How Did He Get Here?

To follow on to the last conversation – here is a questioning look at Pitt basketball today.

Athletic Director Heather Lyke put Pitt in the Capel Trap; Capel gets the boot first, maybe mid-2021-22 season

Einstein once said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. All though Einstein didn’t know it at the time, he was describing Pitt’s approach to achieving championship sports programs, and, In particular, Pitt’s head basketball coach, Jeff Capel

Capel’s hire demonstrated Pitt’s commitment to diversity. As a fan, I was glad to see Pitt entrusting its men’s hoops program to a black coach.  But I do have to wonder if Lyke made the best possible hire in 2018. There are a number of talented, young black coaches who are producing winning records and making the NCAA Tournament who don’t have the self-inflicted traps Capel seems to put himself in, especially is she is looking around for a replacement..

Capel at VCU

2003-04    *NCAA23-8.742
2004-05   *NIT19-13.594

In 2018 Capel already had established a record as a head basketball coach at VCU and Oklahoma. Pitt is his third head coaching gig. Capel’s winning percentage has decreased from a high of .833 at Oklahoma followed by five losing seasons..

Capel at Oklahoma

2007-08    *NCAA23-12.657
2008-09    *NCAA30-6.833
20010-1114 18.437         
NCAA appearances2007-082008-09

Capel was 23-12 in 2007-08 and made it to the NCAA 2nd round.  Capel peaked at Oklahoma in 2008-09 with a 30-6 record and an Elite Eight appearance with superstar Blake Griffin dong the heavy lifting.

In 2008-09 Capel slipped to 13-18 despite having Scout and Rivals’ recruiting rankings of #7. Losing at Oklahoma cost Capel, but the way he lost hurt more. In 2009-10 his record beginning in January was 5-13. In 2010-11 his record January through the end of the season was 7-13. He signed high rated recruits but three McDonald’s All-American departed after the 2010-11 season. Capel ended that season facing a deep hole with no highly rated recruits  A total of five players left his program.

By going to Duke as head assistant coach and interim head coach, Capel threw some shade on his  record. He was reborn, at least in the eyes of Lyke, as the highly competent, well-respected Duke assistant head coach, a cache that persuaded her to hire Capel and do a victory lap..

Here are some questions any AD worth their pay would ask before signing off on his hire:

Did Lyke talk to anyone associated with Capel at Oklahoma? Was Heather Lyke aware of Capel’s Oklahoma experience that ended with long losing streaks and players leaving the program?  Which factors at VCU contributed to his success and what was the possibility of creating those at Pitt?

Why can’t Capel build camaraderie and buy-in from players? What is it about playing for Capel that results in teams just giving up with long January – March losing streaks?

So  why do Pitt fans believe everything will be better next season? 

155 thoughts on “How Did He Get Here?

  1. Pitt was devoted to diversity when they hired heather. PC picks typically don’t work because something is severely lacking. Like leadership and experience. Hire always the best person for the job. Period. Best to me is track record of success and fit. I like Capel but he like heather are well in over their heads.


    1. Maybe it was more like Pitt paying ‘their dues’ to the ACC. Or at least they thought so. Duke
      and Coach K being one of the ‘pillars’ of the ACC. Pitt’s first football win in the ACC was at Duke,
      in Tom Savage’s best ever performance, 58-55.

      You know, hiring one of ‘them’ to run one of your 2 big time sports. Since Pitt was a newbie in the league relatively speaking when Capel was hired.


    2. What did PITT train Capel to do? Show his lack of discipline. Poor judgement in player choice.


      1. Pitt is a proving ground for coaches. Pitt supplies them with the facilities. Pitt pays them actually well for a change. And these coaches gain experience recruiting and coaching. Then they move on. They are mercenaries. Pitt just gives them the guns. Most of whom Pitt employs are really poor marksmen.


  2. No transfers over the last seven years have been drafted. Degrees and relationships are for life. Watch what you wish for.

    Tom Izzo

    Just now on espn radio


    1. If Heather would have done her due diligence she would have known, there was no way Hurley was coming to Pitt & Pittsburgh.

      To East Coasters, Pittsburgh is ‘backwater’.

      All Heather did was make Pitt look foolish, offering a east coast guy who was never going to take the
      job. He did play it, into a bargaining chip with Uconn though. Hope he sends her a birthday card.


      1. That reminds me of when my older brother moved to NYC in 1970 and after a few months I asked him when he was moving back to PGH and he said “Never – Pittsburgh is like ‘the country’ compared to bigger cities.”

        In 1970 that was pretty much true.


        1. The decades have passed, but to most on the East Coast, the mentality remains the same.

          While we know different, the stereotypes of Pittsburgh remain. Pitt was somewhat looked down
          upon by the East Coast basketball colleges in the BigEast.


        2. Once you’ve lived and done business in real cities, Pittsburgh is like a big town. Nothing wrong with a big town. But Pittsburgh is just a slice of NYC. A nice slice but seven slices short of a full pizza pie.


