Pitt Coaching Crystal Ball

Submitted by Mark Kerestan (PittPT)

In the last thread (or a recent thread depending on when it might be published), NotRocketScience posed the question “who will be fired first, Pat Narduzzi or Jeff Capel”? That question was very similar to  a question I had planned to submit as a topic for a discussion thread. It would appear that the coming year will be a crucial year for both Pitt Football and Men’s Basketball, and their respective Head Coaches, Pat Narduzzi and Jeff Capel.

Given what we know right now before any additional recruits are signed or games are played, will both coaches still be with Pitt by this time in March 2022? If not, who stays and who goes? In answering , you may answer in terms of either what you expect to happen or what you would like to see or both.

Since I posed the question I will kick things off with my responses. 

What I expect to happen…With Kenny Pickett coming back and the entire offense having an additional year to gel, as well as an easier OOC schedule, I fully expect Pitt football to get to eight wins which should secure Pat Narduzzi’s job for the immediate future.

Conversely unless he can bring in some  impactful transfers to improve the team for next year, as well as retain Justin Champagnie for another season, it would appear to be another rough year for Pitt Basketball and Jeff Capel. As such my prediction would be Narduzzi continues on with football, Jeff Capel will be replaced. 

What do I want to happen…? If Pitt’s football season is as I expect it to be, I am fine with Narduzzi continuing to run the football program. In fact for every win over eight I will accept a down year in the four to five win range. I do hope that this season is an opportunity for Kenny Pickett and OC Mark Whipple to go out together, with a new OC with new offensive ideas to come in 2022, but that is a topic for another discussion.

In basketball, I really like Jeff Capel personally and love to hear his interviews. As such, I am rooting for him, against all odds, to find the magic formula (or bagman) to lead Pitt to a significantly improved conference record next year and a post season tourney appearance, which should result in him also retaining his coaching position moving forward. 

   What do you all think? Cue The Clash Ike, who should stay or should go?

(Editors note)  Here is the link to a Post-Gazette North Shore Drive podcast that talks about Pitt football, most notably QB Kenny Pickett. It was done yesterday on 3/23/21.

https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/the-north-shore-drive-sports-podcast/

179 thoughts on “Pitt Coaching Crystal Ball

  1. Unfortunately I see Duzz going 6-6 or 7-5 no matter who’s on the schedule. I hope he does better and if he goes 9-3 I’d be ok with him signing for another two years ( no more).

    Like you Mark, I love Capel as a person, have met him ….and he is truly a gentleman. I too love his responses on the fan. Unfortunately I think he’s overwhelmed by the handcuffs Pitt puts on him and I think he’s gone as soon as the NCAA tourney is over as well as his assistants. That’s why there’s not even a hint of recruiting news. I loved the hire by Heather as I thought there was no way we could get a name coach. Some things just don’t work out! As Oklahoma, who after 3 years, was stunned at his lack of recruiting and game day coaching prowess.

    Like

  2. This comment might be better suited for this article.

    Duke which is know for Academics, moreso than Pitt by far. Doesn’t seem to have a problem with ‘playing the game’ of big time college hoops. Bag men and everything else that goes along.

    So then, why does Pitt ?

    Like

  3. Will Capel just walk away? He’d lose millions. No booster exists to eat his contract. We are stuck with him. And yes he is handcuffed by Pitt.

    The sooner Narduzzi goes back to Youngstown to open his pizzeria with meatballs as an appetizer, the better off football will be.

    He is the definition of a Fanta pop (not soda you philly people). I want Coke. Well actually Jarritos but you can only get that in the Strip.

    Like

  4. Did Capel have a problem with recruiting at Okla? Was Okla’s record while Capel was there as bad as PITT’s? Why was the guy hired? Sorry never liked him from the get go. Obviously the kids didn’t like him, plus his judgement in choosing players for PITT was not good.

    Like

    1. Short answer….the 2 years future NBA all-star Blake Griffith was there due to his older basketball playing brother being on the team, they were naturally good. Got to the Elite 8

      The 2 years after they were 13-18 & 14-18 but much worse in conf games, just like at Pitt.
      4-12 & 5-11 in Big 12 games. And my comment below highlites the 13-18 debacle of a team.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d take someone who could recruit a PG, a Center and PF from anywhere.
        At this point it matters not where they come from. Just come.

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  5. Good topic, Mark. Thanks for posing it and starting the conversation.

    First, let me say that my opinions are based on the nation getting the virus behind us and back to some semblance of normalcy. If we are still in surges and masks and empty venues, all bets are off. This topsy-turvy basketball season was surely an anomaly. When was the last time that Kentucky, Duke, and Louisville were left out of the NCAA Tourney? Ever?

    I think we are in a long-haul mode with Coach Narduzzi. Absent a 3-9 or even 4-8 season, I do not think the Pitt Administration has the stomach to keep churning through coaches, hoping to blunder into a diamond then trying to hang onto him. I would love to see a crazy wide open offense, maybe the Go-Go that Coach Marion has in his hip pocket. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Regarding Coach Capel, I don’t know what to think about this player transfer business and what it will mean to the college game as we know it. And clearly our transfer losses are not rare exceptions. Teams all over the country are in that same boat. So I really believe those two factors, the virus and the transfer phenomenon, will give Coach Capel more leeway than one would normally expect. I see Coach Capel being here at least two or three more years. We have some decent players coming back. Add 3 or 4 from a combination of the portal and new recruits, we’ll do fine.

    Just my opinion. But that’s all anyone is offering.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leonard Hamilton eventually rebuilt, or built for the first time, Florida state basketball. He was head coach there for seven years before they ever made the NCAA tournament. Just sayin…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wasn’t the first time. Florida State played for the National Championship in 1972 under Hugh Durham.
        Losing to UCLA.

        And in the 1990’s Pat Kennedy took FSU to a Sweet 16 and an Elite 8.

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      2. Hamilton won 20, 22 and 19 games prior to going to the tourney in year 7 so there was a progression, or upward trajectory of the program although he didn’t make the tourney. Now, if you want to predict Capel and co will win 22, 20 and 19 games in the next three seasons prior to making the tourney, I”ll listen to your thought process and analysis.

        Capel is not trending positively right now, or last year.

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  6. At Oklahoma, the season after Blake Griffith departed for the NBA. Capel had 5 Top 100 players, with
    4 of the 5 being Top 50 players. They went 13-18 and a very Pitt like in the ACC like 4-12 in the Big 12.

    The interesting part is 3 of them were Freshmen and 1 was a Sophomore. None of them were on the
    team the following year, only the sophomore made the NBA for a cup of coffee amounting to a career
    of 19 NBA games with the scrub Clippers. The 3 Top 50 Freshmen were never heard from again.

    Players bailing in mass, has happened before.

