161 thoughts on “Syracuse at Pitt Open Basketball Thread

  1. Skippy, who hasn’t made a 3 all month, will make 5 of them against Cuse’s zone. The last one will be from the wing, right in front of Pitt’s bench which will give Pitt the lead with 4.4 seconds left, and the bench will erupt.

    The celebration will be short-lived, however, as Buddy Boheim will be wide open for a 26 footer at the buzzer. Well, you will have to watch or listen to see how it ends

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  2. Another ACC network game. Well, at least you guys won’t have to listen to my in game commentary. I’m actually pulling for Skippy to have a good game, but I kinda doubt it. Length. I actually like Pitt tonight. Not a bunch, but just enough. Sorta feel think Paul Hourning . If Buddy goes off again tonight I’ll jump outa the press box ( paraphrasing).

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  3. From the last thread, Haselrig was a superstar wrestler at Pitt Johnstown. Myron Cope suggested on air that the Steelers draft him with their last pick. I don’t believe he played any football in college. Like Sam Clancy, although Sam did try to play at Pitt, but quit before the season started. Both has excellent NFL careers.

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  4. I will be shocked if Pitt gets a W tonight. Thought to win when you can’t shoot so well.

    You just know the Orange Skippies will be nothing-but-netting from 3 like there’s nothing to it…

    Go Pitt.

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  5. Bogus foul call, also put X on the bench and there is no offensive flow without him in the game, regardless of his shortcomings.

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  6. That last part of the game against UVA fooled many a people. We had only 37 points with 7 minutes to go in that game, UVA pulled the plug on their effort. It wasn’t us…..believe me. hate to say

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  7. Capel is counting on this kid from little Delaware for outside shooting next year. Whatever conference they play in, it’s small time. I’d be recruiting some bigtime shooters for the bigtime ACC. Without outside shooting, teams will just sag down and force to Pitt to shoot from the outside.

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    1. Worse even than the typical mid 30% percentile range for Pitt. 29 % FG 23% from 3.
      So if you can’t shoot from outside, why keep throwing them up. Coaching seems non-existent at times.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I told a betting friend of mine to load up on Syracuse tonight. What would make anyone think that we had any chance whatsoever tonight? We are terrible against the zone, and we can’t shoot. Bad combination. Our young players did not improve at all since last year. Having no point guard and no big man is a bad combination.

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  9. Glad I missed this debacle. Time to question Capel a bit. He knows Pitt needs a PG, Shooter who can create his own shot and a center. Brown has underperformed beyond imagination. If Capel fails to get any of the 3 needs, we will be right back here this time next year and that’s unacceptable!

    Next year is year 3 of the Capel regime. No more excuses.

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  10. We have a couple more ACC wins this year, in was is certainly a down year for the ACC. 2 of our wins are against the snakebit Tarholes. Who just about everyone in the ACC has beaten, including Boston College and even Clemson at Chapel Hill which NEVER happened before in 59 tries.

    So are we better this year ? Doubt it, seriously. Guard play is not good, and only kid from small-time Delaware coming in. Capel needs to get back on the recruiting trail. And lose some of these stiffs.

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  11. This team is better than last year, with a few nice wins included in the win column. We are seeing the effects of fatigue with a lack of depth to help out. Capel’s first recruits in year one of saving a dead program are contributing lots of minutes even though the results are less than spectacular.

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  12. I don’t think the kids know how to flash in the zone and make quick touch and bounce passes down low for an easy deuce.

    Not a good effort tonight at all. Awful.

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  13. You guys just expect too much, IMHO. Thanks to Barnes and Stallings we only have two legitimate recruiting classes — and they were recruited coming off an oh-for-the-season season.

    The teams we are playing have 4 recruiting classes.

    Both the men’s and the women’s season’s have been torture, and likely will be only a bit better next season. Unfortunately it takes time to get to a full roster…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. You are right John. Sometimes it’s not about the coaching. We just don’t have the personnel. What Capel can be blamed for is for bringing in a bunch of guys with similar skill sets, and for failing to bring in a point guard or a competent big man. Although to his credit, he tried very hard to bring in a big man.

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  14. Just got home from the game. What a terrible embarrassment this one was. This team is no better than last year. Tonight they looked like a Stallings team. No energy and they all quit. I would have sat all of the starters in this one. This was frustrating they should give us our money back for that performance on senior night and the last home game of the year. No movement against the zone.

    Not that it would have mattered but the refs took them out of the game in the first half. Pitt had 10 fouls while Syracuse had 3. Same refs that screwed them a couple of other times this year. After a few of those calls I saw a total give up with no fight.

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  15. Paul Zeise questioned the kids desire to practice shooting on their own…the gym rat mentality. “I cant believe theses kids practice shooting on their own time and still shoot this poorly”
    Coach Capel is frustrated and pissed (his word)
    Many fans left the game early last night.
    Too many thoughts to post…but as the great
    Jed Clampett would say, “pitiful”

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  16. This team was only going to go as far as the backcourt took them and it is safe to say the two have underperformed, especially Trey. This team is still very young and not being able to shoot is a huge problem.

    Horton must be the shooter that he was at Delaware and two freshmen bigs have to be active on the boards next season for the program to move forward. More bodies to work with will help.

