Recap and comments – Pitt vs Wake Forest 1/23/21 by Dan72… Thanks Dan!
I remember like it was yesterday every excruciating loss my HS or AAU team had where we knew what to do but didn’t perform. I did not sleep for nights following. What else could I have done as coach? Why, drill after drill, situation after situation, after all we pregame discussed, did my team do the exact opposite on the floor?
I am sure that is what coach Capel is ruminating about today. Pitt faced a team (like Pacific for you older Pittsters) that went nuts and shot the highest % from three point land of any team Pitt has ever faced. All it required for Pitt to do to win was make an average amount of shots and shoot 75% from the free throw line.
Instead our point guard, Xavier Johnson (Xman), took it upon himself to try to take over the game individually missing shot after shot and having nine second half empty trips down the floor due to turnovers or bad decisions. It was that selfishness alone that was the main cause of Pitt losing that game. With those nine empty trips where Pitt didn’t even get a shot, the poor foul shooting, lack of defense against the three and Xman play and still, we lost by one point! Amazing! If Pitt does any one of those things correctly, we win…maybe easily.
Why do coaches drill proper shooting form? Anyone can make a shot from time to time with bad form where there is no pressure. The reason we teach shooting form is because when the legs get tired, and the pressure is on, it’s what we rely on to make shots. Several Pitt players have the worst shooting form I’ve ever seen with X man leading the way.
Pitt had an easy time of it in the first half even though Wake shot well as shot Pitt. Someone on the POV made the comment that Pitt better keep it up because any lull would give Pitt problems second half. Pitt started the second half 5 for 20 from the floor! Once the pressure started, Pitt reverted to form (bad) and couldn’t buy a basket. That pressure transferred to the foul line where Pitt went 8 for 16. Wake is the best free throw shooting team in the ACC. You just cannot do that??
This was a horrible loss but it taught many lessons. As X man goes, so goes Pitt. I agree with the POVer who said the NCAA Committee will take a serious look at this loss when considering Pitt.
As always, from these kind of losses, many hard lessons are learned. I hope Pitt Basketball is smart enough to fix the problems.