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  7. Despite the recent extension, I think it’s pretty clear Capel is on shakier ground. I say that as someone who wants him to succeed one for a number of reasons. First, if Capel succeeds, so does Pitt (at least in the short term). Secondly, if he fails, it will lower people’s assessment of the program’s potential, which complicates the chances of long-term success. It’s one thing for a single coach to flop (especially when everybody under the sun panned the Stallings hire was panned from the outset), it’s another for back-to-back coaches to fall on their face. That suggests a systemic problem which will keep attractive coaching candidates and potentially recruits away.

    Also, I think the guy has an approach which is a good match for Pitt’s specific recruiting context (non-blue blood program in an urban environment with a small local talent pool). It seems like he has the personality/PR/marketing mindset to transcend that and turn Pitt’s location into a recruiting asset, especially in basketball, but the early results are discouraging.

    Capel is performing beneath the program’s historical standard with no real indication of progress that can be used to counter the underwhelming results. He’s at the point in a typical management situation where you’re thinking about whether you need to cut ties with an employee that has potential and looking for a definitive sign. The fact that he’s starting over with an entirely new roster (largely his own doing to be sure) and is tied to Lyke will give him a longer evaluation period than the typical employee would get in a more neutral scenario.

    So, unless Pitt is an absolute embarrassment next season (possible) I think Capel survives, but he probably needs to qualify for the NCCA Tournament or be right on the bubble in 2022-23. Bottom line, given the recent extension and that AD Lyke has significant political capital invested in her first (and really only) high-profile hire, I think Capel gets two more years unless next season is a Stallings like disaster.

    In my eyes, Narduzzi’s job security is good for at least two more years and he can probably bank on three minimum unless the bottom falls out in two of those three years. Narduzzi has won at or above the established level of the program when you adjust for some of the hardest out of conference schedules in the country and the jump from the Big East to the ACC (yes, I know he’s had more resources and a bigger recruiting budget). In addition, Lyke is also tied to Narduzzi (to a lesser degree than Capel) because of the Capel. Add all that up and the fact that Narduzzi’s conservative approach mitigates against a truly disastrous season (and also reduces the chance of a truly outstanding one) and I don’t think he has any real job concerns absent scandal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OR, has been written in many prospectuses, “Past performance is not indicative of future results”

      Who knows?

      Like

  8. I think we have Nardozzi for the long. Recruiting has been better, a defensive reputation attracts new recruits and other than OC he sems to have a solid staff.

    As for Capel, I amrooting for him. The openness of the portal has instigated a major migration. I think the intensity of expectations and the mercurial emotions of Xman combined with Covid to trigger the moves.
    This will be a real test of his recruiting skills, but I think the opportunity is there for a comeback. I hope it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. His real problem isn’t recruiting imo as his 2020 class was highly rated. And to a lesser degree his 2018 first class. Even though he has zero for 2021 and 2022. Which is very strange and possibly indicates
      he has no plans being here much longer.

      Just like his 2009 post Blake Griffin class at OK. Which had 4 Top 50 recruits in it. Which
      he couldn’t keep together.

      His bigger problem is molding teams together into winning teams. And his in game coaching and
      apparently his in-week coaching. As dan72 pointed out, Brown still didn’t know how to defend the
      baseline after 3 years of tutelage under Capel and Company.

      X never learned how to play under control, as neither did McGowens and Capel was a guard himself.
      So little to no development in the course of the season from the highly rated freshmen class, other
      than Femi. Of course X & McGowens had big freshmen scoring games as well and we saw what
      that didn’t mean.

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    1. Somebody in Pittsburgh just sent me a instagram….Capel seen at primantis getting take out and had a 6 pack in a brown bag.

      Like

  9. Good fodder for discussion.

    HCPN has a relatively low ceiling and if history is any indication, he will never be more than an eight-win coach. If he can’t catch lightning in a bottle next year, he should be shown the door back to Rhône Island, or Youngstown. And by the way, folks gushed about Kenny returning with his pal, Whip, but has it occurred to anyone that preliminary reports of his NFL talent were less than favorable?

    As for HCJC, I can’t make heads or tails out of this transfer quagmire. Therefore, I give him a few more years.
    And for those of you speculating that he will bolt after the tournament, why would he give up $3M a year? Not arguing, simply asking.

    Like

    1. A few more years of losing in hoops and might become nearly impossible to reverse, ala BC.

      Which at one time like Pitt….was a BigEast Power.

      BC has had 9 losing seasons in the last 10 years.
      Pitt is now up to 5 losing season in a row.

      Like

    2. What if Capel next deal has that school paying off Pitt and offering at least as much as Capel is making now. Have you seen the embarrassing tourney upsets? Do you think there are some rich Alums at Texas, Ohio State etc that wouldn’t pay just anything for a new coach?

      Like

      1. If someone was to hire him, after his recent lack of success, they would be as foolish as, say, the athletic director who recently extended his contract.

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      2. Dan:

        Who would currently want Capel for 3-4 mil per year, PLUS have to pay the buyout? He would be a tough sell right now to an alumni base. Nothing to suggest he can win or recruit (maybe at Duke, but not here). And you have to question why so many departures. Something is fishy. I was eager to blame X, and he certainly was a problem, but X, Toney, McGowens, Murphy, Drumgoole, Brown, and now Coulibaly??? There is a problem.

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    1. BC stuck with their hoops HC for 7 long years before finally firing him.

      He was 78 wins, 132 losses. A 37% winning %.

      Their AD might be stupider than ours.

      Like

      1. I guess BC just hired this new AD in June 2020…so he’s not as incompetent as ours,

        Temple University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Patrick Kraft, considered one of the best athletics administrators in NCAA Division I sports, has been named the William V. Campbell Director of Athletics at Boston College, effective July 1. 2020.

        Kraft, who has been credited with transforming Temple’s athletics program through new coaching hires, investments in facilities, and a focus on student-athlete welfare and improved classroom performance,

        Temple sports accomplishments during his tenure included a 2016 AAC football championship, five-straight bowl appearances for the first time in school history, a 2015-2016 Men’s basketball AAC regular season championship, and the first NCAA Tournament appearance for women’s basketball in five years.

        So BC is getting serious to reverse their fortunes.

        WHEN WILL PITT !!!

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    2. Lyke is has done well. You are giving too much credit to Petersen (or whatever his real name is). Rutgers is doing fine in BB and with Schiano will being doing well in football. In major sports, Rutgers is headed in right direction.

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      1. Rutgers is headed in the right direction. But few pitt programs are. Basketball isn’t. Football is treading water. Out of 19 programs, I count only five with positive momentum. 75 percent of Pitt sports is mediocre or flat out stinks.