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  17. This team is way too dependent on long shots and they do not have the pure shooters. Not having any decent big man kills them.

    It will start to change next year.

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  18. only 42 comments after a game …. must have been a win. But seriously, I think we all feel that this season can’t end soon enough. Too bad the players seemingly have felt the same way for a while

    The only 3 pluses that I can determine are …….. Champagnie, Toney and the incoming class (at least they will bring in some much needed height)

    X and Trey can go in 3 different directions ….. (1) they can set their mind that next year they show everyone they really can play, (2) they can continue as they are, or (3) they literally can go …. (transfer) I wouldn’t be surprised if Trey leaves, if nothing else, he know he likely will be sitting behind Horton next year. But I would hate to see X leave because Pitt still needs bodies badly, especially in the guard position.

    I do think/hope that they will welcome the opportunity to work with more talent. Hugley has to be better than any big man they have seen the past 2years and any immediate from 6’10 Amadesun and ^’8 Collier will be a plus. If Capel can sign one or two more (especially a 4-star like Jeffress) then this team next year might actually get better as the season progresses, as the freshmen mature

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      1. God Bless Xavier Johnson. We are talking about knowing better when we were younger and he certainly fits that bill here. Aspirations are a good thing but so is reality. Aiming the bar to low is not good at all either. He’s a hard nosed kid that gives it everything he’s got and should get a pass here. I’m hoping he makes wise decisions moving forward. I hope all young people do!

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  19. I can’t blame Capel largely, but I have to say again that I don’t understand what was happening during the off season. Why didn’t X and Trey rework their jump shots? Why didn’t Brown get stronger and work on his hands (realizing there is only so much you can do in that regard). Toney and Champagnie have been the bright spots and I think Coulibaly has potential and could be a good player who makes significant contributions by his junior year. Definitely frustrating, but I think this team is out of gas and with the limited talent, it’s just been a recipe for another late-season collapse.

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  20. ^^ Dr Fill, I agree on Coulibaly. Still raw bu I see something in his game.Hopefully he can develop. This team needs to stick together and see it through. They could become special.

    I haven’t read this on the POV but Sampson George and Koo Koo Chuckwuku are moving on with their life’s work and graduating. Look for one more non senior player on the current roster to move on this off season.

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  21. I am flummoxed.

    I found the game on Directv here in SoCal, had to turn it off before halftime.

    Cannot understand what happened to a team that looked promising at the start of the year.

    I agree that right now they are worse than last year.

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  22. Couple things affecting shooting on most of these teams. It’s not just Pitt, Pitt has bad shooting at 40.3% FG, don’t get me wrong, but basketball in general….. the shooting is bad.

    Pitt’s FG % is 329th worst of 350 teams. That is pretty horrid.

    But college basketball in general has poor shooting. Only 5 teams of 350 shoot it 50% or better.
    NBA isn’t much better either, just less defense.

    IMO kids today do NOT want to put in the required practice time (on their own) to become a proficient
    shooter. I use to shoot for hours a day, on my own to become a decent 20-25 foot shooter.

    Also what it is today, on the playgrounds and such, it’s all about taking a defender off the dribble and
    showing him up. ie embarrassing him. It’s not good enough in these kid’s minds to just score a basket
    from long distance. You got to embarrass your opponent. And you see that reflected in any bball movie
    made over the last 20-25 years. X & Mac Attack are perfect examples.

    Another thing is, at the lower levels including HS these kids aren’t being taught fundamentals. or if they are, they certainly aren’t listening. They are ‘Tuned Out’. Because fundamentals are boring to them.
    Remember they’re being told at an early age, they’re all great athletes, yada yada yada. What do I need
    fundamentals for and what do I need to spend hours practicing distance shooting for. I’m a great athlete.

    For me, I’m down to only watching bball games that involve Pitt and even that is hard to do anymore since
    the games are so fundamentally unwatchable. Even when we win, the wins are ugly, really ugly. And the fundamental mistakes just occur and occur, game after game, and season after season with the same players. These kids apparently never learn or are incapable of learning.
    Or they think they’re so good (because again they’ve been told this over and over) they don’t need to
    learn anything. Perhaps this is why Jamie micromanaged every play, he knew he had too !

    The Store Mgr I talk with at the local Grocery Store has the same problem hiring the same age bracket kids.
    Don’t want to learn, don’t care to learn or incapable of learning. This goes far beyond bball. Shame too !

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  23. FWIW. many times I think pro sports have a bad influence on the youth of today. The NFL in the past 3 or 4 decades have gone out of its way to promote the passing game with its rule changes, and the limelight shown on QBs and WRs. And what do you end up with? Prima donna QBs, WRs and CBs. But you also end up with at least half the teams being totally inept offensively with its poor passers and poor tackling. And you also end up with tons of stoppages for instant replays for targeting on QBs and WRs, and of course, pass interference

    The NBA is no different. For whatever reason, they have always promoted one-on-one play, and a s a result, most possessions only one or two guys touch the ball wile the other 3 try to stay out their way. When I grew up, zone defense was illegal … now it’s allegedly legal but there are rules like 3 seconds in key for defense, or illegal defense if a defender is not within a few feet of an offensive player. Long story short …. for guards, much of the emphasis is beating your defender on the way to the hoop.

