Yes that is correct.  While we’ve been busy debating the merits and demerits of Pitt’s football team, the basketball season has quietly snuck up on us.

Tonight Florida State visits us at the Pete.  Tipoff is at 8.  You can watch it on ESPNU.

ESPN’s algorithm gives us a better than 52% chance to win, even though their pundits have FSU finishing 7th in the conference and Pitt finishing somewhere around 11th.

Pittsburgh Sports Now has been kind enough to collect a collection (yes I just did that) of Pitt preseason rankings.

Still, head coach Jeff Capel is building something.

Here is the official Pitt Men’s basketball season opener primer:  Link

The PG’s Craig Meyer highlights five questions that the team must answer.

Here is a look at the Seminoles.

Jerry DiPaola’s season preview can be found here.

And just in case you forgot about the kind of talent that Capel has assembled in just two short years:

Pitt is still in a rebuild, but the consensus is that they will surprise some people.   I hope they do.

Hail to Pitt and enjoy the game

Michaelangelo Monteleone

73 thoughts on “There is a Basketball Game Today

  1. Great post. The first basketball game arrived at the right time with the next FB game still over a week away

    Most significant new rule is that the 3 point line is 22′ 1 3/4″ … last year it was 20′ 9″ How this hurts/helps Pitt remains to be seen. IMO Pitt will be better but won’t get much over .500 overall, and finish around 9th or 10th (our of 15) … but it is a step in the right direction. There is more depth this year albeit inexperienced, but the future appears to be bright

    As far as “ESPN Probabilities” go …. it currently has the Top 5 CFB teams with an > 50% chance to make the playoffs which is made up of 4 teams.

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  2. This Pitt team is more talented than last year and we have a capable coach. They’re not likely to make the big dance but NIT is a possibility. Should be fun to watch regardless.

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  3. Pitt with an ACC opener and a tougher OOC, schedule like football, then the ACC schedule much more difficult than football, with lots of ranked teams.

    Improvement may not be seen in wins and losses, but should be more competitive none the less.

    Interested in how much Brown has improved and how the new big men compete. Also Murphy for Wilson-Frame as our three point guy. Hopefully our three sophomores all take steps up as well.

    Four starters have played together for a year, which should have an impact.

    Who replaces Wilson-Frame as team leader?

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  4. I predict 4 ACC wins this year. Still no size underneath the rim and and no 3 point sharp shooters on the roster. Teams will pack it in close and force the Pitt guards to drive it to the basket through a lot of traffic.

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  5. I predict Pitt wins 19-20 games
    8-9 ACC wins
    They will be a bubble NCAA team
    Will get an NIT bid
    Will be a fun team to watch unlike Pitt football
    The Pete averages 10k in attendance (over 90% capacity) unlike Heinz this year which is running by my TV eye test at 60%
    Capel gets ACC coach of the year

    Dont forget wrestling season also kicks off. Pitt is ranked #14
    And Pitt’s Hockey Club gets started. Love those unis

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      1. its a good contrast. Pitt’s football program is not on the right track. Basketball is. So is wrestling, womens basketball, soccer. Why is that I ask? I know the answer but do you?

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  6. Good points guys. I too am interested in seeing how much Brown has progressed. By the looks of him he looks a lot more stout. Lets hope that translates to the hardwood.

    I don’t mind a tougher OOC schedule in basketball, it’s just not the same as football where one or two losses can ruin a season. Road games earlier on is not a bad thing either. Other than that, I don’t have a clue what to expect this season other than a tough team that should be well coached.

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  7. Ah, an actual BB post, well done Michaelangelo! The experts expect Pitt to take a step forward this year, I guess I agree we should. The loss of Frame hurts, but we replace him with one 3 pt sharp shooter in Murphy, plus another 3 point shooter in Drumgoole. We also have superior quality size this year, replacing an injured Kene with Hamilton and Coulibaly (though rebounding is still a concern).

    I am always hesitant to expect leaps forward in ability from players, because there don’t seem to be that many Gary McGhees (Sam Young, Zanna, etc.) out there that really achieve much higher talent levels as they mature, and I guess that’s where I’m at with X’s three point shooting and Brown’s rebounding, I’m just not expecting growth this year in those areas from those guys. That said, despite the 3 pt line being moved back, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Trey improve significantly from behind the line this year.

    I also like our depth a lot more this year, and think Champ can be a difference maker in that regard; last year we lacked that kind of quality wing play coming off the bench for Toney which put him in difficult positions.

    TIme will tell, those are my initial thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m in the 19 win camp…hopefully close to half of those in ACC.
    I love Capel and his style.
    Be there tonight with Scooter in our relocated seats one row behind our buddy Wolfe…the more things change the more they stay the same. Haha.

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      1. Sure will Ike…no brainer to move things around. Coach Capel said when he was with Duke and visited the Pete all the noise was on the other side of the court…not directly behind the visiting team. No more…

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          1. Has nothing to do with Heather, Ike. Capel made the observation, and demanded it. Also demanded upgrades around the whole Pete. New Scoreboard foremost among them. I’ll credit Capel 100 percent on this one.

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  9. Returning kids are bigger and stronger then last year. We win tonight and finish with at least 10 ACC wins and maybe get NCAA bid. Optimistic me. H2P

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  10. Pitt wrestling should be a little better than last year (barring injury). And they did well last year.

    Still lack some depth, but the starting lineup should be solid. Wentzel at 165 is back from last year’s injury (though I heard he got banged up a little at the recent tournament).

