Empty Trips… Pitt vs WF 1/23/21 Recap

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.


185 thoughts on “Empty Trips… Pitt vs WF 1/23/21 Recap

  1. Kind of funny that X was saying all the right things last week and then reverts back to last year’s form.


  2. Dan – you are dead on regarding fundamentals of which foul shooting is one of the most obvious. It’s called a “free throw” for a reason. No defense, so you only have to rely upon the routine you hone in practice. That’s why individuals of extremely limited athletic skills can be great FT shooters.

    The higher pressure the situation, the more important your FT fundamentals become. I’m confident like every BB coach, Capel works on this skill, but if your players are more interested and focused on the more “exciting” parts of the game, that falls on deaf ears. Playgrounds are filled with magicians at driving to the basket, but not players who can perform the most fundamental of shots.

    Sadly, players like X, will never be as consistent and confident in their FT shooting in high pressure situations, and losses will ensue. Very bad loss, but honestly how many times have we Pitt fans seen this story play out already.


  3. True Dan…..bad X-man showed up last night. What this team could do with a good consistent unselfish PG. We were warned that Pitt had a horrible practice, and like it is in FB, if you practice well you play well.

    It was nice to see Femi shooting FT’s better though….but he should not be on the floor if we are ever ahead and the other team is fouling. Tuesday’s game should be interesting…


  4. Came back home from a shopping trip and dinner out. Went directly to my computer to see if Pitt won. Was planning to watch the highlights of a win on YouTube. Lost by one point, well, at least, now I know why. Thanks for the article, Dan72.


  5. Sorry, just got wordpressed, I will try once more…

    First and foremost, thanks again Dan for your write-up, always appreciated.

    To nit-pick a bit regarding terminology, this did not qualify as a “horrible loss”, we were only a 4 point favorite for a reason, there’s actually quite a bit of parity in the league, plus everyone knew we were in for trouble following the Duke win. Now the St. Francis loss, yeah that one qualifies as “horrible”.

    With regard to X, in my opinion he’s too old to change his shooting form. Same thing happened when they recruited Bostick as qb, he came to Pitt with a wind-up throwing motion and was already too old to change (apart from minor tweaks) by the time he arrived at Pitt. My bigger issue with X continues to be his decision making, and I still feel more comfortable with the ball in the hands of Odukale than with X.

    But back to the game… When you come at an opponent with lethary, its typically the defense that fails you and I think that showed its ugly head in the stats, so that’s where I suspect Capel will turn his attention in order to right the ship. H2P


  6. Teams also know who they have to guard. If you slow down Champ and Toney you can beat Pitt. Too many shots blocked yesterday.
    Horton is disappointing. Hurts to not have much of a three point threat. Still wondering about Jeffress,
    he looks like a guy that score. What is up with that?
    Lucky that Coulibaly is playing well, but lack of muscle inside is going to hurt.


    1. Jeffress concerns me from a “not playing” point of view. He seemed to be a player who did the little things well, a fundamentally sound player.

      Zero minutes in the past two games doesn’t fit the narrative. My main concern is that he transfers and Pitt loses out on one of the best recruits since Adam’s.

      In fact, it seems to be that he is being handled similar to Adams.


      1. Playing Jeffress means you’re sitting Champ or Toney, which we don’t want.

        William is so young and has a bright future at Pitt. Capel must be feeling the need to play the men moving forward in these crucial contests. Not seeing much of Collier either and he has athleticism.

        We actually need to see more of Nike going forward.


  7. Though 0-6 inACC WF had played other teams very closd over the past few games, the last of which they displayed their 3 point shooters. Pitt tried man to man and zone and WF just backed up and hit the shots.

    They still should have won but lost focus in the second half especially X. The point previously made about depth and having top players without rest is very significant. The last two years playing time wore out the big three. An intense close game with Duke a few days before after 2 emotional games with Syracuse (who beat VTECH badly) requires some rest for second half intensity and pressure.
    Most unexpected moment was Coulibaly’s 3 pointer. He played a solid game. They all need to regroup and rest. Unless you expected the coach to take free-throw, he did his job.


    1. Why does coach place him in those situations them

      He’s a high risk, high reward player but far too often he’s all risk

      This loss is a bad one. It will continue to age terribly like a rotten piece of carcass


  8. You can make excuses, all you want….there is no way you let your worst outside shooter….and a kid
    who hadn’t made one outside shot the whole game. Take the last shot.

    X-man made 6 baskets,,,,,,5 were layups and one was a dunk.

    The only thing on offense he’s good at is driving to the hoop and either finishing same crazy spin shot
    off the bank board
    or dishing off to another player.

    Again he was Zero for the Night on anything other than a layup or a dunk. This is not
    the player you choose to shoot. BAD COACHING !

    In one point losses, that’s where bad coaching mistakes are magnified.

    Another glaring one, as natebailey4 pointed out, at the end of the 1st half, Pitt up by 10 points
    with 5 seconds to go, and WF has to go the length of court,
    with fouls to give(Pitt only had 4 team fouls) and let Wake get off a 3 pointer that went in.

    I will spell it out…..you have to foul, foul and foul….so that no shot attempt is EVEN MADE.

    THAT IS A GLARING COACHING GAFFE…with 3 former HC’s in addition to Capel on Pitt’s bench !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True

      Waiting for the pathetic excuses from the Capel apologists and enablers.

      We bag on X but Capel is a meatball.