    I can actually remember ESPN criticizing Lebron for not taking the last shot in close games, instead he actually passed to the open man on a few games. Imagine that? I actually heard “if :Lebron wants to be the best of all time, he has to take the final shot” That is all you have to know about the NBA

    And that’s what the young people have seen and heard over the past few decades

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  24. It’s the snapchat generation. The kids are into watching someone perform a trick shot or power move and emulate it. They want “views” and “likes” and care nothing about a team concept. They want to throw a football, off a light post, across a fountain, off ike’s beamer, into the net and drop into a garbage can! Unfortunately our receivers arent dressed as garbage cans!

    The russians handle this phenomena differently for hockey players. They do not allow their kids to touch a puck for a long time when learning hockey. They teach the fundamentals of skating, skate some more, learn positioning and learn it more. They turn them into strong fundamental skaters before their hockey players. By the time the kids touch a puck, the coach has a developed player fundamentally and now they focus on puck skills. A foundation is built.

    No foundation with our bball players. I have mentioned this to dan at least 300 times since the year started about fundamentals. Kind of like when you see a 2-1-2 defense, you use a 1-3-1 offense, but most importantly, you do not dribble against a zone! If you dribble before you shoot, your offense is incontinent……same with other things in life. Wups, incompetent. Sorry Annie…

    It was awful last night. Ike, I suspect that there will be more than one more player moving on from the team, especially if he pulls in 2 recruits (Jeffries and 6’5″ Point Guard).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It started in AAU ….with the street posies and street agents. One of the reasons I gave up coaching HS Basketball 16 yrs ago (aside from idiot parents) was that kids became uncoachable. They simply refused to learn. Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey or lacrosse …it all starts with fundamentals. NBA also a major factor in ruining kids ability to learn fundamentals.

      To me, Pitt Basketball isn’t hard to watch, it’s mindboggling. Mistake after mistake;every time down the court. So sad…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A great example. Watch foul shooting today NCAA level. Before a player shoots, he will take the ball and move it right to left across his body. NO ONE ever taught that! Lebraun does it as do many NBA players. It’s just stupid.

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  25. I’m sure there will be a large crowd just waiting to see the Spring Game on Easter Eve. And then all the Roman Catholics can just trot over to the nearest church for their evening service with just a slight hang over(or maybe not so slight).

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  26. Ike, heading home tomorrow. Going from high 70’s to mid 20’s. I’m in shorts and tee shirt right now.
    Spring can’t come soon enough.

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  27. if memory serves, I had a couple of Catholic friends who would give up beer every Lenten season but would gather at our buddy’s bar at noon on Holy Saturday to tie one on. So, I would expect that the beer AND wings would be enjoyed by all at the spring FB tailgate

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  28. ^^ gc, home is where the heart is so pack up those Bermuda shorts and safe travels.

    ^^ Huff the Third, I wouldn’t own a beamer even if I could afford one. I like having everything I own paid off, that way I actually own them. BTW, former Latrobe head coach Ray Zolchak didn’t use a basketball in most of his practices at the beginning of preseason. << He won the WPIAL title in 1985. Last night was extremely disappointing, Capel needs to get a handle on this team, like last month. Keeping C-Penny is a must! I think the sophomore mafia sticks together as well.

    Love the 5:00- 5:30 start time for the spring game. Color me temped.

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    1. Zsolcsak, Iek. He was a tremendous coach, and your story is true. He also made players run “suicides” until half the team puked. Current Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel was a classmate of mine and played for him. Ray had some real good teams in the mid to late 80s.

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  29. Huff III – couldn’t agree more with you on attacking the zone. My HS played a 3/2 zone exclusively, so we practiced against it every nite. No dribbling- only passing – and not just around the outside. The object was to keep getting it inside, overloading underneath, and passing it back outside. We had to make the D shift and shift until they got tired, and made a bad move – then someone would be open. Of course, that was before there was a shot clock (pre Dean Smith and his 4-chickens offense).

    This group we have can’t do anything but pass around the arc – the D can rest, cuz we can’t hit the 3.

    The other thing that has really hurt this year is the miles of tape our league has on our “NBA” players. They know if they stop the drives, we can’t score. That alone, takes X and Trey out of the game. And da Cuse showed in our 1st meeting this year how bad we are against the zone – and then the (zone) flood gates opened for the rest of the year!

    Re: next year. Hope we have a soft non-con. Need to season the frosh in a hurry. They should be able to pound the boards from the start. Hopefully, they can be point-wise productive towards year end.

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  30. Just heard that DeJuan Blair is subbing for Coach Capel tonight on the radio show because Coach is out on a recruiting trip…

    Sounds good!

    Go Pitt.

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  31. It seems to me that at this late stage of the season the Pitt players have suddenly realized that they just can’t win the way they are playing, with their style of play. They can’t just develop a 3 pt shot or an inside game. Brown won’t suddenly start to dominate inside, and X can’t just fix his shot. I could go on, but it would be hard for Capel to instill some confidence at this point.