    As usual, Pitt wrestles a tough schedule. There are very few easy wins on that schedule.

    Hail to Pinzburgh!

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  11. Saw the exhibition game last week. The new arrangement is an improvement as is the new video/scoreboard. Only minor complaint is that player stats are displayed on the endzone wall, and not on the center court display. But they do show more than just points and fouls per player, so that’s an improvement too.

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  12. Back to football for a sec. Just noticed that Steelers play the Browns on TV next Thursday while Pitt plays NC at Heinz . Another reason for the casual fan to stay home🥺

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      1. ACC schedule was relased before the NFL’s, Dan.
        And we don’t know what ADHL did or didn’t do after that conflict arose.
        She may have been on it like white on rice and was shut down for what might be good reasons.
        Could’ve been the suits at ESPN.

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  13. I’m interested in seeing how the new TV view of the court which will feature the Oakland Zoo in all of it’s glory across the court looks on screen. I anticipate standing room only for the student sections tonite. H2P!

    BTW, great meeting you at the GT game MM. I hope that your nephew Dom enjoyed the experience too. Good that we got the win!

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  14. Pitt women’s BB up 33-30 at the half over UCF at UCF.

    UCF has a good program – have won 20 games last three years…

    Pitt jumped out to a big lead but UCF has fought back well.

    Go Pitt.

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  15. To me, entire season is on Brown improvement and newbies shooting prowess. No matter how it goes, Capel is my guy.

    Brutal opener tonight. We won’t surprise FSU like last year.

    We need to get out and run to neutralize 7’2 and 7’4 FSU big men.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. dan72, good comments, although as I implied above I don’t think we’ll see improvement out of Brown, he was good at times last year, and ineffective at other times, struggled to rebound despite his size, and I think we’ll have a carbon copy this year, although we won’t have to count on him as much this year.

      I have a hunch we will be a better shooting team this year by quite a bit, so therein lies our improvement.

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  16. Thinking back to the ole days when “big men” Mickey Martin. Jim Bola and Billy Knight led us to one of our biggest seasons in PITT history…how the game has changed in terms of the human factor/dimensions while the ball and hoop have remained the same…doesn’t seem right! Maybe some thought need to be given to start a shorter person’s league-oughta be a way to make that idea a money-maker !

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  17. So, Fran, since I wont be at the Pete this year, I have a pressing B-Ball question:

    Does Scooter start out with the FB side of his shirt out, and then switch over to the BB side when we need a change of luck? Or does he show the BB side from the start?

    I’m just a strategy junkie!

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  18. Pitt Women’s BB lost. I don’t have any details other than the first quarter was their best…

    Uh-oh! Where have we seen this type of thing before… 😊

    Will be big-time growing pains this year with all the new faces…

    Go Pitt.

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  19. Supposedly, the ACC won’t be quite as good this year as it was last year, so we should pick up an extra win or two even if none of Jeff Capel’s guys show any improvement. I hope we at least double our conference win total from last year. That’d be a nice step forward, in my mind.

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  20. I love coach Capel, everyone loves coach Capel. I also love how he gets way more leeway just based on his personality compared to Narduzzi. I just don’t love how unfair that is.

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    1. Ike: he gets leeway because he is just starting his second season. The honeymoon period will last a little longer. His job was a total rebuild. Narduzzi’s was not.

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  21. it has little to do with personality.

    pitt basketball was dead

    capel has brought results and hope back. he is walt harris like

    meatballs inherited a stable program and has squandered any goodwill still left

    the sooner ‘dog’ goes back to Youngstown, the better

    this is capels year 2

    dooz is on year 5

    why is it that so many of Pitt’s programs (volleyball, soccer, wrestling) are ranked and doing well and hosting playoff games but Pitt football is boring and mediocre?

    One word answer

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      1. As Tex accurately pointed out Ike, Capel inherited a dumpster fire. Narduzzi inherited a roster with NFL talent. And ACC basketball is WAY tougher than ACC football. I’m not going to hang my hat on one ACC coastal title, when the teams within it were all mediocre at best.

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        1. LOL Eric, PITT basketball was a top team only a few years ago. When was the PITT football team in the top ten? It’s much easier to build back up a team when the recruits actually remember who the team is and their heritage,.

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    1. Tex…”Don’t worry.. be happy.” I think Duzz’s biggest weakness besides “ he doesn’t know what the hell he is doing!” was not having a consistent strong OC who could develop an O that these young bucks want to play in… I pray the Whip is that guy- we shall see… evidence- just look at the D now that all of the pieces are in place.!!! For Gods sake how we bitched, complained and called for heads to roll in ‘16 when our D was giving up 975 yards a gAme through the air… 3 or 4 of those guys are see PT in the NFL… we surrendered tons of passing yards because we were missing people who could disrupt a QBK’s as they like to be called… Coach Bates stepped into a pretty good setup which Conklin (another maligned name ) left him… now we need to, TRUST thePROCESS” on the O side….

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  22. So here’s what I see happening tonight. I see Fla St blocking off the driving lanes and slowing the game to a crawl. Thus they can dump in to the high and low post 7 footers for easy baskets. To break this Pitt has to hit from the outside which is further out this year. If Pitt hits those attempts, we win. If not…. 4.5 will not be enough. H2P! Go get em guys!!!!

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  23. Loved watching the effort and hustle in the game. Ryan Murphy looks like a great pickup, and give Chapaigne(?) some experience and he’ll be good.

    McGowans hasn’t improved his decision making from last year, though, although he did make some really great plays.

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