      I still think Capel will get Pitt to a final 4 unlike slick hair. But come on man. Did covid destroy his brain cells. He’s coaching stupid.

      Tex – that which does not kill me, makes me stronger.


      1. Yep….X-man makes mistakes cause he takes risks. Pitt is lousy for the most part when he’s
        off the floor. We had a PG who took no risks, cause he couldn’t beat anyone off the dribble,
        but neither could he shoot from the outside. We go from one extreme to another. Sort
        of like the football team. Offense was great/Defense stunk. then Offense stunk/Defense good

        But X is just about the only player we got, who can take someone off the dribble and finish.
        Champ is doing that more this year as his confidence grows. Pitt would have no penetration
        at all, other than these 2.

        And we’re not getting to any Final 4 or anywhere close until Capel recruits a top PG and
        a 2 guard who can actually shoot consistently, EVERY game. Plus the jury is still out
        on the 5 spot. And we really haven’t gotten a true 4 PF. We do have a bunch of 3’s,


    2. 100 percent correct. It baffles me that X takes a jump shot with the game in the balance. If you give it to him and ask him to drive the hoop and either score or get fouled, I’m good with that, although preference would be Champ or Toney in that spot. Coaches and players share the responsibility of last night’s poop (😃Reed) sandwich.


  9. X made his share of goofs yesterday, but taking an uncontested 10 footer wasn’t one of them. Boy, you guys are such great 2nd guessers


    1. So you’re saying you wouldn’t want the Number 2 scorer in the ACC and a kid that was 7 of 12 FG’s or almost 60% for the game…taking the final shot.

      As opposed to the worst outside shooter on the team, who had made none outside of 2 feet.

      That defies logic, it has nothing to do with 2nd guessing.


    2. He could take ten of those and only make one. That’s on coaching for putting it in his hands.

      The girl who squirts water into their mouths would have been a better choice.

      That’s my daughter in two years.


  10. As far as ‘fixing the problem’. Due to poor recruiting at several positions, most glaring the PG position.
    As neither X-man or McGowans were PG’s in HS in Class No. 1.

    There was only 1 guard in Class No. 2. That being a 2 guard transfer, Skippy.

    And Class No. 3, had only 1 guard again, who is a slasher type 2G. Who again didn’t play PG in HS.

    So there’s nothing to ‘fix the problem’ with. There are no parts available to even attempt a fix.

    Very strange for a Coach, who he himself was a PG in college,,,,,can not for the life of him, recruit one.
    Even a 3 star one.


  11. Problem with the link to yesterday’s game ….kept sending me to topless middle-aged women looking for love.
    Who knew that would be more entertaining than watching Pitt lose.


  12. OT: Jordan Whitehead with a fumble causing tackle in the NFC championship game. Second forced fumble of this game for JW. Good looking pro from Pitt.

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great point guards like great QB’s are hard to come by. So are great big men.
    Guys in general aren’t falling over themselves to come to Pitt. So far X, McGowens,
    Champ and Jeffress all left HS early to come to Pitt. Capel doing well but certainly not getting the cream of the crop. He has to take what he can get. He did get a big man who screwed up.

    It just amazes the level of criticism after a loss, after over achieving in the previous three games.


    1. Hey I’d settle for a 3 star true PG…..he hasn’t recruited one yet. it doesn’t have to be a great one.
      Any one that actually played PG as his regular position in HS would do.

      What are these other 3 former Head Coaches doing on his staff ?

      For they don’t apparently keep track of Team Fouls….or Timeouts….or shooting %’s of their own players or the opponents.

      Coaching is a lot to do with %’s…..and the %’s were 60% for Champ and 40% for X-man, as far
      as who takes the last shot. At a minimum the HC is supposed to play the %’s. And the % of
      X-man hitting an outside 1 hand shot, is like less than 20% in actuality.

      And yes there should be criticism when you lose to a scrub team who’s only wins were against
      mostly colleges you never even heard of. Longwood, Catawba & Delaware State.


  14. the pass in from the sidelines was to Justin, he immediately gave it up to X

    but, yeah, something defies logic

    X pulls up, not off balance for a fairly easy shot from inside the elbow and everyone is disgusted with everything

    and I’m not saying there aren’t things to criticize

    time to find a different board of non jagoffs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No reason to be calling other posters names. And we don’t do that here, regardless.

      Once upon a Time in America…we could discuss things…in a civil fashion.
      Without the name calling.


    2. There are two boards for panther Nation. This one and pantherlair. There are jag offs on both.

      Maybe you are the jag from another point of view. When your narrative doesn’t jive with the facts, you make excuses and blame the pessimists.

      Drink vinegar and enjoy the ride.


  15. tell me what FACT I’m not jiving with

    first fact is the pass in from the sideline was to Justin

    maybe it’s not jagoff, how about delusional

    when I look in the mirror I see unbiased rational and neutral with clear vision and reasonable foresight and absolutely no BS hindsight


      1. not sure a delusional blind coward abuser of one’s handle is someone’s thinking any should entertain

        thanks for playing


            1. Your comebacks are more than delusional…keep them coming !

              Thanks for letting me abuse you.


  16. With a win last night, Pitt would have been tied for 2nd place in the Conf
    and only 1 game out of 1st place, Virginia.

    Instead we choke to a bottom dweller and sink back to the middle of the pack.\
    UNC & Duke are rarely this mediocre, so you must make a move while that
    anomaly is in play.

