that Coach K knows about and as a result encouraged Capel to move on. I don’t believe this is the case, but with basketball the sleazy underbelly can show itself at the most inopportune times.

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    1. I believe that she indicated that it was dependent on her initial phone call/conversation, to which she also indicated that it went very well. As such I believe she was going to wait in this case.

      Like

    2. Who has been disgraced by cheating? USC, UNC, Syracuse. I can’t think of any particular program that was disgraced by cheating. It doesn’t seem to work that way and that is why I have been saying that we need to understand the playing field better, and play ball. The only one possibly disgraced was SMU and they are bouncing back. They were irrelevant for as long as Pitt was and we didn’t have a scandal.

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  80. ^^ That would be a great new rule and I expect it to pass. Why? The FBI/NCAA investigations reaches further and wider than most people realize. << This proposed new rule is in direct correlation to the current problems in college basketball and the latest scandal.

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  81. Looks like Coach Capel made an appearance at Pitt’s football practice today and supposedly addressed the team. That was nice of him considering the fact that I’m sure he has his hands full just getting a handle on the Pitt Basketball situation.

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    1. FWIW, Narduzzi was at Capel’s presser. It shows unity … plus Capel, with his Duke background, is a high profile coach and probably has credibility with many of the players.

      And of course. major tip of the cap to Tomlin for welcoming Capel. It will be refreshing to see Tomlin and a handful of Steelers at the Pete again

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  82. By the strictest definition Pitt is not squeaky clean here. All programs have boosters who provide summer jobs, Pitt however is just a minor player in that regard. Big time programs especially in BB know the ins and outs of how to get things done without any real connection to the program. Pitt in order to be a top program as I define as a top 20 level will certainly have to make certain “considerations” that insulate the program from damage. Friends of the program exist everywhere. Pitt is no exception. But Pitt knows the legal and limit of exposure and Capel knows the situation here. Pitt as a University will never tolerate that blatant behavior.

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      1. again, Duke has no direct blood on its hands here … but at least one of its players is teetering with eligibility due to Nike. If this was uncovered years ago, or it was Robert Morris instead of Duke, then maybe all wins this year would be vacated plus a scholie would be forfeited, … or something

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  83. IN 1972 Pitt boosters were tired on losing and told Posvar that they would leave if things didn’t change. Once Posvar understood that, These same boosters negotiated Major coming to Pitt.Majors agent was his brother who was an attorney. I knew in October Majors was coming and it was a done deal. But it came at some cost and the NCAA.came a calling. Pitt wrote out some hefty checks to lawyers to keep the NCAA at bay. That set the predicate for the program to wind down the booster influence. Major s didn’t leave to Tenn due to going home. He saw the move by the egg heads to clamp down of the booster involvement. Sherril was hired and some boosters continued support but some didn’t after majors left. But after the cost of keeping Pitt out of the news, the end was coming. He left for A&M as he saw the University getting back control of the program and that was that. Pitt thought they could win without doing many of the practices of the Majors and to a degree Sherril years. Obviously they never returned to that level. Finding that balance is what Pitt has never done well. It will be interesting the next couple of years of Capel and Pitt BB.

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  84. ^^ That story sounds about right Chet but lets not forget Jackie left for A&M for a college record breaking salary. Reminds me of the so called PITT nudging Dixon out so he could leave for his alma mater for more money. << Those things don’t add up to me. Both were a parting of mutual ways.

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  85. off topic but …..

    Brian Batko@BrianBatko
    Pat Narduzzi on Pitt’s defense: “We had a blitz period today that was a little scary, just because of how fast they are on defense right now. They know what they’re doing, and it’s not easy to pick ’em up with an offensive line that’s as young as ours right now.”

    again, it’s all a double-edged sword right now

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  86. @HBG Frank – There is not one program that is off limits to the dirt and grime of P5 recruiting in either sport. That is the reality and candidly, it hasn’t really changed in many years. The supply chain (handlers/intermediaries/parents) have changed, but not the dirt.