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  32. Pitt women lost to UVA by 11 tonight. We started 4 Freshmen and a Juco. (We got one bucket from our bench. Yikes!)

    Scary similarities to the men’s team – lack of bench help and poor shooting, for example.

    Tonight, the women got down big but came back to make it a 3 point game with 4 minutes left — problem was, Pitt didn’t score again. That scoring drought, plus a 5-minute drought at the end of the first half, did them in…

    Freshman PG Day Harris scored 19 with 7 rebounds. She was 3 for 6 from 3.

    The best news — only one game left in this season. 😊

    Go Pitt.

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  33. your local high school report:

    circa 1976. Fifth Ave High School closed its doors but went out in style with a state BB title led by Sam Clancy

    2007: Schenley HS did the very same led by (radio personality) Dejuan Blair

    2020: Last week Vincentian HS announced it was closing. Last night, it won the 1A WPIAL title. I’m not aware of any D1 prospects on the roster, but Capel may want to offer a PWO to its best player

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  34. I think Capel knows what the problems are for this team, and who is responsible. Look for some departures after the season is over.

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  35. VOR – Just read your last 2 posts (catching up on this thread), and wondering if you’d elaborate on your thoughts?

    Regarding the players, there is some speculation that some players (starters?) may not be here next year, I don’t buy that but especially in this day and age it wouldn’t shock too many people either, just wondering if you have any specific opinions you care to share? I do think the penalty of sitting out a year as a sophomore would set any starters back in their development pretty considerably and suspect they may be able to excel by staying with the insertion of more depth next year, plus (hopefully) a competent big man and 3 pt threat (and hopefully another PG to relieve the starters).

    Regarding the coaching staff though, the pay board has been discussing the subject of staff changes, and I’m wondering if anybody has any insight here. Personally, I’d love to see at least one change, but I suspect at this early stage it may be a stretch?

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Well Markus Carr transferred to Minnesota and is flourishing and I’m not surprised at all. Oh BTW, he plays point guard. You think PITT could have used him?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carr transferred after his freshman year, and transferred into a weak program where he could spend a year learning a new system and be a leader and make the team better, he’s not a great player, but he’s very solid and made the right move to get out of a disastrous scenario. It always depends on the scenario. If one of our guards, for example, transferred dead center in the middle of their careers, presumably on the cusp of their development, and had to learn a new system, they would need to be very careful about choosing the right fit imho. I am not saying this is realistic for either of our two young guards, I hope they both stay if they are willing to take to Capel’s leadership.

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  37. Seems like every couple of days, Coach Salem goes somewhere far away and offers a new TE recruit. And the new TE recruit is someone who already has 10 offers…

    I expect that Coach Whip’s success with getting TEs some impressive receiving stats will eventually lure somebody, but our TE recruiting continues to be a head-scratching endeavor… 🤔

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting, missingwlat. I wouldn’t personally ‘spread’ this, because I don’t know the source, but I’ve watched enough of Pitt basketball this year to say that my gut agrees that this would make sense (not to mention Murph hasn’t made a 3 pt shot in a month, and a highly thought of specialist is joining the team next year). Capel is trying to land 2 guys, and technically there isn’t room right now, so just about everyone believes at least one player will be leaving after this year. If Capel could do it, I’d definitely add a PG for next year (#1 priority to me), Jeffress if we could get him, AND another quality big if we could swing it, which means I’d want 2 to transfer.

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      1. to begin with, Hamilton, Chuka and Samson are gone.(3)

        right now, there are Skippy, Brown, X, Tray, Toney, Champ, Drumg, Coulibaly, Horton under schollie (9)… plus incoming Hugley, Collier and Amadesum (3)

        So, according to my calc, there is room for 1 more. If two more are signed, look for Drumgoole to be nudged out. I also would not be surprised to see Drum and possibly Trey to transfer in their own.

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        1. Drumgoole hasn’t flashed one bit but the fact that he gets quality playing time tells me the staff likes him. Maybe he needs a year or two to come around? Problem with Johnson is he’s not the typical point guard but can’t shoot like a second guard either.

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        2. I’d be surprised, no shocked, if Drum is “nudged out.” Just not Coach Capel’s style…

          I can see Skippy moving on, aside from any problems with teammates, if only because his minutes will shrink a bunch when Horton is eligible… Skippy should go somewhere where he could play a lot and be a go-to shooter — not going to happen here, IMHO.

          Go Pitt.

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  38. I’ll miss that name Skippy.

    If Capel doesn’t turn things around next year, he’ll get one as well.

    I’ll throw in a bottle of cheap Texas bourbon for the one who comes up with the best name.

    Tex
    🥃

    Liked by 1 person

  39. We will see how that plays out Eric and I agree there seems to be some discourse with this team. It appears that X and Trey can find “other” players open for shots but not so much Skippy. Sometimes I think I made a mistake naming the young lad Skippy in the first place. I never thought the name would become such a source of discussion.

    Carr does play in the Big Ten conference so not the big drop down as it may seem.

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    1. Ike, I did not mean to imply that the Big10 was a drop down, just the Minn. program has been one of the weaker ones in the league for years, and Carr filled a void for them. Carr always seemed like a good kid, I’m glad he seemed to have landed in a good spot.