    2nd place in the ACC in late January and you start to regain some relevance.
    And they almost HAVE to rank you in the Top 25.

    Another Lost Opportunity.


    1. Pitt lost more than an opportunity last nite. They lost the will to win.


  17. I don’t hide behind handles. I understand what Reed went through policing in 18. Believe me. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. We can agree to disagree. We both appear to have big personalities. But remember now, I’m Tex. You don’t got the Republic beat unless you’re Alaska. And nobody goes by that handle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. fair enough Tex, I didn’t assume YOU were the coward

      frankly I disagree with a lot of your stuff but wouldn’t describe it as delusional or cowardly


      1. but you too think X with the ball is wrong yet don’t address that the pass inbounds was to Justin

        what am I missing about making THAT point?

        then, X pulls up from a spot not far from the FT line where he is the team’s 2nd best FT shooter

        and STILL I thing he should’ve driven and looked to dish to Coulibaly who was and would’ve been even more open underneath who then either catches and makes or MAYBE gets fouled AND IS OUR TEAM’S TOP FT SHOOTER

        I keep looking for delusion in the above but I guess if I am, that’s why I wouldn’t perceive it


      2. That’s good for me. I’m in for the clemson game. You’ll also get first swig on my Texas bourbon. I do love your counter points. The world would be boring without different perspectives. I never take things personal and hope my comebacks aren’t taken personally either. There’s more to life than Pitt and sports. This blog just adds juice to life. It’s not Koolaid. Think of it as a fine finger lakes wine.

        Tex a big fan of the Cayuga wine trail.


      3. I agree with how you both settled that dispute. Well done men!

        There is enough confusion in this world – doesn’t need to find it’s footing on the POV.


        Liked by 2 people

        1. You’ll get a swig as well Erie I might just have to put all that Texas bourbon into a swimming pool near by.


    1. I agree. But is Capel thinking that way. That loss is 100 percent on Capel. X is the scapegoat. Capel is the disease. He can find a cure if he’s serious. And honestly I think he is. He was my not pick for HC, but I do think he’s a good fit and can correct course. His words and passion have me intrigued. But I also think he needs better assistants.

      Tex always an Oats fan. But I’ve got ties to buffalo. You could always find me at the brew pub on Friday nites. Saturday nites I’d be at holiday valley. And Curley can bite it. Go beef on weck.


  18. What is going on in Tampa ? They win the Stanley Cup…were in the World Series and now the Super Bowl.

    And you can dress like a Pirate there and not get committed.


    1. Tampa is a good place for deginerates like me

      Tip a lap dancer $20

      You’ll have a good time

      Can’t beat the Canadian ballet


  19. Feldman is a FOX Sports writer who has been around

    Bruce Feldman@BruceFeldmanCFB
    Jordan Whitehead just the latest big-time DB Pat Narduzzi has cranked out. I’d asked the #Pitt coach what makes Whitehead so good: “Talented athlete. Great instincts. Smart. Loves football. First game we played him at tailback vs Notre Dame, he scored twice.”


  20. I’m looking over the DB’s since Doozi took over in 2015. I see 2 NFL ones…..Whitehead and Maddox. Maddox was recruited by Potato Paul,

    While it sounds impressive….the latest big-time DB, Dooz has cranked out.

    A phrase with no substance, since there have been only 2 in 6 years,


    1. But Paul never coached Whitehead and only coached Maddox one year. And further, I don’t think you want to compare PC’s DB recruits vs PN’s


        1. The fact that Whitehead didn’t look around after Chryst left tells me he was Pitt all the way. Paul never put hard work into any recruit at Pitt. He coasted the entire time in Pittsburgh. Narduzzi with Whitehead and Jackson playing today. Come April, more guys about to drafted into the NFL.

          Chryst couldn’t even reell in Boyd and DoJo until sanctions came down at another school.


        2. Duzz should get credit for keeping Whitehead committed to his class and then coaching him to the NFL.

          Duzz also not only coached Maddox, but Ryan Lewis, Dane Jackson and Lafayette Pitts who played and/or are currently in the NFL.


          1. True….but none of them except for Whitehead were ‘bigtime’ DB’s. Pitt’s has been waived and released so many times it’s hard to keep track. Same thing with Lewis who is now up to 8 NFL teams.

            Jackson, we’ll give him credit for, kid was 7th round draft pick and while not ‘bigtime’ hasn’t been waived and released a half a dozen times yet.

            I’m more interested in Pitt getting good again…not who or who doesn’t play in the NFL.


  21. hey Tex, a couple threads back I asked which Texas bourbon and never got your answer

    heading to the liquor store as soon as you give me your opinion!

    I found Balcones but they have Texas Pot Still, Baby Blue Corn and I think there was another


  22. Guys, I have all the remaining BB game day threads written and scheduled to post 90 minutes before tipoff (see – I used a BB term there).

    Each post has a bunch of links to use when watching the game and commenting…

    Nobody puts The POV in the corner – nobody!!!

    Please let me know if any schedule changes happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Speaking of Pirates….our Buccos traded former Number 2 overall pick, 14 game winner in 2018, with a career
    3.67 ERA (impressive).

    For 4 stiffs and a bag of stale peanuts.