        Like

  10. Trying this again because the first comment got stuck in moderation (not sure why). Despite the recent extension, I think it’s pretty clear Capel is on shakier ground. I say that as someone who wants him to succeed one for a number of reasons. First, if Capel succeeds, so does Pitt (at least in the short term). Secondly, if he fails, it will lower people’s assessment of the program’s potential, which complicates the chances of long-term success. It’s one thing for a single coach to flop (especially when everybody under the sun panned the Stallings hire was panned from the outset), it’s another for back-to-back coaches to fall on their face. That suggests a systemic problem which will keep attractive coaching candidates and potentially recruits away.

    Also, I think the guy has an approach which is a good match for Pitt’s specific recruiting context (non-blue blood program in an urban environment with a small local talent pool). It seems like he has the personality/PR/marketing mindset to transcend that and turn Pitt’s location into a recruiting asset, especially in basketball, but the early results are discouraging.

    Capel is performing beneath the program’s historical standard with no real indication of progress that can be used to counter the underwhelming results. He’s at the point in a typical management situation where you’re thinking about whether you need to cut ties with an employee that has potential and looking for a definitive sign. The fact that he’s starting over with an entirely new roster (largely his own doing to be sure) and is tied to Lyke will give him a longer evaluation period than the typical employee would get in a more neutral scenario.

    So, unless Pitt is an absolute embarrassment next season (possible) I think Capel survives, but he probably needs to qualify for the NCCA Tournament or be right on the bubble in 2022-23. Bottom line, given the recent extension and that AD Lyke has significant political capital invested in her first (and really only) high-profile hire, I think Capel gets two more years unless next season is a Stallings like disaster.

    In my eyes, Narduzzi’s job security is good for at least two more years and he can probably bank on three minimum unless the bottom falls out in two of those three years. Narduzzi has won at or above the established level of the program when you adjust for some of the hardest out of conference schedules in the country and the jump from the Big East to the ACC (yes, I know he’s had more resources and a bigger recruiting budget). In addition, Lyke is also tied to Narduzzi (to a lesser degree than Capel) because of the Capel. Add all that up and the fact that Narduzzi’s conservative approach mitigates against a truly disastrous season (and also reduces the chance of a truly outstanding one) and I don’t think he has any real job concerns absent scandal.

    Like

    1. I truly have no idea where he was projected to land in the draft, but returning for a fifth year with an anemic running game, a porous offensive line, no suitable tight end and a receiving corps that led the country in drops makes me go Huh?

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      1. Mason Rudolph was a 3rd Round pick. And he was like 20 times or more better than Pickett.
        Who projected Pickett as a 3rd rounder. More like Tino…..a No Rounder. CFL bound.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Surely you jest. Rudolph threw 92 TD passes and passed for over 13,600 yards at Ok State.
            The Cowboys won 10 games every year Rudolph was the starter. And were Top 15, 2 of those years
            and Top 20 the other.

            Rudolph was much better than Nate Peterman who of course was better than Pickett.

            it would take Pickett another 10 years at Pitt to maybe possibly throw that many TD passes.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. No, Reed. At one point maybe. But because the class was loaded with QB’s, he slipped down into the 5th-7th round range. Or possibly into the free agent pool. He got good advice from someone to return and work to improve his draft stock in a year likely to have less QB depth.

      Like

  11. Kraft is very well learned in Sports management. Ours has a degree in Education and Law.

    A native of Libertyville, Illinois, Kraft attended Indiana University where he played football as a walk-on before earning a football scholarship. He earned three degrees from Indiana, including a Ph.D. in sport management, a master’s degree in sport marketing administration, and a bachelor’s degree in sport marketing management.

    A successful fundraiser, Kraft set records for the annual fund for five straight years, while consistently enhancing revenues from ticket sales.

    Look for BC to start making moves, as they have ace recruiter Jeff Hafley as HC of football now.
    And they just hired, Earl Grant of College of Charleston as head hoops coach. I believe some of
    our regular posters were very high on Earl Grant.

    And this guy Kraft looks like a pro.

    Like

  12. AKC just entered the portal. Better hope Hughley comes back.

    What Big John did isn’t as bad as today’s news of the ex-Pitt former director of emergency management who stole more than 13,600 face masks from the school and sold them online in the early days of the pandemic.

    What a disgrace to the Mission Statement and a black eye for the university. Better call a press conference, Chancellor.

    Like

    1. Woaaaaa. Not that this guy was great or anything. But he was a body, a tall body at that. And he had gained some much needed experience this year. So you’d have to think he would be better next year.

      And with like nobody returning, playing time wouldn’t be an issue. He’d be getting tons of it.

      What is going on here !!!

      Like

  13. well, this transfer explosion for Pitt is interesting, and I am often stating I’m here for the entertainment

    I believe something needs to be revealed by Heather soon or season ticket sales must be imploding
    IF I had them, I’d demand info or they would be cancelled immediately

    crazy

    btw, don’t see Champ going 1st round but he is very young and probably will go 2nd and at least have a chance of making some money although I think 2nd rounders aren’t guaranteed any money

    as young as he is he will/should continue to improve but I can’t imagine him increasing his chances of having a better NBA opportunity if staying under Capel so I think it would be smarter for him to go where he can best develop and possibly make some money

    wonder what Europe and COVID will mean for his earning potential

    Like

    1. Was on a bunch of mock NBA drafts websites. None had Champ in either round for this year.
      Nobody had his brother as a pick either.

      One had him in the 2nd round for next year. Which of course means nothing. As tons can happen
      between now and then, as we well know from the current coronavirus crap.

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  14. Capel should put his little speech on Recording. Before he goes hoarse.

    PITTSBURGH – Sophomore Abdoul Karim Coulibaly has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal as announced Wednesday by school officials.

    “We appreciate Karim’s time and efforts here with our program and wish him luck as he looks to continue his career elsewhere,” said head coach Jeff Capel.

    Like

  15. Don’t know if this is related to the discussion of Coach Capel’s future here but I think this transfer portal concept is going to be a bigger nightmare in men’s college basketball than any other sport. From what little I have seen, with rare exception the guys who are good enough to be recruited at the D1 level, especially the power conferences, are prima-donnas in high school and have inflated egos to match. They appear to be surrounded by people who constantly tell them how great they are and how they are not getting the respect they deserve. If their prospects for getting to the NBA take a hit, it is because their team refuses to feed them the ball or run the offense through them. The transfer portal is tailor made for someone who listens to their friends/family/handlers. Sitting out a year was a pretty strong deterrent to transfers. Now there is virtually no deterrent other than if no one else wants you, you probably can’t come back to your current team. When someone like Marcus Carr enters the portal, a starter with improving numbers every year, it has become a free-for-all. Can’t imagine being a coach with integrity in this environment. If you don’t grovel and lose your dignity to some snot-nosed kid, you are toast.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. According to PghSportsNow…Capel is trying to recruit a 5’11” PG grad transfer from C-USA Marshall.