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  87. Johnny Majors I believe first came to Pitt to be introduced as the new head coach the second week of December 1972. Around that time, my father’s attorney George Barco was having after dinner drinks in my father’s home in the den. George Barco was one of the most influential boosters and Trustees to bring Majors to Pitt.. To honor him Pitt would later name their Law School after him. I can to this day remember him telling the story standing in front of my Dad’s bar and telling the story of when Johnny got Dorsett. The first time Majors saw Dorsett play was in the Big 33 Football Classic game and when they got Dorsett to commit, Mr. Barco said that Johnny would have done a back flip if he could have pulled it off.

    To say that Johnny left Pitt at that time because of non-booster support and not to bring up his DEEP ties to Tennessee is a bit of revisionist history. it also tarnishes AD Cas Myslinski’s role to keep Johnny. BTW Myslinski withstood pressure to relocate the football team off-campus to Three Rivers Stadium.

    About 5 years ago my son had to do an interview with John Majors as a promotion for the corporation he works for in Nashville. Off air, my son told John that his Dad (me; Tony in Hampton) was a 1974 Pitt grad. He asked where my Dad was from and when my son told him: he said that he knows the area and two of the best people he has ever known were George Barco and his son-in-law Jim Duratz from that area.

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    1. The amazing part to me is that Dorsett was still available after the Big 33 Classic .. unless I misunderstood, and he committed prior but the Big 33 was the first time Majors saw him in person.

      I saw Dorsett in his senior year play at New Castle. He didn’t do much at all in the first quarter but in the 2nd quarter, he turned a common off tackle play into a 60 yard (or so) TD … as well as a 75 yard Int return, a bit later on. Never forgot that

      Like

  88. No but Majors knew the change to his pure booster influence was changing. I had many visits with him as part of the family so to speak. Yes TN came after him but he hated leaving Pitt and the friendships while here. He staying in touch with them, but he was the main cog in the movement to win with boosters. Sherril was just never that guy in popularity. My point is Pitt is playing in a arena that is not exactly above board. Capel knows the landscape and I have to believe he was given a promise Pitt wants a big time program in BB.I do think the ACC changes things to a large degree now.

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    1. Concur Chet……Capel doesn’t come to Pitt if we have to play with 2 hands tied behind our back. No way you can compete in the ACC if you do.

      Like

  89. By the way from the Narduzzi video we may have found that outstanding defensive end player we have looking for to provide more pressure on the opposition this coming season. And his last name is Weaver and not Hendrix. Now if the light shines on for Hendrix this season also then maybe Narduzzi will have found that Michigan State defense look alike he has been searching for these past 3 years.

    Like

  90. Listening to HCJC on the Fan today. Boy is this guy impressive. I have no doubt he can recruit, now I need to see how the coaching part goes. Really can’t remember much about those OK teams other than BG. Very anxious to see in game coaching!!

    Like

    1. Missed it , but Starkey or the other one said it would be up via a podcast or their Poopbook page.
      Where do find their podcasts ? They said it was a great interview as well.

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    2. JoeKnew – I agree; he is so well-spoken and his comments show intelligence and a rare frankness (he doesn’t seem to beat around the bush). His wife is a Yale Law School grad. His father-in-law is a Duke Law School grad and the former Chairman of the Duke Board of Trustees. And we know about his special parents /brother from the previous story on this blog.

      Like

  91. Pitt Spring Football Day 9
    March 29, 2018

    Post-practice Interview Session Videos & Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript

    VIDEOS

    Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson

    Receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes

    Punter Kirk Christodoulou

    COACH PAT NARDUZZI TRANSCRIPT

    Opening comments:

    “We gave the guys off Good Friday and the weekend like we did our first two years. We weren’t able to do that last year with some scheduling problems, but I am happy our guys got a little time away the next few days, but not from classes. They still have to go to class. So Happy Easter to you. We got a good practice in today, very energetic. We got some things accomplished. I can’t wait to go back and watch the tape.”