    They should have held out for pistachios at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just found the time to watch yesterdays game for the first time. I don’t think anyone noted that Pitt had a 10 point lead in the second half when Coulibaly picked up his 3rd foul. Out goes Kareem and in comes Terrell. Five minutes later our lead has been cut to 2. Coulibaly is brought back in. He immediately gets a defensive rebound, an offensive rebound, gets fouled and makes 1 of 2, Pitt leads by 3. He heads to the other end of the court and picks up his fourth foul. Back comes Terrell. Three minutes later our 3 point lead is a 9 point deficit. Coulibaly back in. He plays to the end and we lose by 1 on a last second miss. Coincidence or do we have that big of a drop off when Brown enters?

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Great write up Dan! I agree that X Man should’ve been benched. He is just too error prone. He mentioned this past week that Capel always has his back, which tells me he thinks he is untouchable.

    Champ takes the inbound pass and gets it to X. Any coach in the world will tell you the high percentage play is to then drive and dish or draw the foul. But glory hound X Man throws up a brick instead of making the high percentage play. Capel tolerates this because he has no other PG.


  26. Missed most of the game, but managed to catch the last minute.
    Unimpressed with that last push up the court… watching X-man is like watching Kris Letang.

    Dan, thanks once again for the post-game write-up. Enjoyed it and appreciate the effort.

    Two quick PSAs:

    1) I cut the cord. Had Comcast, now have YouTube TV. Gets me everything I want that I had on cable, plus has ACCN. On top of that, we will save $100/mth on our bill. If you are thinking about cutting the cord, I give the YouTube TV app two thumbs up.

    2) Don’t feed the trolls.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Some posted earlier that with 5 seconds left in the first half, Pitt allowed WF to matriculate the ball for a 3 pointer at the buzzer. Apparently Pitt had 3-4 fouls to give. However, Pitt couldn’t use them with the players that were on the court for fear of putting our own guys in foul trouble. I am good with that. Now, if you want to fault our HC for not practicing scenario plans for such a situation, have at him. He could have put in 3 walk-ons (who practice this scenario) to execute such a strategy. It’s not difficult. It is attention to detail. Pitt and Capel are not there.

    Free throws should be converted at a minimum of 80%. In order to have the same feel in your free throw, I always taught players to put their index fingertip on the “air hole). Every time. Very repeatable.

    X is often out of control as pointed out by the Board. I like how Femi is playing and Capel III should sit X a few times a game as a reminder and an opportunity to calm him down. Apoint guard must always be aware of time, place and circumstance. I feel X never thinks this way as his legs move to fast for his brain to catch up. Just an observation from down on the farm.

    With respect to Jeffries, could his lack of playing time since the captain car keys incident, just be a concidence?


    1. Boy, I hope you two are wrong on the car keys thought. Both Jeffress and Collier seem to be decent, respectful and law abiding young men.

      Fall down February starts next week – two games this week that Pitt should be favored in – UNC and ND (ikr). The game plans for both should be focused on tough D and tenacious rebounding.


  28. I think X is trying to become a big scorer which he is not, thus the forced shots. Watching Champagnie get all the press is probably killing him.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Going back to last night’s discussion about Narduzzi ‘cranking out’ DBs to the NFL …. you have to remember that Mich St was considered a DB factory back in the early and mid part of the previous decade. Here is a list of MSU DBs who made it to the NFL going back 10 years:

    Chris Rucker
    Trenton Robinson
    Johnny Adams
    Mitchell White
    Darqueze Dennnard***
    Isaiah Lewis
    Trae Waynes
    Kurtis Drummond
    Arjen Colquhoun
    Montae Nicholson
    Dmetrius Cox

    Not only was Dennard a first round pick, he won the Jim Thorpe Award for best college DB
    Nicholson and Cox played their first 2 years under Duzz; I included them because they are 2 local Pgh kids who were recruited by Narduzzi

    Thus, with Maddox and Whitehead who both played 3 years under Duzz, plus Dane Jackson (2 star) as well as Ford and Hamlin, sure fire draft picks this year …. I don’t believe Feldman’s statement was hard “a phrase of no substance”.

    And remember ,,, this was MSU and Pitt so, for the most part, we are not talking about 4 stars here

    Liked by 2 people

  30. You know it is funny that X is only supposed to have success when he drives to the hoop when multiple things can happen. He has success, he misses the shot his shot gets blocked he successfully passes or not.
    Maybe he gets fouled. On a good night he has more success than failure, on a bad night, well you know.

    OK, he is not Allen Iverson, but he is what we have. If he plays well we usually win, if he doesn’t good chance we lose.

    Femi is going to be good, he is earning more minutes, but so far he is a liability at the foul line.

    Why is it that credit is never given to the opposition when Pitt loses. Pitt has never had a guy that goes 8-10 and rarely has a guy that goes 4-7 from the 3 point line. Wake played pretty good defense in the second half, and their big guys got our guys in foul trouble. Of course Brown made two ridiculously bad fouls. Their defense held Champ and Toney below their recent stellar play.

    Our opponents want to win as badly as we do. No doubt Wake had the hot hand. Pitt fought back and almost finished. They got an open makeable shot. Although less likely Toney or Champ could have missed that shot as well.

    Hopefully Pitt uses the game as motivation down the line, but all games in the ACC are tough, Pitt really has no personnel or coaching advantage over any team.

    It is pretty good that in Capel’s third year that Pitt has a chance to win most any game. That is progress.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Absolutely agree, GC. Anyone who doesn’t think we are way ahead of where we were four or five years ago, didn’t watch those games back then. And I wouldn’t blame them. I’d swear that some folks set a new minimum bar mentally every time we have a good game and anything less than that is a complete failure. We are going to have ups and downs. We are nowhere near dominant yet. Don’t know if we will ever be. Just enjoy the ride.