    Who avg’d 12 ppg and 6 apg in C-USA. Usually C-USA players don’t equate to being good ACC players.

    The last attempt by Capel was Ryan Murphy of C-USA’s Charlotte. Wow this is desperation if true.

    Like

    1. That’s as good of speculation as any other, Reed. I have to believe that someone, either the AD or someone directly below her, conducted a private “exit interview” with each of these players (without the coach being present) to be sure there was not some pattern of abuse like, say, the coach calling him lazy in front of his teammates.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’d you recall, Capel brought in X, Toney, and McGowens literally at the last minute which was pretty miraculous at the time. My speculation is that these guys maybe didn’t “exactly” fit the mold of player Capel was looking for, but he had no choice. Especially with X and McGowens, Capel probably was fed up with them not playing the right style and gave them ultimatums. He strikes me as a coach that will sacrifice wins/losses to build a program with his style.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Or…maybe Capel had a come to Jesus meeting with the team and told them something like “I am sick of guys showing up for the season out of shape, complaining, being selfish on the floor, making the same mistakes over and over again, refusing to follow what they are coached to do, not doing their part in the classroom, and stealing cars! You guys have two choices: Get on board or get out.” I’m not saying this did happen, but it is just as plausible as saying Capel alone did something to blow up the team.

      Like

  17. Quite frankly, with the new transfer rules in college athletics it’s open season in the Wild West. Anyone can play anywhere, and the limited penalties to schools who violate rules have evaporated.
    If Pitt wants a “clean” program I have no idea what that means nowadays. Hire Bruce Pearl and Petrino. And multiple bag men. No longer will schools,build programs, they will look to the transfer portal and the blue bloods will fill their needs from the lower tiers. Gone are the four and five year guys. Very much like MLB. Rich get richer and cheaters rewarded. College athletes as we knew it is gone forever. MAC schools, non power 5 schools, and even schools like Pitt will be left behind. I do believe there will be realignment with 25-30 serious players and the rest will be farm teams.

    Like

    1. It will be like the NBA then, with players banning together to stack the teams. And a few of them at that.

      And if that happens…..Sayonara for me. Close to the edge now, alma mater or not.

      Like

      1. For me the proverbial straw may be if they were to approve University payments directly to the players for “Image, Likeness, and Name” usage. I have this pollyannaish belief that when I buy tickets and make donations to athletics, I am making it possible for these students to have facilities, uniforms, conditioning equipment, etc., to play the sport they love while representing my university. When my donation goes into a player’s pocket, that is a game changer for me. I would find that completely reprehensible.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well yea…..that would be enough for me as well. No doubt about that. I’m about down to only Pitt games as is it., brutal as they are. I did watch about 5 minutes so far in the NCAA’s. Of the end of Loyola’s big upset of Illinois.

          Watching David slay Goliath is always fun.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. I agree, joeknew, with one caveat. I’m still not convinced that there will be a 25-30 team super conference or super league. And the reason I say that is that if they only play each other, by definition half will have losing seasons. Those teams are currently top 25 teams who have 9-3, 10-2, 8-4 at the worst, seasons. Some will become bottom feeders among their peers and maintaining attendance could be difficult. And of course they know that now. Also, why would the Alabamas, Clemsons, or Ohio States want to give up what the already have? They are on the top of the heap and all rule changes seem to be cementing that position, not endangering it.

      Like

      1. $50 million more dollars per year. That’s why.

        Fans will still show to root on their team even if they are at the bottom of the league. See professional soccer in Europe.

        And like I said there will be players on loan and the concept of relegation every four years.

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  18. Three STARTERS transfer out. Not a good look!
    Hope we can sign a couple undergrad transfers among our 6 openings. At least they won’t be able to transfer again without sitting for a year

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  19. Capel better land Lundy, Buttrick and Harrar from PSU to make the roster stronger. Not sure who better he can land. I’d take the Marshall transfer also due to his defensive prowess.

    An assistant or two must be poison if three starters have transferred.

    Like

  20. Capel should be fired immediately. The roster is now like you already had a coaching change, may as well do it. Why in the world would Chanpagnie come back to the dumpster fire. Go pro or transfer. He would be stupid to come back to Pitt. The will be worse next year.

    Like

    1. Yellow blouse would be admitting her only major hire, so far, was a bust. Although even if she did, it
      probably wouldn’t hinder her trajectory. Such are the state of things today.

      Saw that the BC AD(Martin Jarmond) from 2017 to 2020, got hired by UCLA as their AD.
      Based on what ?
      BC was horrid in basketball and middling in football. So what impressed UCLA ?

      Agree about Champ, he would be crazy to stay, when he can transfer to play with his brother
      at St Johns without have to sit out a season. They have their top 5 scorers coming back.

      Like

  21. Agree with Reed, this is all on Capel. Something is not right with this coaching staff.

    Like

    1. Of course it is on Capel. Unfortunately, there is politics (his Duke and prior ACC relationships) and big money involved in getting rid of him. The “people” in the ACC are expecting PITT to give him a second chance or more rope to hang himself. It is of course too late. “The horse has left the barn.” He will be gone, it is just how long it will take. Until then, why discuss men’s BB?

      Of course if we get a shot at a big name coach who can recruit, Lyke, please get him!

      By the way, our volleyball team beat WVU 3-0 this evening.

      Like

  22. The Supreme Court will hear the main case allowing for additional payments to college players in April, with a decision date slated for July. I have been telling you all about the changing landscape for a couple of years now. To make it worse, even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the universities, politicians are actually looking to enact laws to pay players in their respective states. I spend a lot of time in this space and would like to pen an article about it, but am prohibited.

    Most everyone on here is blaming the transfer portal as the culprit. It is not. It is the head coach. The head coach and the AD need to learn to lead. Capel unfortunately, is not a seasoned leader. Constantly complaining about reffing leads to his players bellyaching to refs which lead to technicals. Allowing players to put themselves first, above team. Many many more examples. Parents, shmarents. If you can’t handle complaining and troublemaking parents, go back to 3rd grade coaching. The players do not respect him or the AD. People try to conflate issues and make excuses to a very simple process.

    You either are a leader or you are not. Being a head coach does not make you a good leader. This whole Pitt athletics program from Chancellor to AD, to coaches to players are soft. You cannot cowher to the whims of 18 year olds. Who lets their players decide whether they go to a bowl game or not? A group of non-leaders, that’s who.

    Like

    1. It’s easier to blame a thing (the portal) than a person. Unless your _ _ _ _ _ . LOL

      Like

  23. I have never been a Narduzzi fan and think he’s as mediocre as they come. I thought Lyke really overcame the loss of Hurley with the Capel Hire. During that freshman season of McGowens and X, I thought Pitt was finally going to have a backcourt that could take them somewhere. I was still on board with Capel through December and thought he was clearly superior to Narduzzi. I have lost all faith in the men’s bball program and its leadership.