    On the hiring of Jeff Capel as Pitt men’s basketball head coach:

    “Jeff [Capel] seems like a great guy. Obviously I am just now getting the chance to know him. Hopefully we get the chance to spend some time together in the next few months before he gets really busy and I get even busier. He has his work cut out for him. I think we have the right guy for the job, no doubt. Heather [Lyke] did a tremendous job in just being patient. Sometimes people don’t have the patience to know what is going on or to feel it. Everybody has different guys they are pointing at throughout the country of who they are going to hire, but she is a pro and she did a heck of a job getting, really, the right guy. I think he is going to be a great fit for Pitt.”

    On if Pitt basketball’s success has any effect on other sports programs, particularly football:

    “I think it always helps. When you are winning and beating people [in football], it helps basketball, and I think it is the same thing when [Pitt basketball] is winning. When they are winning and people hear, ‘Pitt, Pitt, Pitt,’ when they put on ESPN, when it is not football season, and they are seeing the University of Pittsburgh winning and beating people in the ACC, and getting in the tournament and watching selection Sunday, I think it all matters. I want [Jeff Capel] to invite me to the Sweet 16 one day and say, ‘Coach, come on, let’s go,’ and I can say, ‘Let’s cancel practice and go to the Sweet 16.’ I am looking forward to that, and success on both ends helps everybody.”

    On quarterback Kenny Pickett so far this spring:

    “Kenny has done some great things. I’m a defensive guy, you know. We have to protect the quarterback, I think it comes down to that. Kenny has done a nice job, I don’t want to underscore anything that he’s done. The bar is up here, he still has a way to go in my opinion. But he is a super kid, he is working his tail off, and I think he can be a great quarterback. But, you know what? You get measured on game day. It’s still spring ball. Coach [Shawn] Watson, he’s a quarterbacks coach, of course they are doing good. Love him.”

    On whether Pitt’s tight ends can play at 290 pounds:

    “I think they can. It’s not like you’re looking at some chubby guys out there. They are just big dudes, and they run pretty good. Are they going to race down the field and beat everybody one on one? No. But I’ll tell you what, physically, they can push off of you a little bit. I think there’s a lot you can do with that size on your route, if you know how to control your body. You can box people out big time. I think Coach [Jeff] Capel could use him under the box too.”

    On how well the offensive line is protecting the quarterback so far:

    “I think it’s going good. Defensively, it’s challenging. Rashad Weaver is just a bear to deal with, and trying to protect against his pressure one on one, and when we blitz. We had a blitz period today. They are just fast on defense right now. They know what they are doing. It’s not easy to pick them up with an offensive line that’s as young as ours is right now, so that is a work in progress. But we’ll get there because there is a lot of good coaching going on and I got faith in what we are doing. There’s a lot of things protection-wise that you’re trying to pick up six and seven guys coming; it’s not easy. I think overall when I look at it compared to what we were a year ago, we are right there or better. So I feel good; we will be able to protect Kenny.”

    On defensive lineman Rashad Wheeler so far in spring ball:

    “Wheeler has been playing really good. He is a Central Catholic product. Those guys have been impressive this spring so far.”

    Like

  92. damn Nitters are going to win the NIT and be a top 25 team next year. Their brand has recovered fast. In fact, its probably stronger now than pre-Sandusky. Credit to them.

    Like

  93. If you throw enough cash at a problem, you can fix it and improve it. With football, they just scheduled extremely easy. We need that for about three years to get lots of wins and give our kids confidence. High schoolers will notice the W’s and recruiting will take off.

    MSU is doing that now. It will take them a bit longer.

    Like

  94. The public tends to forget scandals and support winners. Everyone likes a winner. Thats America for you.

    I do admire Penn States ability to rally behind alma mater. Dont get me wrong, I think they deserved the death penalty and anyone who tries to justify or ignore what happened is misguided to put it nicely. But, there is a time to move on and they have definitely raised the bar in basketball.

    And I agree, confidence is a great thing for young kids along with practice and real game day experience.

    Thats why although Pitt basketball had a bunch of 2 stars on the court last year, they got good experience playing against the very best. That has to help them going forward wherever they end up playing.

    Like

  95. In my experience, it helps to play against people who are maybe a level better than you. Anything more than that, and the learning part of it drops considerably and confidence wanes. If they were lost all year, not sure how much they learned.