          1. NYC is a shell of it’s former self. Really a shame what has happened to it. Who knows how long it will take to recover…..or if ever. So many ppl are leaving. What with all the restaurant and bar closures and
            the soaring crime rate.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. This is almost a wash, rinse, spin, repeat of Oklahoma player bailouts and resulting below .500 records and vastly below .500 conference records, at the end of Capel’s time there.

    Minus the trip to the Elite 8.

    All Pitt gets…….is the lint in the lint trap to clean up.


  4. You guys act like cream of the crop coaches want to come here. Who was Howland when he came here?

    Capel was hired because he had a pretty strong rep as a recruiter and had been a head coach.

    He was Coach K’s right hand for a long time.

    Most thought he was going to be pretty good.

    Enough with the revisionist history, hindsight is 20/20

    Liked by 4 people

  5. If I remember correctly most were against Jamie getting the job and complained that his players shouldn’t be taken into consideration when they lobbied for him.


  6. Reed. 3 of the last 4 Heisman winners were transfers In basketball, Cam Johnson transferred from Pitt to UNC and was drafted in 1st round Ebb

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey wwb….was just thinking of you yesterday and was going to put out an APB.

      One should never disappear to long in a pandemic. Things appear to be getting better.


      1. Same here. The Texas rangers always find their man. Unlike those Canuck Mounties. You should tweet izzo and remind him that the only transfer in 7 years that made it was a pitt transfer. That’s actually sad.


        1. They probably deleted Johnson’s history of playing at Pitt. In history now, he was always just a Heel.


    2. Well izzo forgot that one. Point being. It’s very rare.

      And izzo makes an excellent point about staying grounded. Getting a degree. Developing relationships. Having one school to call alma mater instead of five.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Izzy is scum. Many have forgot, but I haven’t, about the allegations by women of his players raping them. Glad one of his ex-players, who was a GLeague assistant, was pulled to sideline in pregame warmups and told he was fired due to allegations against him.

        I used to think the world of Izzo. Now he is just another old hoops coach who I can’t wait to be finished.


        1. He might be scum. But he speaks the truth. And I’m 100 percent in agreement that criminality has to be punished. Izzo should not be coach. But again his insight is gold. I’m a chaotic neutral in D&D. With evil tendencies however. I don’t play by the rules and good versus evil is more complicated and nuanced than most believe.

          Heather will fire him in 2023.


  7. All sounds pretty familiar.

    February 19, 2020 at 7:33 am

    History continuing to show that Capel does not win UNLESS he has the best players.

    Funny thing that history.


    February 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    In his two years as Head Coach at VCU, Capel did good.

    The interesting thing is that BOTH Coaches who followed him did BETTER!


    February 19, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Bottom line… Capel is as good as the Players he RECRUITS.

    Nothing less. And for CERTAIN nothing more.


    February 19, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    Personally, I would expect to see a little more improvement in two seasons. To me, it has not looked like Capel has done anything SPECIAL in terms of coaching.

    Making lemonade out of lemons does NOT seem to be his specialty.


    1. Very good PoD….now pat yourself on the back ! lol

      I can pull up past posts as well.


  8. Especially us older Alums….we can all look back on decisions and hires we made, jobs we took and question why? at .this present date, but we made those hires . But, we did it with what we knew and what the situation was at the time. Like many of you, post Stallings, I thought we’d be lucky to get a MAC asst coach. I was thrilled that we got Capel and was very impressed with Heather for doing so!

    We all are however, victims of our own limitations. Capel’s were obvious to anyone doing their homework but at the time ……we were so happy too get him, we were willing to overlook his past deficiencies hoping that 7 years with Coach K had shown him the way.

    Tex,I love Oats but no way he was coming to Pitt.

    We have no choice now (unless Capel abandons Pitt) but to hope Capel finds a way through this horrible mess with Covid and the transfer portal. If he continues to give us no advantage on game day, he better recruit his ass off! Starting now!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey you’re right dan72. Plus all of us were so happy to get rid of the disaster known as Rockports
      and some other choice names.

      Oats was looking to get out of the Northern winters and after Buffalo who could blame him.
      So he I believe said he wasn’t interested in Pitt(sburgh).

      Capel might still work and pull a rabbit out of a hat….but his track record might suggest, the rabbits
      won’t stay long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Buffalo weather sucks more than Pittsburgh. He went to the jungle and tornados. Bama has the worst climate. Speaking from experience of traveling to Tuscaloosa for several years visiting the sister in law.


        1. He probably bought a place on the Gulf of Mexico, in Florida’s panhandle. Destin would be the place.
          The Mountains are also relatively close if he’s more into that scene.

          That’s what I would have done. If I took the Ala job.


          1. Destin is nice. And yes he’s at the foothills of the southern appalachians. And the women in bama are very nice. If he’s in to women who charm with their looks and accent. I would be if not married to a Hoopie.


    2. He had his eyes set on bigger things. Oats I think would have been stop gap. A good one I might add. But yes, he didn’t want to walk into the pitt dumpster fire without some guaranteed money and a $5 million dollar contract.