    This end of the season has been an absolute disaster. Grand theft auto and a mutiny on the ship. The volume of transfers is screaming to any potential recruit “DON’T COME HERE!” I wonder if Pitt will have 5 scholarship players next year at this rate. This is almost comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. Is it possible that after 3 years, Capel has the program in a bigger dumpster fire than Rockports? Next year will be land of misfit transfers to fill a roster.

    Unless Gabe Kaplan comes to Pittsburgh for $60 per win like he did in the 1979 film Fastbreak, this team may never win again. Where is Bernard King (Hustler) when you need him?

    Like

    1. Pitt needs a comedian as HC. It’s a campus comedy of bunglers. It would make a funny sitcom.
      All we need is Dean Wormer for Chancellor.

      Like

      1. Someone should write a book, “Pitt Sports. A Tragic Comedy.” (“One Brick Shy of a Load” was already used)

        If it’s ever made into a movie, Mel Brooks could direct it. John Belushi would have been a perfect guy to play Cyanide Steve….

        Like

  24. There is a crisis of leadership in the athletic department. The AD is too focused on picking out uniform colors and not focused enough on the stuff that really matters.

    Like

  25. The problem with the portal is that he has to sell his soul to get the players. This is where the back room deals are made about playing time and positions. Capel needs to say NO DEAL. You come here, there is opportunity to play. You must earn it. You must play by my rules. Any other conversation leads to what we have seen over 2 years.

    Jeffress, Odukale and Hugley should stay. Capels speech to them is…if you stay, you will grow personally and in your respective games. This hardship and what you are experiencing is just an opportunity for each of you, wrapped up like difficulty. I am 50/50 on Champ and think he stays, why? He has a built-in excuse in the land of excuse makers. If Champ flourishes, good things happen for him and he might get drafted. If he doesn’t get drafted, he has the excuse of playing on a team of newbies from lower teams and who could be successful with that. I don’t think he makes it in the league because of his lack of quickness, lack of strength, average springs and his tweener measurables. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very nice player, but a complimentary player, not a star.

    I am totally disappointed with the AD keeping out Hugley before he experienced due process, yet the uniform states equality. Nothing equitable about how that was handled. If guilty of a felony, he needs to go, agreed. If it is a misdemeanor, he should stay. Regardless, the AD ruled him guilty and did not have the nerve to stand up and support the Hugley with the chancellor or HC. Hypocritical. No Leaders.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. No. 14 Pitt showed off its potent offense in recording 18 hits and a combined seven runs in the seventh and eighth inning to pull away from Bucknell 17-9 in a midweek contest at Pitt’s home Charles L. Cost Field.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Did AKC throw out the first pitch before getting on a Greyhound bus for points unknown.

      Like

  27. For your enjoyment…..there are two (2) Xavier Johnson’s in the Portal.

    Maybe Capel can try the other one out for next year !

    Like

  28. Pitt volleyball took the Hoopies to the woodshed tonight and crushed them 3-0. Set scores were 25-8, 25-12 and 25-15. Of course when the score was 13-9, an appropriate tweet was sent sent out reminding us of 2007. Fun. H2P!

    Liked by 9 people

  29. Also Pitt senior vb player Chinaza Ndee was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2020-21 Senior CLASS Award. She needs all our votes. Check out the Pitt website for the link. She is an outstanding person, scholarship and athlete!!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Also, if you take a minute to read Chinaza’s bio on Pitt’s website, I suspect you will find yourself voting for her multiple times!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks to Mark for the article.

    I like Coach Capel and thought he was a grand-slam hire. I mean the combo of him having been a head coach and then being at Coach K’s side for all those years, what’s not to like.

    Course it’s one thing to know how something should be done. It’s a whole different set of skills to be able to get players to actually execute it.

    I still think Coach C’s biggest failure was whiffing on all those big-time centers he went after. Had he landed one, I think the entire scenario is different. A decent center makes everybody else better – and we did have good enough talent other than center…

    Sometimes I wonder if Coach C. will ever feel at home in the ‘Burgh. I remember him being at a Pitt golf outing and he spent the time after the round sitting at a table talking to Dick Groat. I understand him being respectful of Groat, but I wanted to see Coach C. circulating and shaking hands among the Pitt fans and alums. Maybe he did that after I left, but I was disappointed…

    I’m still rooting for Coach Capel, but he sure needs to work some portal magic.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. This makes no sense at all, where else is Coulibaly going to be a starter? He would have been one of the team leaders this year. I could understand X’s frustration with him with him taking much of the blame for the team’s failure, but Toney didn’t smell right and now this.

    Champ testing the waters makes all the sense in the world, but something is really wrong in Oakland.

    Talk about pick-up basketball, how can it be anything else next year?

    Where has Hugley been playing to keep in shape and to mature his game? Seems less likely we ever see him in a Pitt uni.

    Narduzzi has been just the opposite with players opting for the extra year and few opting for the portal so far. Even the marginal guys who may have a better chance elsewhere are staying.

    Sounds to me at the very least Capel needs to make some wholesale coaching changes. At least it would give the appearance that he is aware that there is a problem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It makes sense when you don’t like the coach and staff. Transfering is tough on any kid. You only do it under extreme circumstance or selfishness.

      Like

      1. Not sure I buy that Tex. The portal makes it easy and these guys are getting lots of positive reinforcement for their large egos. They are getting wined and dined to a great extent. There isn’t much loyalty on either side anymore. Coulibaly wants to play the four and score more, a legit reason for him to leave.

        It makes you wonder how much “tampering” is going on, especially by third parties. Certainly the portal and not sitting out a year makes it seem more likely.

        What are the chances that Sam Young would have stayed at Pitt in today’s environment.

        Like

          1. Which is why I expect kids to transfer, find out the grass isn’t greener and want to transfer again. Only this time the NCAA hopefully denies the waiver for immediate eligibility for the second transfer and the parents cry foul on their child. Let the kid sit a year and he can think for once on his own how there are consequences for decisions in life.

            The system was never broke when someone transferred and sat a year.

            Like

    2. Maybe Capel runs his players hard in practice beginning at 5 am while Narduzzi serves pizza and beer to his guys at noon and play video games.

      Like

  32. OK, my comment went through so here are my additional thoughts regarding Capel (I’ll leave Narduzzi out of it for now):

    First, a question for Coach Dan: I am curious as to whether your speculation on Capel with one foot out the door is supposed to be an inside scoop, or if it’s just your gut about why he has zero recruits at this point? It’s been a tough year in many ways for sure, but Capel doesn’t strike me as a quitter and I cannot see another buyout from Pitt’s perspective at this early juncture, so I wonder how you can speculate about him being essentially gone already.