    Like

  96. I would imagine if the Pedos dont get to the NCAA’s next year with these Philly kids….their coach, who has been there already 7 years will be gone.

    The previous coach even made the Dance his last season and still got axed.

    I think Capel runs roughshod over these clowns in Philly and NJ/NYC.

    Like

    1. Interesting that Penn State’s most challenging game was the first one, Temple at home. They could have easily lost it. They beat everybody else fairly easily on the road. Chambers better build off the NIT momentum toward the NCAA next season like Dixon did last year or he’s probably gone.

      Like

  97. speaking of a 2-star (at best), the Black Hawks played the last 7 minutes of the game last night with an accountant in goal, and won 6-2. 7 saves, no goals

    Like

  98. PG: PSU has “ Program defining win”. I’d just love to have their PR budget, from sports to general advertising of academics, they really can crank it out!

    Like

    1. Yeah they know how to get their message out well. It will all come down to Carr for them next year. If he goes pro, they will keep their tourney streak alive (not going that is) and continue being irrelevant. They had a coup to get him and Stevens (Carr might have been a bit shady $$ according to people in Philly though).

      Like

      1. If it was shady in recruiting Carr then it was worth getting him. Lord knows Dixon had no prayer in getting him and Stevens, even after 10 NCAAs in 12 years. I wonder if Philly coaches will show Capel the door when he shows up because of the Birch situation, which narrative Pitt fans seems to still be clinging to.

        Like

  99. Just had to delete my last post, as my irrational hatred of them clouds all judgement. Let’s just say what goes around comes around.

    Like

  100. Back to Football: Shawn Watson can’t say enough good things about Kenny Pickett comparing him to Teddy Bridgewater who he coached at Louisville. At the same time Narduzzi IMO is trying to temper down somewhat his praise for Pickett saying he’s at this level(hand gesturing) and wants him to get to a higher level.—If the offensive line comes around to being classified as average this season Pitt should challenge in every game this season bar none. Please note the comments in this post were not made by Ike.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. Regarding PSU’s NIT bb win, this is the result of hiring one assistant coach I believe, who brought in 3 very good Philly players in one class, Carr being the best of them. PU will remain competitive until those players (or at least one of them) leaves, and this should be a lesson with regard to college bb in general. In hindsight, I always believed that’s all Dixon needed, one assistant to do that (in his waning years); I think by comparison, maybe Capel needs a good X’s & O’s guy moreso than a key recruiter, given his skill set/

    Anyway, with regard to Pickett, I too listened to Watson, seems like a truly likable and knowledgeable guy, but as I was listening I couldn’t help but wonder if he’s just a guy who errs on the side of praise, and he pretty much did that with Browne as well. So I discounted his praise of Pickett, then I listened to Lopes, Pitt’s best WR going into this season, and based on his comments moreso than Watson’s, I got a really good feeling about Pickett, he really seems like the real deal.

    Like

  102. Am currently at a Welcome Home Vietnam Vets celebration (there are around 400 Vets and family members here) and while waiting to start my share of the formal ceremony had a great conversation with Jan Scruggs.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Scruggs

    If you remember he’s the Veteran who raised money and awareness for the Vietnam War memorial in DC.

    https://goo.gl/images/4r5u4j

    Fascinating man and is still very much involved in veterans issues.

    Like

  103. Well if nothing else, from now until both FB and B.B. seasons start, the POV will be hopping.
    Why you ask?
    First, with FB who knows what we really have? This team is more secret that the Secret Service.
    Secondly, who knows who Capel will bring into the program and who currently will be leaving it?
    Hence, us POVers will be speculating into the start of both seasons.
    For me, it’s very exciting times (for a change).
    Happy Good Friday and Easter!

    Like

    1. for all we know, it could have been the Secret Service providing some of the WH leaks. I think a better analogy might be ….. this team is more secret than a Heather Lyke coaching search.