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  40. By the way, on the whole coaching philosophy thing, it’s often repeated that Capel’s specialty is as a recruiter, that he has to prove himself as a coach, and that his system is meant for certain types of athletic, high IQ players to excel in. This does not mean that he’s not at least a decent coach, but just that he has to prove himself by getting a power 5 program to the next level. I would say that ‘proving’ himself with coaching acumen is going to be critical, especially at this stage of the program, whether that means developing more sets for his players and/or changing up some of his support staff. In other words, recruiting by itself will not be enough. Imho Sean Miller has proven that being a great recruiter (even cheating to do so) does not mean you will have great results if you cannot coach.

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    1. I think Sean has such a tough time coaching since he’s such a prick. Capel seems like a coach you’d never quit on. I think Pitt has some players that just aren’t coachable.

      Tex

      Liked by 2 people

      1. True about Sean Miller. He was a student at the same time as I was. I knew his girlfriend (I’ve told a longer version of this before, its kinda funny), and even she didn’t like him. He was known around campus to be an arrogant jackwagon.

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  41. I get that 1618, Carr made the right decision for him. Stayed in a P-5 conference, he gets plenty of playing time and exposure. It was a win decision for him, he just might have helped PITT along the line as well.

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  42. No doubt, we could’ve used any competent ball handler this year, we have no depth at the pg position and I believe the guys are worn out physically and mentally.

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  43. POD – No, not really, Capel doesn’t sound like Stallings at all. The current state of the team has to do with talent, depth and maturity, many factors go into the current makeup. The epic, historic disaster of a hire in Stallings is part of the reason we are digging out, that’s simply a fact, nobody with half a brain would deny that. There are other reasons for our current state, including recruiting, coaching, chemistry, etc., that also play a part, all are open to discussion. Capel is candid about calling some of those things out without naming specific players, and if you listen to the presser he also put the blame on himself and staff. We get a coach like Narduzzi that is not candid and all coach-speak (which is perfectly OK with me) and some complain about that, we get a refreshingly candid coach in Capel and some complain about that. No way to make every little fan happy, there will always be a few that bitch about something, Capel needs to be himself and do things his way, and I’m confident and glad he’s doing that.

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  44. By the way, I believe coaches that are widely believed to be solid hires should get the proper support of their fans and be given the opportunity to succeed or fail (patience), but that does not mean blind support, or that Capel does not have to prove himself. He does have something to prove. I think HCJC will succeed and believe he is a quality person, but that doesn’t mean he will. Right now I’ll just enjoy the journey and err on the side of support. H2P

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  45. That’s a great post 1618 and nothing but the truth. I have to qualify my comment by saying there is nothing wrong about critiquing of even criticizing a coaches work while it’s in progress as long as we understand that we really don’t know the whole story most of the time. Hence the secrecy behind door that are locked. We can have fun discussing all things PITT or otherwise there wouldn’t be Blogs and message boards but to think I know or any of us know more than a coach is asinine. Narduzzi, Capel or any of the coaches at PITT or anywhere in the USA at this level have obviously achieved their success through hard work and the ability to perform at a higher level than most of us. Otherwise we would be on the opposite end of these comments. I always try and recognize and remember this when I comment. It’s not like I agree with everything all the time while drinking Kool-Aid. << But what in the Hell do I know?

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  46. When any individual makes over $3 million in comp, you will be scrutinized. It comes with the territory. Some coaches can’t handle it though. And some fans think it’s unpatriotic to criticize these coaches. I have no problem giving these coaches names. 🍝

    Tex

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  47. Tex, I’m pretty much saying the same thing as you here. I’m also saying that I am an armchair QB and do not have all the facts. Plus, I don’t like to call people names like spaghetti bender and such. 🙂

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  48. To be warned, I haven’t read the comments so this isn’t directed at anyone …

    I love college basketball and haven’t commented much this season because I really don’t think it’s a good team. Through good or bad. I don’t like seeing players getting trashed but that’s a general rule of thumb for me regardless of the sport.

    The team is better than last year and certainly better than two years ago but our best two players, currently, should be our 3rd and 4th best players … well, I guess, 2nd and 3rd should be our 3rd and 4th. I think Champaigne has already passed X and McG. The good thing is that next year I think we still start to see that.

    There is a general formula to being a good team. Final 4 teams generally have at least 2 top 50 players. Pitt’s Elite 8 team had two fringe top 50 players in Sam Young and Blair, thus they knocked on the door. A sweet 16 team generally has at least 4 top 100 players or 5 seniors with several years starting. I read this years ago and this is how I pick my brackets each year. Lol. And I do pretty well if I don’t say so myself.

    Pitt has no top 100 players although a case could be made for one based on different recruiting rankings. We don’t have the talent and certainly not the depth or experience needed to be competitive every night. We’re getting closer. I think next year is the year that some of the bumps and bruises will feel like they were worth it.

    Until we’re there (talent combined with depth and experience) it’s very hard to judge, however. We’re just in an awkward phase of a rebuild that is actually still probably ahead of schedule. Pitt was really that bad 2 years ago …

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not to nitpick, and I know this wasn’t the point of your commentary, but I’d say our 2 best this year have actually been Champ & Toney in terms of consistency. If you had asked me about 2 weeks into the season, I’d said Toney wasn’t going to make it in D1- I’m thrilled I was so wrong.