    My biggest concern with Capel at this point is actually his staff, and whether or not he needs to make some tough decisions or is being pressured to do so. I do not believe that a HC has to have all the attributes himself to be successful, he just needs to surround himself with others that fill the void in his area(s) of weaknesses, and I’m not sure he has the right makeup behind him right now.

    Also, though I think Capel is directly responsible for the team’s current personnel issues, I really don’t believe at all that he’s solely responsible, I think that’s a myopic view. The current environment in college basketball, including the transfer rules plus the additional year granted by the NCAA have created the perfect storm to where transferring is only building momentum because we have so many kids these days that are individualistic and self centered; rather than grinding it out and contributing to a team (whatever that means in a specific situation), a kid is inclined (and encouraged) to bail. A do-over. Take Coulibaly for example, a kid who I think everybody likes but has reportedly struggled with chemistry due to the language barrier and moreover did not like his role on the team; rather than accept his role as an eventual backup Center, he wants to play the 4 and he’s certainly not going to do that in the ACC, so why not go somewhere you can prove everybody wrong. I understand his thinking, but if you go back just a couple of years, him transferring at this juncture wouldn’t likely have even been a serious thought. This is now becoming an epidemic- ‘hey, things aren’t going my way and my mom and dad said it’s not my fault, I’m leaving’. My question is whether the NCAA addresses this disaster, or if its just seen as a peak situation this year due to the extra year and will settle down hereafter.

    And finally, regarding the team makeup, I’m going to reserve judgment until I see who Capel brings in. We basically lost 2 starters, one of which was a high quality player, and depth at the Center position. I still think our priorities should be: #1 = quality big, #2 = wing that can shoot, and #3 = a guard. Naturally, the big will be toughest because they don’t grow on trees.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is a rumor among the 3 scouts I know and several AAU coach acquaintances. I don’t post gut feelings. Perhaps he’s putting out feelers. I hope he stays…..leaving would be more of a disaster for Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wow… And I agree, it would be bad for the Pitt brand if he left right now. It’s hard to correlate a coach that first and foremost preaches toughness and resilience, with bailing on a program he was trying to build after just 3 years. I guess I’m inclined to disregard the rumor based on the fact that I believe JC is a high character guy, but then again his few pressers have been particularly downtrodden even considering the happenings, so who knows.

        Thanks for sharing.

        Like

        1. Agreed. He just ripped some players for leaving and commended those who decided to stay.

          He would be a hypocrite. He would lose millions. He would become untouchable.

          Is it that bad at Pitt. Heather that bad a boss?
          The situation so bleak at Pitt?
          Convinced he can never win here?
          Can’t cheat?

          I just find it highly unusual and suspect.

          Like

        2. This also could be a rumor from opposing coaches for recruiting purposes.

          It’s not like Pitt doesn’t already have recruiting problems. All this would be less concerning if Capel had not let X and Toney walk with 4 games to go. THAT gives pause for any recruit. He could have found ANY way to hide this for 4 frick n games. Covid anyone?

          Like

  33. This mornings article in the Trib about Karim mentions that there are now over 800 men’s basketball players in the portal and that the NCAA states that 40% of all men’s basketball players leave their team by the end of their sophomore year.

    Last evening I posted a comment that included a link to an article on the UNC basketball team experiencing players entering the portal. For some reason, my post disappeared within minutes after it was up. But the article told the UNC fans not to panic. This is happening everywhere. It concluded with the line that UNC will field a basketball team next season but they may not know until August who is on that team. Of course our issues are the UNC issues on steroids but still relevant.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Maybe he was going to sell them to pay off HC Capel’s buyout?

    “The former director of emergency management at the University of Pittsburgh was indicted Tuesday in federal court on charges that he stole thousands of masks from campus at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic and sold them on his eBay page.

    Christopher Casamento, 42, of Ross had access to N95 respirator masks and surgical face masks that were designated for use by Pitt employees and students, according to the indictment.

    The indictment said Casamento stole 13,615 of the masks from Feb. 28 to March 22, 2020, and sold them on his eBay page called “steel-city-motor-toys.”

    https://triblive.com/local/former-pitt-employee-charged-with-stealing-over-13000-masks-at-start-of-pandemic/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He made $19,000 for God’s sake. You do THIS and cost yourself the job and eternal black eye for only $19,000?

      As always, another PR nightmare for Pitt!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Someone mentioned exit interviews. I think that’s key to understanding the exodus. Are there common themes. Pitt better be doing this and asking open ended questions. Like what do you think, describe…, how would you…

    From the practices to the coaching environment to promises made to career aspirations. Etc

    There is some disconnect. Some obvious failure. There will be some commonalities.

    Key is then what to do about it. Is it fixable?

    Like

  36. Exit interviews can be pretty powerful.

    Just before Chryst left Pitt (12/12/14) he had an exit interview with the Chancellor and three days later SP was fired.

    Like

  37. Now Wahab is in the portal from Georgetown, despite averaging 28 minutes, 8 rebounds and 13 points as their starting (sophomore) Center. I do believe exit interviews have merit for Pitt’s situation and everybody else, but right now there’s a much bigger problem, and that’s the mess the NCAA has created which is ruining the sport.

    Like

  38. X-man is listed by 247 sports as the 4th best player in the Portal.

    So some like him in that world.

    Like

  39. And another former Pitt PG is listed high too. Marcus Carr.

    Pitt is Number 1 finally in something. With most number of former players in the Portal !

    Like

  40. Pitt really can be elite in both basketball and football. Pitt just doesn’t want it bad enough.

    I seriously don’t want elite. I just want top 25 in both sports. Is that too much to ask?

    Like

  41. The Pitt guy Zeise uses on his radio show, said last night: he doubts you’ll ever see Hugley in a Pitt
    uniform again.

    So right now, Max Amadasun who played 12 minutes would be your Center next year.

    Averaged 6.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, while shooting 57.0 percent from the field for the New York Lightning on the 2019 Nike EYBL circu

    Like

  42. Assuming Champ leaves and Hugley doesn’t return, are we down to 5 players? So eight open spots.

    Unlikely but certainly possible that, except for Champ, we could actually bring in upgrades to each of the players who have left. They just weren’t that good or were tweeners…

    A center with some hops and two post moves would do wonders for the guys left and whoever else is added…

    That’s assuming some players will be added…🤔

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. Or bring in upgrades to the ones that are left. I think that would be the preferential way to go.
      Cause like Max needs more seasoning…..on the pines.

      Again assuming some players will be added !

      Like

  43. Qudos Wahab(6’11) of Georgetown 13 ppg & 8 rpg has entered The Portal.

    I believe this was one of the big gets who had us on his Final 5 list.