      As a side note, I see that the North Carolina point guard is averaging 3.1 assists per game compared to X’s 6.3. They both are averaging exactly 3.4 turnovers per game. Obviously his assist to turnover ratio is much worse than Xavier’s. If X is so bad, wouldn’t you think that blue blood UNC would be able to recruit someone better?

      Liked by 3 people

        1. good stuff GC and Farmers

          ok, maybe I used “jagoff” a bit quick on this thread but it certainly isn’t only this thread that got me there

          I probably need to recalibrate the bar of expectations for posters here with the regime change

          Tvax1, trying his best to not be delusional AND not enable while still supporting Pitt and having some fun with what and where we are right now!

          while lamenting my kid not continuing wrestling when he could’ve fit the weak spot at #157…..ok, back to delusional 🙂


      1. I would snort out that UNC is a pedestrian 10-5 (for them) and their PG is a true freshman and has all of 15 college games under his belt. UNC actually had a worse record than Pitt last year at 14-19, so perhaps he has less to work with also. Williams will most likely correct his ship after last years debacle, not rebuild like Capel has started from 3 years ago.

        X is a good guard, but not a great guard, which is fine. He is not a good floor general in my mind (lack of patience/control), but you have to put the players out there that you give you the best shot at victory and for now, it is him. Mr. Ed likens it to asking a race horse thoroughbred, to be a trotter. You just can’t do it without a complete re-shape mentally. Femi, in my mind, possesses the skills of a very good floor general (limited sample), but struggles with foul shooting (which typically doesn’t hurt until the end of close games). It is what it is and he is who he is. I would sit him a few times a game just to teach patience and to slow him down.


  31. Boy, doesn’t take long for the temperature to rise in the POV Executive Office with the insulting stuff between commenters on here.

    If anyone keeps shifting screen names to sling crap at others they will be locked out for a while. I’m serious about this. I’m dealing with family medical issues (two at once) and have very low tolerance for this.

    Look at the statement directly above the comment box every time you are about to post something. Also, drop the stuff about the sandwich – not amused at all.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. So Nard gets credit as a DC and no mention of Dantonio, who closed the deals. And now Nard gets credit as Head Coach without Bates getting the credit, when Nard closes the deal. Trying too hard to build up the Nard. I would give him partial credit on both but to say he is fully responsible is in error in my opinion. Heck under the pre-pitt stretch, you might as well go back and give the OBGYN credit too for delivering these kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. but we are not giving him him the credit here …. Bruce Feldman, senior football writer for Fox Sports did. You’re the one who was offended by his post by describing it as “a phrase with no substance”. All we did was to provide some examples why it did have substance


      1. I don’t read feldman or any other person. Now if you all comment on things they write about, I will comment on your comment, which is really what happened. I don’t have the time to go out and read other people like Feldman because they are no smarter, nor have any original thought than the folks here. That was a backwards compliment for those keeping score in their stalls. I stick by what I typed in response to a laundry list of Nard students and subsequent credit.

        That’s like Charmin taking credit for Ben Roethlisbergerschmidt. Just because someone was on the same staff when a player came through, doesn’t mean they were ultimately responsible for their stardom. This is the feel good, brown nosing, lazy media trying to build bridges where none exist and expecting everyone to accept it as truth. Feldman example is one of those. Odd how there was no mention of the DB coaches…at all.

        The vet over at the green acres could take credit for how i turned out, under this reasoning. Awful.


    1. Maybe 40 percent forgiven with me

      Blow them out by 30, 60 percent

      I know the selection committee won’t be too forgiving. They will point that game out as a bad loss.


  33. It seems to me that in a recent game X Man missed everything all game long, but then hit a last second shot to help them win. Capel went on to say that he was a money player who produced when it counted. I think Capel has created a monster by trying to give him confidence. I can’t believe that in those final seconds at WF he didn’t have glory on his mind..


    1. Would you rather have a guy that wasn’t confident and didn’t want glory? We have plenty of guys that were afraid to take the last shot. Why else play the game if you don’t want glory personal and team.

      Do you think Brady would be going to his 10th SuperBowl if he didn’t want Glory? You will never get anywhere if you don’t have self confidence.

      I will buy that you also need self awareness and know your limitations, but if you aren’t testing limits you will never be a great athlete.


  34. Dan — really appreciated and related to the first paragraph of your article. Sometimes you drill and instruct in practice but the team just doesn’t execute during the game. So then, of course, it’s all on the coach…

    Lot easier to play any game from the stands – especially games requiring split-second decisions, like BB.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you drill and instruct during practice but individuals don’t execute, then you either aren’t drilling in effectively during practice and or you have individuals in the wrong positions or being asked to do something they shouldn’t.

      So Capel needs to come up with some new drills and or shuffle the lineup.

      Capel is 70 percent responsible for this loss. I understand the drop off from the previous game but wake is a bad team. Inexcusable to lose to them. Mentally tough this team is not.


  35. OT: Whitehead and McCoy on the Tampa Bay squad going to the SB. And here is one for being in the right place at the right time as Maurice Ffrench on the KC practice squad and is now eligible to get a SB ring without ever having played a down for KC this year. I’m wondering how much practice squad players get paid for the post season games.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I don’t think they get money from playoff proceeds, which is minimal (even for rostered players) when compared to the weekly checks they usually get. My guess is that practice squad players get their normal rate for every week they remain on the practice squad which can come and go. So FFFFFrench would get a maximum of 16 weeks plus 3 or 4 playoff weeks x rate.