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    2. Great teams have a great PG first and either (or both) a great SG or shooting 3 and/or a great center. Pitt has none of the above.

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  49. Pitt has no point guard and no leader. That’s the biggest problem right now. But yes talented players always make a coach look good. But talent comes with ego sometimes as well.

    Nobody has been bashing players. I bash the overly compensated professionals. But these ‘kids’ are also grown arse men getting a free ride and making money now. The kids gloves will probably come off with some commenters.

    Tex

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    1. Agree we desperately need a PG, if nothing else so we can rest X and provide competition, but ideally so we can better direct the offense as well.

      Like

  50. I have to agree with PoD to a certain extent. While Capel doesn’t name names …. otherwise known here as a ‘Fraudian Slip’ … he is clearly frustrated and no longer makes excuses for the players. The past few games, he has repeatedly talked of the team’s energy level (lack of) but it doesn’t seem to help . The message is not getting through. I don’t expect him to start outright bashing of the players but he appears to be at wit’s end

    Like

    1. BTW, if you think the FB team was bad right after halftime, I suggest you look at the past several BB games. Some of that has to be coaching. There may have been some complacency in FB after a few big halftime leads, but that’s certainly not the case here

      Like

      1. I think Capel has set a high standard, and he is not budging on it, so players are either going to buckle and give up, or they will do everything in their power to reach the standard. Generally speaking we seem to lack that maturity at this point, but I do think adding the right personality (or personalities) to the mix, especially at PG, could tilt this in the right direction.

        Like

  51. maybe what Capel is experiencing with his players is becoming a “new norm” in Div 1 BB…perhaps this leads to “PARITY!” ….Heck, just dealing with these millennials with their Doctor of physical therapy degrees challenges me to “wits end.” a lot of kids have no work ethic, are arrogant, unteachable and” it’s all about me”attitude-“give me the most money for the least amount of work”……..

    Liked by 2 people

  52. I’ll take a young adult with a good work ethic and humility any day. I believe the key to all the great athletes coming out of Pittsburgh in the 70’s and 80’s was their parents and upbringing. These were tough kids who valued hard work passed down by their parents and communities. I blame today’s parents and detachment from the neighborhood. My kids are Z and whose father is a ‘Pittsburgher.’ They’re tougher than the typical Texan.

    Tex

    Liked by 2 people

  53. I would hesitate to talk about someone’s work ethics because I have no idea how hard anyone works. For example … two of the biggest sports divas of modern times were Terrell Owens and Antonio Brown, yet everyone constantly raved about their work ethics. They may have all been in for themselves but by all accounts, they worked hard.

    Another example is our own Coulibaly who appears to be just the opposite. I have never seen this guy take a moment off when he’s the court, but word had it a few weeks ago that he wasn’t seeing more game minjutes because of his practice habits

    Like

    1. Well there’s working hard and hardly working. Work ethic is all about the environment you come from. There’s no hard work dna gene until it’s created in a lab.

      And you can’t fix stupid. Some kids just don’t have the sports IQ and never will.

      Tex

      Like

  54. Heather’s 1st choice for Bball HC, Dan Hurley isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire either.

    Last year Uconn was 16-17 but only 6-12 in a weak AAC.
    This year Uconn is 16-12 and 7-8 in a weak AAC.

    That program, which was one of the best (4 national Titles since 1999, last one in 2014) has
    really gone down hill dramatically since they didn’t get the ACC invite or a BigEast invite.

    Both Hurley’s and Capel’s recruiting has been similar with maybe Hurley slightly better with 2 Top
    75 recruits to Capel’s none. Gotta be hard to recruit to Uconn these days, with opponents like
    Tulsa, Houston, East Carolina, Houston, Wichita State, SMU, UCF, USF, etc.

    Capel really needs to step up his recruiting, the big kid from Cleveland is a start. Need a real PG
    to distribute the ball to the new bigs next year. Another shooter or two is needed as well, as
    the delaware transfer is just that, a transfer from a small-time conf. Giant Question mark ?

    Like

    1. UConn success was due to cheating and being in the best basketball conference. Now it can’t cheat and plays in a crap conference.

      Hurley fries would not have been a good fit at Pitt anyway. My pick was wholesome Oats from Buffalo my Brother from a different mother…grad school.

      Tex

      Like

  55. I think attitude and frustration has something to do with it. I know myself that I hate myself these days on the gold course … so many times, I just wanted to walk off the course by the 14th hole.

    with the BB team, it always seem that about the 8 minute mark in the 1st half and the beginning of the 2nd half, this team just goes into a funk …. it’s like ‘here we go again’ And there is no upperclassmen to take over and steady the course

    Like

    1. This team under Capel, usually goes into their funks at about the same time the other team, ratchets up their defense(or switches to Zone). Pitt has had lots of their scoring funks, at the end of games during crunch time (ratcheted up defense) and they are terrible starting the 2nd half, when the opponent is hyped by their coach to step on Pitt’s throat, coming out of the locker room. Current team only has 2 guys who can (sometimes) create their own shot. And a lot of times those shots are wild ill-advised shots. You take away them (which has been done often this year) and Pitt has a real hard time scoring (314th worst of 350 teams).