    Work those phones, plenty of playing time available. Your choice of uniform number.

    Like

  44. This was posted on the Lair. School and number of their players in the portal right now…

    George Washington (8)
    Penn State (8)
    George Mason (7)
    Indiana State (7)
    South Florida (7)
    Valparaiso (7)
    Cincinnati (6)
    Wake Forest (6)
    Indiana (5)
    Nebraska (5)
    Ole Miss (5)
    Pittsburgh (5)
    St. Bonaventure (5)
    Auburn (4)
    Boston College (4)
    Georgia (4)
    Hawaii (4)
    Kansas State (4)
    Murray State (4)
    St. John’s (4)
    Texas (4)
    Texas A&M (4)
    Utah (4)
    Vanderbilt (4)
    Xavier (4)
    Iowa State (3)
    Minnesota (3)
    TCU (3)
    UNLV (3)
    Washington State (3)

    Like

    1. A lot of these bail outs are due to Coaches being fired and resulting mass bail outs.

      Such is the case with State Penn, George Mason, Indiana State, Indiana, BC, etc.

      Wake Forest has a 1st year coach, with resulting bailout of former danny manning recruits
      after 1st year.

      South Florida has some former Antigua recruits bailing and some other stuff going on with
      of all people asst coach Tim Herrion, formerly Dixon’s #1 asst.

      Valparaiso had their first losing season in 10 years and worst season (10-18) for a long time.
      Only 4 losing seasons since 1992.

      Cincy had their worst season in 10 years with 2nd year coach John Brannen

      I think Nebraska goes thru this, nearly every year, which is why they are the doormat of the B1G.

      Ole Miss’s HC is 61 years old….maybe he doesn’t like rap. lol

      Like

    2. One interesting thing about this list:
      Except for Wa. State, there are no west coast teams. I have no idea what that means.

      Like

  45. Wow, just since yesterday….40 more players have entered The Portal.

    Hey if you’re good on the phones, you could score a whole team. But you gotta be able to close.

    Like

  46. Let’s face it, this is a strange year for many reasons. Just giving all the NCAA players an extra year of eligibility will cause some real roster and playing time problems for many players (example: Pickett gets an extra yr which forces all roster QBs to sit another year or transfer). Instead of 25% of all players leaving, many college rosters will be keeping kids longer. Then they open up the transfer portal to let about anyone go where ever they want to. Just throw out the one year sitting out before playing rule.

    Then look at the high school recruiting process where everything is virtual and players cannot get official visits on campus (the schools with the best IT and video depts could possibly recruit the best). Some coaches my do well over Zoom while others may not come across too well.

    And then consider the COVID issue generally, where players lived together in a bubble for months on end and can’t see their families. So the friction among players is magnified. I actually heard an unsubstantiated rumor that one Pitt BB player was hitting on another’s girlfriend, so the dislike among players could have been unfixable. How to players then expect to play well together, and how could Capel be expected to fix this?

    I think we should all cut Capel some slack and just write this year off as an unmitigated disaster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See my post above. Most of the high numbered teams with transfers are from schools that fired their coach.

      Not coaches going into their 4th year, with players that they recruited.

      Players always have hit on some other teammates GF’s. Come on man.

      Like

  47. There are certainly an abundance of players to recruit from the portal. We know Pitt isn’t going to fire Capel so I hope he is up to the task. He needs a good mix of FR and experienced transfers.

    Like

    1. Recruiting a rebuild the second time around by Capel will be much more difficult than it was the first time IMO.—-The good news is that it only takes a couple of good quality players to make Pitt competitive once again. However getting those quality players to join this program over the competition may be asking too much at this point.—-The other key question now is how likely will it be for Capel to get Champ to stay at Pitt even if he decides to forgo his NBA chances.

      Like

      1. To improve his chances of keeping Champ I say he needs to grab some quality transfers soon to assure Champ they won’t blow next year.

        Like

          1. Does Tex get stuck having to feed them all ? Wives are usually like that. Hopefully she feeds
            you at least.

            Like

            1. She does feed them and change their litter. Otherwise I’d dump them in the field behind my house and present the coyotes with a nice snack.

              Like

  48. Strangeness in the Portal.

    The two George schools have between them 15 in the Portal. (bad year for George name)
    Even George-town stunk until their unexpected run in the BigEast Tourny,

    George Washington has 8, as 4 of them left the program in December and 4 after the season.
    That coach also wished them all well ! ( i mean what can one do)

    George Mason has 7. Mason is easy… the Coach got fired, like so many of these high transfer
    incidences are due to.

    Dave Paulsen (George Mason) (**UPDATE 3/16: Paulsen has been fired after six seasons)
    George Mason is no longer the perennial postseason squad and NCAA Cinderella it was just a decade ago. Ever since Jim Larrañaga left, the Patriots have become an also-ran struggling to regain relevance in a competitive A-10. Paulsen came on in 2015 and has done nothing to move the needle. The highlight was the 2017 squad that won 20 games and went to CBI, but this is a program that went to five NCAAs and three NITs from 1997-2011. His fifth-year team was his worst yet, finishing near the bottom of the A-10 at 5-13 (17-15 overall), bringing Paulsen to a 82-82 overall at GMU (39-51 in conference).

    Kansas State and Iowa State & Minnesota(Pitino Jr) also fired their coaches.

    Coach K disciple….Wojo is out at Marquette with 3 years left on his contract.

    Like

  49. If Capel could land Wahab(who would have 3 yrs of eligibility) and a couple other avg players from the Portal and maybe recruit 2 normal High Schoolers you could dig yourself out of this.

    The way you have to look at it, with change comes Opportunity. And sometimes with hardship too comes
    Opportunity.

    Some of us have been there and done that, it CAN BE DONE !

    So this is not beyond Repair, you just gotta act…. and act with vim and vigor.

    Like

  50. This comment is regarding the original topic of Pitt Coaches and the dissatisfaction of many fans.

    Let me begin by saying it is wonderful that we have freedom of expression in America. Now, I’m not saying that just because something is said is accurate, just a fulfillment of a right.

    So, on that note, hold onto your chairs:

    There is no way on Earth that Pat Narduzzi is being replaced at Pitt short of his notice that he has been made the proud recipient of an $8 Mil/year contract elsewhere. We know that PN, like him or not, has run a clean program and not allowed players to get away with violations of university policies or the law. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he has demonstrated a commitment to the university with his $600 K donation.

    To be clear, the administration of Pitt and the AD, BOT, etc. are quite happy with Pat Narduzzi and how he has run the program. Sure they might like some things to be a bit flashier and spark a lot of pro-Pitt talk locally but what they see is a gradual rebuilding of a solid foundation for the football program minus bad press for conduct.