    So my guess would be about 100k per year. Just a guess because it is a round number and feel about right. Not sure if players can negotiate a higher number based on position they play or whether it is a specified league amount. Good query. Plus, he gets a ring when they beat the fighting brady’s.


  37. Blows my mind that Ryan Switzer made the Steelers roster and Ffrench is on a practice squad. Maybe it is more of a reflection on the skill and depth of the KC WRs. Switzer was horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. If you guys are talking about bogus screen names I’m with you all the way.It could be the ruination of the entire POV empire. We’re based on friendship and a family like atmosphere not cheesy one liners a third grader could out do.

    I’m hanging on……………… ike

    Liked by 12 people

    1. You are more than hanging on, Ike. You are making a very good point. It annoys me also when you have to try to guess who is making a comment to know where they are coming from. Reed, if there is a way to see the email address associated with a comment, I for one would appreciate it if you could ask them to use their regular screen name. If someone wants to permanently change their screen name, that is fine. Just let us know the from and to.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You can make up a fake email as well. I always do with my fake handles. They are often more creative and funny but you guys never see it. I’m no techie but without one you’ll never know who is creating the handles. Only way is to force everyone to use WordPress and to login. And that’s not perfect. Moreover, I know 99 percent of you old guys won’t do that.

        Tex – no friend of technology.


  39. OT: Pitt got another preferred walk on commit yesterday Nick Lapi 6’2″ 220 LB, RB out of NJ. His film looks good but then again almost everyones film looks good. The more the merrier when it comes to preferred walk ons. You just never know when you may hit the lottery within that group.


  40. Does anyone know if the QB recruit from Texas actually registered for classes this semester? He would be eligible for Spring ball if he registered.


    1. He’s at least two years away from getting meaningful snaps. He’s unpolished with some upside. Probably a higher ceiling than any of the QB’s on the squad. But he’s no maholmes who grew up in north Texas unlike that northern Cali guy Brady.


  41. Tex, I could go by the handle “Kodiak Kid” because I lived up there in Alaska for three years….granted I spent 900 out of 1,095 days at sea when there but who is counting?

    Alaska is by far the most interesting of all the states I’ve lived in or visited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I plan on making a visit one day there. I’m staying off the sea however. I’ll take my chances with the grizzlies.


    2. Reed, my days get so long I’ve been watching shows like buying Alaska. Real-estate is incredible up there and all you get is an outhouse. There’s not much public land for sale.


      1. Ike, I have an acre of land on the Big Island I’d love to sell…but the prices in the area are so low I’d lose $$ on it. Never can tell about real estate.

        You have to by land and literally build your own place up in AK to make it worthwhile.


        1. Love the Big Island, are you on the right side of the volcano? Have friends that lost their inheritance to the Volcano. Property won’t be worth anything for 100 years if ever. Nice view of the ocean though.


    3. took a cruise of the Alaska inner straits about 15 years ago ….. loved it. Saw whales, eagles, huskies and a moose … but no grizzlies. One awesome scene after another. Had a few drinks in the oldest brothel in Alaska located in Skagway, cool town.


    1. Here comes a good run game and bad passing game. Well, that is if the Steelers improve the aging OL and get a good RB. Bad hire.


  42. Just to remind everyone about recruiting info…it is all generated by the players, their parents and their coaches. Yes, even the recruiting offers that the web sites list.

    Because the NCAA forbids any schools from discussing any prospective recruits until the player signs the LOI the websites have to take the players’ word for it that they got offers from any D1 programs.

    That’s why I always caution fans to look at two things in recruiting profiles. First – did the kid take official visits to the programs? Then second look to see if any staff members from the ‘offering’ schools are listed next to the schools’ name as his recruiters.

    I can tell you that many times I read that a big program was listed by the recruit and then found out the so-called offer was just a letter inviting the kid to a summer camp or a letter of introduction from a program and not a formal scholarship offer. Sometimes at a camp the school’s coaches might say they are interested in a player and offer to host the kid at a game or two.

    That hooks them and the school strings the kid along without a formal offer but the player states publicity that the school is recruiting him… And the school can not deny it so it goes on the kid’s list.

    BTW – I first heard of that from two player’s fathers I was drinking beer with who did some of that. Happens all the time.

    When you see a bunch of low hanging fruit schools listed then one or two big programs show up on the list take that with a grain of salt.

    BTW – when I mean ‘big’ schools I mean the top 25% or so of P5 schools. The perennial Top 25-30 teams…


  43. Good to see your posts Uncle Iek…I also watch shows about Alaska.
    Even Building off the Grid is entertaining to me as is Ice Road Truckers.


  44. I watch those Alaska shows too. Crazy stuff. Had a friend of a friend who lived up there in the woods after college, solo.
    Found frozen one spring maybe twenty years ago. It is living on the edge.


  45. If Canada is a hot commodity, why would he take the Steeler’s job? This is an offense that has a couple of good WRs, and that’s about it.

    Puzzling move to me for both parties.

    Go Pitt.


    1. Cause nobody wants to work for Tomlin.

      And when they fire tomlin next year, he’s coach in waiting

      Sweeps, pre snap motion, bunched receiver sets, RPO. That’s canada.