      Interesting only a couple schools from Bigtime conferences are below us in scoring.
      1) Boston College
      2) Northwestern
      3) Kansas State
      All Pitt opponents and W’s.

      The lowest scoring team of all, number 350 was also a Pitt opponent and W
      Arkansas Pine-Bluff

      Draw your own conclusions.

      Liked by 3 people

  56. The one Houston was supposed to be Tulane. Gotta be truly hard trying to recruit an east coast (northeast type kid) and tell him you’re going to be playing Tulane, Tulsa, SMU, Houston, UCF, USF on the road.
    And I’m sure the Uconn faithful aren’t very tickled with them as opponents in Storrs.

    Like

  57. Sometimes facts are facts and not just one mans opinion. Life is not always an illusion but we all live in one in our own heads. Reality is the unreachable goal we all strive for.

    Like

  58. “Darn those players for not SELF-motivating!

    HCJC”

    ^^ Case in point, yet I don’t think these players are not self motivated as much as lacking the grasp of concept as well as being lousy shooters. What if PITT shot 45% against Syracuse the other night. Would that have made Capel a genius and a great coach? For instance it looks like T Brown is sleep walking on the court at times but I truly believe he’s doing his best all the time. (that’s all I want to see) I like the young man and his effort. Hope he sticks around for next year as he could be a big asset. I’m willing to give this young team and coaches time to work their system and bring in more players and see how that flies. Just like I’ve given Narduzzi the same courtesy.

    Like

  59. Waiting in Atlanta, long travel day.

    X and Trey were so good at driving to the hoop, they never developed any additional offensive skills.

    They better work hard at it this off season cause they are running out of time.

    No pro contracts without pull up jumpers, three point shots or passing skills.

    Capel should ask Brad Wannamaker to give them some advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. I would make Brown work out on a climbing wall an hour a day. For the second hour have someone fire a medicine ball at him. For the third hour he plays one on one with, Blair and Adams.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. With all due respect does anyone really believe the present players on this team will suddenly become good outside shooters over the summer? If Cabel can recruit a decent QB PG and get the new man Horton to actually become an outside 3 point threat than maybe this team will surprise next season.

    Like

    1. No, but hard work can pay off. Plenty of examples.
      That and solid coaching.

      Everyone needs to get better.

      New players will only help so much without leadership from the existing core.

      Like

  62. Looks like we will be 6-14 in ACC. Probably play elimination game on Tuesday, maybe against NC who has improved and we have not.

    Like

  63. Pitt home attendance this year was 8,825, up from 6,749, and of course the all time low at the Pete was two years ago … 4,117.

    Like

  64. 1618mt, what I’m attempting to say is that in Capel’s first recruiting class, he had to grab any talent, or perceived talent, that he could get to start building a roster. Without the benefit of watching his potential recruits in high school over several years (Duke wouldn’t go after these guys), he wasn’t sure what their mindset and work ethic would be, but he had to take a chance that some of them would work out. After two years of watching them play, I’m sure that Capel now knows what he has, who the team players are, and who will develop in the future.

    So I’m betting that one or more players will be gone next year with either Trey or X gone, maybe Murphy who seems over matched at this level, and Drum if he doesn’t have the work ethic needed to displace a starter next year.

    Like

  65. You are either a good shooter or not. Practicing 100 shots a day for X or Trey is the same as a bad golfer practicing a terrible golf swing over and over. It will fall apart under pressure every time.
    But….lack of hustle …no excuse for that.

    Like

  66. Agreed Dan but there are exceptions like Jason Maile. All of a sudden he became the sharp shooter PITT was looking for. Perhaps he was fed the ball and given the opportunities? Jason Matthews also became a way better shooter his senior season. Good shooting begins with team work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another more recent exception was Lamar Patterson, his 3 point shooting improved greatly in his Senior year. From 33% to 39% and going from 10 ppg to over 17 ppg. And who would have thought after his first 3 years, he would have been drafted by the NBA.

      Mac Attack’s launch point is pretty good on his outside shooting, so he might be able to improve with a lot of distance shooting practice. Whereas X’s low launch point is not going to work against competition in the ACC, he is a slasher/driver and does some incredible stuff off the glass, close in. But also gets shots blocked frequently or turns it over. His whole shooting mechanics would have to be reworked. At this stage in his life, not going to happen. He is neither a PG, nor a 2. If you had more options, he’d be a good energy guy off the bench, and provide a change of pace/offensive attack, depending on opposing matchups etc.

      Like

  67. Optimally we would have liked to have had 2 to 3 solid contributors from last years recruiting class. We only got 1 (so far), and we were fortunate to get him late in the recruiting season. That being Champagne Life.

    So in effect we only changed out Jared Wilson-Frame (12.7 ppg & 5 rpg) for Champ (12.3 ppg & 7 rpg).

    When Pitt was getting 10 ppg from Murphy we were 13-8(4-4 in conf), when he went down and never recovered, Pitt went 2-6 and only avg’d 61 ppg. With a very short bench, we never replaced those 10 ppg.