      Like

  104. BTW, for all of the alleged secrecy surrounding the FB team, I count 2 PG stories and 3 Trib stories about the FB team in the last 24 hours alone. And I didn’t even include the one about Capel addressing the team (in both papers), nor did I include a handful of tweets about the coaches’ post practice remarks

    Like

  105. Capel is definitely the best public speaker we have had on a coaching staff in a long time.

    Regarding Football, my long standing opinion that this team will succeed or fail, depends totally on the offensive line has not changed much. Encouraged that we have two 290 lb. Tight ends. Going to need their beef. They may be the O’Neils of the future.

    Like

  106. I never saw the Stallings presser and had a few minutes to burn this AM and watched enough of it to get a flavor. Wow.

    I don’t know who it was that hurled that first grenade (Dejan at DK SPosrts?), but that and a coupleof the follow-up questions….no wonder Stallings wife was seen ripping Barnes a new rear-end in the hallway afterwards.

    Like

  107. @Emel and other bball followers. What happened at Syracuse, also just happened at Duke if I recall. With the impending rule change on one and dones, the g league and international ball is an alternative to going to classes. I think one of the Ball kids just declared for the draft after getting the boot from UCLA for stealing in China.

    Been pushing Reaves on here since watching him in high school. He reminds me of the Steelers Eric Green. That said, I also enjoyed Sear’s competitiveness. He is solid. Both are football players which is imperative. I think Clarke was an athlete that wasn’t necessarily a great football player because he lacked “compete”. It is a mindset and I hope Clarke can figure that out because he has a lot of physical skills.

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  108. What has impressed me the most about Coach Capel is his commitment to family. He has his priorities straight IMO.
    Pitt is special – We are Family. Most other Universities cannot say that.

    I truly believe that the previous head coach did not have that same philosophy – Pitt was just another job to him, nothing more or less, and that is what most of us picked up on. We all felt on some emotional level he was not the right hire, was not a part of the family from the start (but he could easily have changed that perception during his first summer here if he had chosen too). He paid lip service to it, but GHer’s know the difference, and can instinctively tell when someone is mouthing the words but there is no real emotion or commitment behind them.

    Coach Capel on the other hand is sincere and is going the extra mile to prove he and his wife and kids want to be a part of our family, want to be here and contribute to the community, not just to the BBall program.

    Will he succeed? Maybe not on the court in the long run – though I figure the odds are very good he will – but as far as showing us that he wants to embrace the University, the City and the people of Western PA and become one of us he has already succeeded.

    Good Luck and Godspeed Coach Capel… and btw, BEAT DUKE!!!!!!

    H2P

    (Crossposted from the Blather.)

    Like

  109. I expect Coach Capel to have Pitt competitive in ACC play within 2 years. By competitive I mean being capable of playing 500 ball in ACC games. It will take just a couple of very good recruits(grad transfers included) for Pitt to be at that level. If he’s able to accomplish that feat I’m sure most Pitt BB fans will be very satisfied.

    Like

  110. PITT’s coaching hire was discussed on Sirius 84, ESPN U, and the hosts, like us thought it was a good hire for Pitt and a bit of a gamble for Capel, although he will get credit for any improvement in the team (as he should). BTW, I sent a congratulatory email to Heather and was surprised that she sent back a reply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did the same PittPT and I got a reply as well, within 2 days. I’ve emailed her before and got a response that time as well. That tells me a lot.

      Like

  111. In many ways, history may repeat itself in a way. I argued that the true test of Stallings was year 1, where he had a team 95% the same as the year before, which was a tourney team. I and others said, let’s see how he compares. The result sucked of course.

    It is likely Capel too will have a team 90% the same. In both cases, the team was/is a year more experienced of course. But in each case, I think, a telling test. If Capel can get these players and whoever else he gets eligible to play to have a .333 winning % in the acc, that might show great improvement in comparison to Stallings. .500 would be a small miracle, I think.

    Like

  112. I like Ryan Luther. He is a Pitt man.
    But if anyone is optimistic about him playing a full season next year, particularly if he had two consecutive stress fractures, then they are delusional.
    We have no idea who HCJC wants to keep and who he wants to discard.
    My faith is with him.
    H2P.

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  113. If JC could use the scholarship then he should use it for another player with more years of eligibility or a player with a higher impact value.