      1. I presume you mean coach-in-waiting to get out of Pittsburgh… 😊Canada hardly fits the profile of a Steeler’s Head Coach…


        1. The profile of any new coach is an innovative OC. The minority ownership of the Steelers know this. The Rooney share…not so much.


    1. That’s the same Syracuse that crushed Miami and ran 16th ranked Virginia Tech off the court this past weekend. So go figure.


  46. Whitehead led Pitt in tackles his freshman year. Super on the jet sweep too. Lost most of those carries to Henderson later.


    1. Love, just love, those those uniforms. Never should have changed.

      Bring it home Jerome and Lavance from top the key — my two favorite Pitt memories.


  47. I went down from the upper level with Scooter to get a piece of the shattered backboard…lost it at the post game celebration. 😎


  48. today’s sports headlines is how Lebron had its best shooting night ever against his old team last night. Overall, he was 19-26 … and 7-11 on three pointers (64%). (Steph Curry was 7-12 on 3s last night.)

    Look at this … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Point_Contest#:~:text=Three-Point%20Contest%201%20Rules.%20In%20this%20contest,%20participants,5%20Records%206%20Sponsors.%20…%207%20References.

    Here is the list of the 3 point shooting contests which began in 1985 (35 years). Now, there is no defense here, just the best in the game taking 3s ….. 5 at a time from each location. And yet, only 3 times has the winner reached or exceeded 80%

    I don’t think you realize how rare an 8-10 three point performance is in game action

    Liked by 3 people

      1. my point exactly! This was likely a once in a lifetime event for that WF player. Did you know that he didn’t score a point in the previous game.


        1. But why didn’t pitt defend better. Why didn’t they play man. Why didn’t they place a big out there. Why didn’t they aggressively contest those shots and foul. That’s on coaching


          1. So great coaching vs. Boeheim and K, poor coaching vs. Forbes.
            At least you are consistent Tex, all poor play is on coaching, never poor play by our guys or excellent play by our opponents/.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t expect players to call the sets and schemes. That’s on coach. Capel has no plan to defend the three. I’ll always blame coaching over these kids. Because they are kids and don’t call plays like the pros. I’ve never criticized a pitt player except Tina. And that was after he left and ripped pitt.


            1. They have good and bad but the coach prepares them and schemes for the game. He watches the tape and does the oppo research. Capel didn’t have a plan and didn’t make any meaningful adjustments. He knows better.


            2. I think every person has good and bad days/games. Success comes from recognizing it early and either kickstarting yourself, making adjustments, or making excuses. As a coach, you have the power to challenge your kids first, make adjustments second, or make excuses.

              Like a baseball manager when your starter doesn’t have it, it is best to adjust your plan before it is too late. But the coach, like the manager, should have a backup plan if things don’t go according to plan. That is called resilience. How do you win when you aren’t playing your best. The great ones figure it out on the fly.


    1. This comparison makes no sense (sorry) and really speaks to the coach not making any in game defensive schematic adjustments to address the situation. This is like an opponents big man having his way with rebounding and scoring down low against our smaller players and we continue to stay in man to man, zone, or whatever isn’t working because we think we are right, only to find out we were wrong.

      Why can’t anyone just say the coach messed up? It is allowable to mess up, for craps sake. Just admit it and move on, or….do the Pitt hing for the last 40 years and make excuses. Capel could have easily gone to a box and one to get the college kid off his game, or man, or at least work harder to score. These kids don’t earn scholarships because they shoot 5 % from the three line. This kid was a top10 New England High School player and played in 31 games off the bench during his true Fresh season.

      The WF kid has taken a total of 73 shots this year and 51 have come from 3 point land. That’s 70% of his shots. He has the highest make percentage from 3 on his team for players shooting more than 5 of them for the year. He shot 50% from 3 point land last year against Pitt and had 33 three pointers made as a true freshman. So the numbers suggest he does better against Pitt than anybody else thus far in his career and he shoots primarily from 3. How are we not prepared for such a thing, not just from him, but from any player that gets a hot hand? The Pitt way is to rollover and say this is a once in a lifetime event, except it seems to happen against Pitt….alot. Pitt needs to change results by out thinking and outworking their opponents. I am not advocating for an undefeated season, but there are small things you can do to at least try.

      And I like Capel. That is why I donned the “III” since he started. I am just not Pitt blinded here. Make a mistake, admit it, move on.


  49. Pitt Football@Pitt_FB
    Jimmy Morrissey is the second Pitt player to become a four-time All-ACC Academic Team honoree, joining fellow offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Here’s a nard comment : “I can’t wait for our linebackers to work with him because I know they will take huge strides in their development under his guidance.” If it is such a huge difference/upgrade, why did he keep the other coach for so long?

      Did this new coach just get better last year? I mean Harley has been around since the beginning. Why keep him around if he was not up to snuff all this time? Huge strides is a pretty big statement and I am hopeful our guys flourish. Is huge, just excitement or is it really huge?


      1. Thanks for jinking us Tex 😉 We are a 3 pt dog, we could be tested on the boards and wind up with some Coulibaly foul trouble, with no depth behind him, not a good scenario. That said, I hope you are right


  50. Hey, Quadree Henderson – another Paul Chryst recruit although he broke through big in his 2nd year under PN. QH was behind Boyd, Dontez Ford, and Holtz receiving and Conner, James etc. rushing… on offense though in ’15.