    At best you might be better hoping to see a stronger offense such as what Matt Canada managed at Pitt. Well, look at the newest assistant coach and you see someone quite different from whom Pitt has hired previously. This could be a future glimpse of what could be innovation on offense.

    Next, when nearly 40% of all basketball players now are enticed by the Transfer Portal, what is the great concern about Pitt’s sudden number of transfers. Look at State College! Look at other programs too.

    Pitt made a commitment with a hearty recommendation by Coach K who is highly respected in his handling of a sports program. Do you not realize that Gallagher, Lyke, and the BOT are believers in his ability to built the program from the dumpster fire it was?

    Jamie Dixon had Pitt on a great ride by tapping the NYC-NY-NJ-Philly areas for players since the local area has not been a rich hotbed of basketball talent. JD hated the move from the BE to the ACC because not that many kids were thrilled about playing in the ACC except for Duke or North Carolina. He knew it and it showed in the years that he coached while in the ACC. Then Pitt had the inexplicable misfortune of Scott Barnes and Stallings who decimated the program. To say that Pitt was anything but TERRIBLE under their leadership is understating the case.

    PN and JC are going nowhere as long as their contracts run. Pitt is not buying out more athletic salaries. Pitt is finally taking a long term look at improving collegiate athletics unlike any prior administration has done. But, don’t fool yourselves. There is no cash heavy Golden Panthers or billionaires ready to underwrite Pitt athletics. If you push too hard, you may see all of it come tumbling down because the folks running the train have other images in mind for Pitt before they build on campus stadiums, buy out contracts, and jeopardize the academic plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s wonderful we have someone on this blog who speaks with such authority and inside knowledge! Glad you can so clearly see the future!

      Any idea who’s going to win the Derby in 5 weeks?

      Like

    2. Do you not realize that Gallagher, Lyke, and the BOT are believers in his ability to built the program from the dumpster fire it was? Yes and …….

      So you’re saying these folks are beyond reproach ?

      Just exercising by free speech right.

      I’m sure glad you’re ok with that ace.

      And they did ‘buy out’ Stallings contract, when they realized what a disaster that was…did they not?

      Like

    1. Boogie is a PG too ! From Harlem. Same HS as Lou Albano. Capt Lou ! lol

      And Alan ‘Hawkeye’ Alda & Jon ‘Midnite Cowboy’ Voight.

      Like

  51. Wow…Captain Lou Albano!
    Half of The Sicilians with Tony Altimore.
    My favorite tag team wrestlers.
    Haha.

    Like

  52. A few years back everyone was using the term “a new paradigm” when it really didn’t apply.
    Well we certainly have one here.

    While it is disappointing that heading into his fourth campaign, Capel is pretty much starting over, especially if we assume Champ and Hugley are gone, all is not lost. With the portal and with the exception of Champ, everyone could be replaced with someone better, at least a better fit.

    Will Capel get it done, based on his track record he will get some good guys but probably not enough to have a complete team, with near misses on the ones he really wants.

    Question for the more knowledgeable I assume the portal is season to season and we won’t see teams poaching a guy in mid season. Is that the case? If so, what is the deadline for entering the portal before the next season?

    However, all bets are off if the rumor that Capel is leaving is true, then we have a bonafide dumpster fire.
    I don’t believe the rumors for two reasons. It would be the definition of unethical, and if he were leaving it would have happened already. First I think Capel is a man of high integrity, and second unless he is going to the pros it would be a career crusher.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Capel needs to land a legitimate C that can step in this Fall and start. In the portal is a former Pitt recruit named Qudus Wahab from Georgetown – out of HS it seemed Capel had this guy in hand and then Patrick Ewing somehow snatched him from Pitt.

    Maybe the second time around, Capel will be successful with QW. If that happens and Champ decides to return for another season, we fill the starting five with Femi at PG, Nike or Horton at SG, Jeffress or Collier at SF, Champ at PF and Qudus at C.

    That one addition at C and Champ returning shines a small ray of light on a very dark situation called Pitt basketball. Plus there are 5 other open scholarships to fill with role players and future projects.

    Don’t forget Capel is a HUGE Steeler fan – JC could hit the reset button and build a team around Champ – who knows, maybe Capel told each of the 5 players who left to “hit the portal and don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out”. Each on of the five for their own unique reasons –

    X-man – too selfish and emotional
    Toney – could not co-exist with Champ
    Drumgoole – needed a new start (could not hit the broad side of The Pete)
    Brown – too soft except for his hands (resembles a Pitt FB TE)
    AKC – wanted to play the position HE wanted to play and not what his coach wanted him to play

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Excellent Rick, the thought hasn’t crossed many minds though. How can this not be Heather’s or Capel’s fault? Actually I had heard of this mutiny from last year. Oh, and the NEW Transfer Portal has nothing to do with all this?

      Shout out to Rachel and hope all is great.

      IEK << fake screen name.

      Like

      1. Hey Mark, great job buddy also great job for a rocker, how are the eyes?

        ike….. who is off to Hillman. I have some good days too many bad days. Listen, it won’t mean a thing in one hundred years

        Like

        1. Thanks ike, eyes are doing great. Better than expected. I haven’t had to use cheaters at all in the last five days! Hang in there buddy. Better days ahead.

          Like

    2. Pitt may be the career crusher for head coaches and AD’s.

      Although i believe the portal gives hope, we have to understand that every player is in there for a reason. They all come with some type of baggage…or leave with baggage. Most are known quantities in the space so coaches have an idea of what they are getting. Really funny to me that when these kids hit the portal they list like 25 schools that are initially interested and at the end of the day, after due diligence is complete, about 2 or 3 really give a crap.

      I am not thinking that Capel stays because he is a steeler fan. With the money they make, they can be steeler fans from anywhere USA. Now, if you want to say that maybe he doesn’t want to move his family around to a different school district, etc., that becomes more reasonable.

      Like

  54. Playing on a pretty ugly basketball court…not a fan of lime green unless its guacamole.

    Like

  55. 3/25/2021 – Pittsburgh 2017 PF Terrell Brown (6-10, 235, 2.7★) will be transferring to San Diego.

    Brownie is going about as far away from Pittsburgh you can get…sans Hawaii.

    The Toreros play in the same conf. as Gonzaga & Pepperdine & BYU.

    Like

  56. There’s a bond we develop with certain players and that makes the fan experience even more enjoyable.
    With players jumping ship that bond ain’t gonna happen and the fan experience will suffer.
    In other words, less attendance, less viewers, less…everything.
    Being a nomad might be good for players, but it is horrible for everyone else.

    Like

  57. Hard to believe they went on with the NiT. Appropriately known as the Not Important Important.

    Come on gents that the run the NiT…..we’re still in a pandemic. Maybe it’s short for NiTwit

    Like

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