    Like Ryan and his service to PITT and his loyalty. I hope both Ryan and JC agree to what it is that’s best for him.

    Pittman down in Houston. Thank You for the well wishes over this holiday and the same right back at you and your family……… and all of the POV family. .. . .. ike

    Like

  114. Saw that Michigan football backed out of contract to play Vtech in home and home series. Michigan replaced VTech with Arkansauce St. They did not want 2 tough out of conference opponents because they already had Washington on the schedule. They wanted 3 easy ooc and one difficult. P5 teams know that the best way to the playoff picture is by not losing. Schedule easy out of conference schedule and let your conference carry strength of schedule going forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know this is a contrary opinion but I really do think it’s that if you schedule 3 cream puffs on the OOC docket then you pretty much screw the fans out of good competitive football to watch.

      And college football supposed to be all about the fans isn’t it?

      Like

      1. It’s a catch 22 for sure Reed, but I believe (like Huff) that when a program is trying to rebuild it should be done with easier games at first. Yet future scheduling is so tricking to begin with. Who knew OSU and UCF would be this good when PITT played or plays them? ike

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  115. Major Majors, I had to chuckle out loud to your response on the Lair when the OP questioned why there wasn’t any new news concerning the PITT basketball front today. M&M’s answer? JC went on vacation….. 🙂 ike

    Like

  116. ike – wasn’t that something the way some people jumped on HL for going on vacation! And here she is flying to NC to interview Jeff Capel…

    I kept thinking that the person with the most at stake in this hire is HL. I’m so glad that she proved so many doubters wrong.

    Seriously, don’t you think Coach Capel is the best Pitt BB hire at least since back in the Sixties when I started following Pitt…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. Yeah, my only comment on that whole ” Heather on vacation issue” was when it was first mentioned on here my post was “that can’t be true” because I didn’t believe it was true.

    Nobody would allow an employee to go on vacation at such an important juncture in the business’ future

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “at such an important juncture in the business’ future”

      I thought sports wasn’t important to Pitt? I guess Pitt can fake that it is important to not jeopardize the future cashing of ACC checks.

      Like

  118. Yeah M&M, some tried to make a fool out of Heather but only a day later??? That’s over with and now we move on.

    I think only Wanny rivals Capel’s hire since I can remember. We know a few coaches worked out real well but the excitement surrounding this hire at the very beginning maybe unprecedented. ike*

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  119. I think most were surprised because this hire beat all expectations. Pitt has been a roller coaster ride for a long time with many deep valleys and a few spectacular highs.

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  120. And here’s the angle being missed…

    Should Capel take Pitt Basketball soaring to heights never before seen, it will prove, once and for all, the decision to move past Jamie Dixon to be ABSOLUTELY the right decision!

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  121. Happy Easter to all.

    May the resurrection of our Lord, resurrect the goodness in all of us.

    (And that’s you Narduzzi – resurrect the open practices so that the goodness of Reed’s reporting on the POV can continue).

    Off to Columbia.

    Like

  122. So Capel has reached out already to 2019 local, Tre Mitchell, telling his mother her son’s scholarship offer still holds.

    Does anyone hope he offers Brandon Stone? I sure do and hopefully soon since he reclassified but he did drop Pitt from his list after Stallings was fired. The kid sure sounded like he wanted to be a Panther.

    Is Maceo Austin good enough for the ACC?

    I’m liking all these locals coming down the pike. They seem like good enough players to be on the roster. I think recruiting will pick up under Capel, but I don’t expect killer classes like I’m afraid some fans are setting the bar.

    Like

  123. I expect to see a couple 5 stars in the group. Am I being a bit overly optimistic? 🙂 One down side is that if most of the current group stay on, Capel will not have many scholarships to offer for the next couple of years.

    Like

    1. So far only two of the 9 players who were granted releases are committed to staying and one of the two recruits have been released (Golden still being pursued).

      Of the top 150 recruits on Rivals for 2018, about 15 to 20 are not committed and only half have signed early.

      H2P!

      Like

  124. Looks like some reason for optimism, Erie. However, I think that once they look around, many of the current group will decide to stay at Pitt.

    Like

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