    And with our best outside shooter not available, Pitt was even easier to defend.

    Like

  68. Check this out about Lamar P. Good thing he got out of Dodge !!!

    Brisbane Bullets and Wuhan Dangdai (2018–present)
    On October 31, 2018, Patterson signed with the Brisbane Bullets for the rest of the 2018–19 NBL season.[27] He was named to the All-NBL First Team and averaged 17.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals, in 24 games.

    In May 2019, Patterson returned to China to play for Wuhan Dangdai.[28] In five games, he averaged 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

    On July 31, 2019, Patterson re-signed with the Brisbane Bullets for the 2019–20 NBL season.[29] He was named to the First Team All-NBL.

    Like

  69. gc — you make a good point about X and Trey being able to score big in HS without developing a jump shot because of their quickness in driving to the hoop.

    I see much the same thing with many HS running-back recruits. Most of them can just out-run everyone on the field, so they never develop the ability to juke or make a move to make a tackler miss. Then they find that approach doesn’t work nearly as well in college, with all the speed on the field…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  70. When Paul Chryst went to Wisconsin and recruited a BIG fast running back out of New Jersey, I posted here that he just recruited the “next Earl Campbell.”

    At 226 lbs., Jonathan Taylor just SHOCKED the NFL Combine by running a 4.41 forty.

    Oh well.

    Like

  71. I bet the shooting percentage improves next year …. because Pitt will finally have an underneath presence. (1) shots from under the basket by bigger men usually have a much higher percentage, and (2) the defenders will have to start worrying about Pitt’s big men underneath, which will create more open outside shots

    Like

  72. Went to Comcast today to discuss the ACC network – received this statement after asking the following question:

    What’s happening with ACC Network?

    For years, Atlantic Coast Conference sports aired on ESPN and other networks at no additional cost to customers. Now, ESPN has launched the ACC Network, a new TV network that will carry some of the ACC games. Unfortunately, they are demanding a large fee to carry it. This would mean that all customers, even those who do not watch ACC sports, would need to pay more.

    Many ACC games are still available on broadcast and cable channels without the new network. However, in support of our customers, Comcast will not carry the ACC Network until we reach an agreement at a fair and reasonable cost.

    Comcast Xfinity

    I proceeded to drop the premium channels that we rarely watch. I told the rep behind the desk that I was not in a position to change last year due to my wife’s health issues. I’m ok for now – could hardly watch the BB games anyways, but when the summer hits, June 20th, I will have the ACC channel in my house regardless of Comcast’s position.

    EE

    Liked by 3 people

  73. Why does Comcast seem to be the only one with the issue. I watched a Pitt game on the West coast with DirecTV’s base package. Sounds like someone from the SEC or BiG is running Comcast.
    Surprised that ESPN doesn’t big-time Comcast. See if Comcast could survive without them.

    Like

  74. I’d like to say I am glad to be back in the Burgh but after a month in the Sun, to come back to this…Oh well.

    One more point about Capel’s coaching prowess. I do have to question a team that looked better at the beginning of the season and looks far worse at the end. That definitely is not a good look for any coaching staff. I am the first to say that many parts are missing on this team, but difficult to say that Capel and Co. got the most out of what he had. When you go from talking about possibly making the dance ( I did think was silly at the time) to an absolute belly flop, some of the blame has to be on coaching.

    I liken it to Narduzzi’s stubborness regarding his corners when they obviously weren’t capable without help.
    You have to make adjustments to the game plan. I am not an X and O’s guy so I can’t give specifics, but I do know that young teams should get better during the course of a season, unless there are injuries. The only thing I can point to, is that they were never the same after Murphy’s concussion.

    The guys coming in next year should help, especially if Hugley is all of that right from the start. Big pressure on Horton to make shots and share time with Trey and X. However, the lack of a true point guard is still a huge problem.

    Like

  75. Do you remember the impact Norm Nixon had on the Lakers? They really struggled before he got there, became showtime with him. A great point guard makes all the difference.

    Maybe Trey and X’ shots won’t improve much but they need to become better passers, and next year need to look to pass first with Hugley filling out the front court. Champ, Toney and Hugley will give them real scoring options.

    How many horrific passes did we see this year? Lot’s of room for improvement there.

    Like

    1. Good thoughts Gordon and welcome back home.
      After one horrific pass at the last game Scooter shouted out “now you’re just wasting my time”…he wasn’t smiling.

      Like

  76. FWIW I decided against paying an exorbitant fee for ACCN and looking back, the only two games so far I regret not seeing were the Duke FB game and the at UNC BB game. Hopefully there will be more in the not-so-distant future but thus far I am fine with my preset situation

    Like

  77. I switched from Comcast to Roku/Playstation. They added the ACCN as part of their basic setup – no extra fee (so I think Comcast is BS when they say it’s too much extra$ for their non-ACC customers to absorb.

    In January 2020, Playstation went out of the TV business, and went to games, only. I switched to Roku/Hulu Plus, and got the ACCN for same price I paid Playstation.

    I have no problem with internet TV – very few text-based issues. Certainly no less problems that I had with Comcast.

    Now, if only we had a BBall team that could justify my time to watch!

    Like

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