    Huh – correct me if I’m off-base here but looking over all the Pitt players who made an NFL roster over the past years I count 19 who were recruited by and/or committed to Pitt under Paul Chryst in his three years of recruiting while he was our HC. 19 in three years (maybe off by one or two – didn’t check each kid).

    But – I see one player who committed to PN out of HS on the list – Ben DiNucci. We’ll see more of PN’s guys
    these coming years, especially on defense, but after six years isn’t that kind of strange?

    So – from the time span from Chryst’s time-of-hire to Narduzzi’s time-of-hire and three more years it look like PC had 56 commitments with 19 guys in the NFL for 34% making the next level. PN’s same percentage is around 2%.

    This is without looking at 5th year SRs but I don’t think that impacts much.

    This comparison has nothing to do with the quality of Big East vs ACC play either – this is based on recruiting and bringing talent into the program. And yes – PN & staff had a hand in these kids success at Pitt but eyeing talent is what this is about.

    Again – correct me if I’m wrong in the actual numbers but it is very lopsided so far.


    1. You can eyeball all the talent you want, doesn’t matter if you don’t put them in a position to succeed and develop them. Narduzzi gets credit for them being in the NFL if they had success in his program, because that is what got them there.


    2. Reed, you did miss our 7th year senior. Look, I like Tipton as a person and all but to suit up for 7 years is a bit much in my opinion. That said he will hold a record that noone should ever surpass. At some point in this near decade of play, Pitt needed to recruit over him to so we should not be relying on him to contribute. That seems like a lot of years.

      I like Paul Chryst better than PNard. Although their expertise is similar, but opposite. They would be a great tag team if we had co-head coaches. A specialist on offense, and dare I, a specialist on defense, kind of. Offense wins. Talented big hogs make winning easier. It is an offensive game, ask Saban.


    1. Fully agree Mark. Remember the critcism of his “just offer” approach….not enough energy… yada yada yada. The guy had it 100% when he said “it all starts with the big palookas up front.” And how about that jig he did in the locker room after a win?…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those big guys sure came in handy losing to Akron. Narduzzi made sure they were coached up to beat the Zips in 2015.

        The lowest moment in 2014: losing to Akron, Georgia Tech or blowing the bowl lead to Houston.


  51. Same here. I called him couch potatoe and made fun of his sweatshirts. But he’s a better coach than meatballs.

    I’m waiting for Nard dog defenders. Your dog just don’t bite. Moreover, I throw a meatball over the locked gate, and your dog chases it. So easy.

    Tex who owns true blood pitt dogs, an English pointer (aka southern bird dog) and a short hair chiwawa.

    Ps support dfw lab rescue. I also rescue Texas labs.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Yep
    Let’s all beat our hairy flat chests over narduzzis great recent class. Really? Only 30 percent rated 5.7 and above. Right at his 6 year average. I’d have to be a wanker to think Narduzzi knows how to recruit.

    Tex who doesn’t hide or lurk. You feel the sting of my vinegar.


    1. so two 2-stars that make All-Americans just proves what really darn good coach he is …. oh, that’s right … it’s either Partridge or Bates (God forbid we give Narduzzi any credit)


  53. Pitt defensive guys have a great chance at entering the NFL because of Narduzzi period. Why? Simply Narduzzi’s high risk defense putting the corners in man to man is no question high risk. But if you can succeed in playing the CB and Safety positions at Pitt you most certainly will get an invite to a NFL camp. So yes I conclude you have a better chance at an NFL career thru coach Narduzzi then you would have thru Coach Chryst. At least you would playing on the Pitt D. Unfortunately the same can’t be said by playing on the Pitt O right now.—-By saying that doesn’t mean I’m endorsing him as a HC. Frankly, I think the “Peter Principle” is play here with Narduzzi. He’s risen to a position beyond he capabilities. Heather said it best, he’s learning on the job and we are paying the price for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking of Pitt’s O, how’s this for a bit surprising. What are we all missing?

      Tweet from:

      Mark Whipple
      @EASPORTS just called me to inform me that I will be on the cover of the next NCAA Football Game! Thank you
      !! #H2P”


  54. The earliest a commit can be eligible for the NFL draft/free agency is three years from high school graduation. The NCAA allows 5 years to play 4. (one redshirt year and 4 playing years).

    I looked at Pitt NFL draft choices for the years 2014 – 2020. (Recruiting classes from 2012 onwards). Pitt had 8 players drafted. All of the players had committed to Chryst from 12/22/11 through 12/11/14. Two of the eight went pro after 3 years (Boyd & Whitehead), two after 5 (Ollison & Jackson) and the remaining 4 went pro after 4 years (Johnson, Conner, Maddox & O’Neil). I didn’t look at free agents but except for Henderson, I will put money that they used all 5 years,,

    What does all the above prove – that Pitt (or any college team) having draft picks is a function of time. To fully use the 5 years of eligibility, the first class that HCPN had a hand in was the 2015 recruiting class. He got one (DiNucci). The 2016 class is the second class that is now out of eligibility. IMO, there are three who have a shot at being drafted in the 2021 NFL draft. (Hamlin, Weaver, Jones). Add the 2 from the 2017 class who have a darn good chance at being drafted (Ford, Twyman). There 2 others that will get a shot at the pros through free agency (2016 – Hargrove & 2017 – Pinnock).

    It is not just matter of coaching. Time is just as important.


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