  9. Ever wonder where Gonzaga got it’s name from ? I did. And this is really interesting, considering
    what we’ve been going thru for over a year now. Check this out.

    Aloysius de Gonzaga (Italian: Luigi Gonzaga;[1] 9 March 1568 – 21 June 1591) was an Italian aristocrat who became a member of the Society of Jesus. While still a student at the Roman College, he died as a result of caring for the victims of a serious EPIDEMIC. He was beatified in 1605 and canonized in 1726.

    Had i know this before the season started, would have wagered a few coins.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Even though I was a History major and have studied a lot since Pitt days I had no idea. Although
    Italian history, post Rome was not much of an area of study for me. But this House of Gonzaga was
    a major player for hundreds of years in Italy, France and that whole area. 1400’s to mid
    1700’s. So much so.

    The House of Gonzaga is the inspiration for the play-within-the-play in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In Act 3 scene 2, they act out a play called The Murder of Gonzago (or The Mousetrap).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I took classics Courses at Pitt. Didn’t go beyond ancient history. But that’s some good history there. Meatballs for brains will be the pitt football legacy unfortunately.


        1. Negative. Not my fault that pitt stinks at most sports and is showing little to no progress. And yes. I know more than heather. And that’s not saying much.


  11. Capel can still recruit, and the ultimate test for him will be if he can bring in maybe 4 players this year, and keep a spot or two open for next year. If Capel has a fault it could be that he tried to reach too high in his first recruiting efforts, and struck out with some really good players like Cockburn at Illinois. He seems to like the strategy of reclassifying some good young players like Trey and X Man, but this carries some risk that these players would not be sufficiently mature for college life. Now the transfer portal poses some additional challenges to recruit players that aren’t damaged goods.

    Let’s face it.. college basketball is a train wreck and there is no sure thing in selecting a head basketball coach. In this current environment, it would be nearly impossible for Pitt, or most other colleges, to select a new head coach that produces a high probability of winning. Did anyone really expect Coach K or Calipari to not make the NCAA tournament? Did anyone expect Sean Miller to still be coaching?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I expected Sean miller. He’ll squeal like a pig. He’s got the goods on some very prominent people. He ain’t going to jail. Some millionaire and bureaucrat will before him. He has the receipts.


  12. I would have replaced the naming of the article to “How did WE get here”. It’s a 35 year run of administrative misfeasance (the unintentional act of engaging in an activity, failing to perform the duty correctly), and malfeasance, which is similar, but intentional. The former describes our AD and coaches, the latter describes our chancellors, BoT and other high ranking officers at Pitt.

    The portal potty is comprised of crap from other teams (not really crap, just used that for emphasis). Every player in the portal brings issues with them from the originating university.

    Also, the portal issue should put to rest all the chatter about non-stop bag men. I am not saying that there isn’t some exchange for 5 stars, but to say every player got bag men donations is probably over-stated. Who would give all this money for the recipient to leave after just one year in a bag program?? Cross that excuse off the list.


  13. Izzo did state the players will suffer in the end. He made some good points. This change has some bad unintended consequences. And speaking from experience of moving around the country, transfering is a hell of a lot of stress and acclimation for any adult. And these are kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Found this on Dokish, thought it an interesting comment on the transfer epidemic, which hopefully Capel can capitalize on too.

    “Of the four winners Saturday, Arkansas, Baylor, & Houston combine for 18 transfers on their rosters. Oregon State may have the most traditional approach to recruiting. Only one transfer to go along with six JUCO’s.”


  15. I agree with izzo. These liberal transfer rules are not good for the player or the game. But most idiots need to be burned by fire first to know that. Nothing like a good burning.


  16. Pitt baseball with 3 runs in the 7th to tie the freshmen of VT 4-4.

    Trying to salvage one win in the weekend series with the young hokies.


  17. And the hokies score 2 in the top of the 8th to regain the lead.

    Pitt with 2 pitchers, both starters and both lost in the first two games of this series vs a VT freshmen team.

    Still time to heat up the bats. Major Major, coach Bell may need your arm to finish this game today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you EE. For those updates. I think you, me, majors and UPitt are the only ones that have played, coached or care enough. It’s the great American pastime for a reason.


  18. Regression to the mean. Pitt can be a good as the Hokies. It just takes the will or desire. I really don’t think the fire or flame exists at Pitt. Not enough incentives to become excellent. Not enough accountability for excellence either. That’s what happens when you give the reigns to a compliance person. Zero. And that right zero. Fortune 500 companies are run by compliance people. Marketing and finance dominate. For very good reason.


  19. I’m really sick of the talk about Lyke and Capel being pc hires. It really stinks of believing minorites in general can not do the job.

    Also, one of you, in particular, should look up what humble bragging is. You’ve got that nailed down.

    -Panther who’s fed up in NC.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Has heather been up to the job. Capel even?

      I haven’t mentioned him.

      But heather for sure was 100 percent PC. It’s not debatable if you know the background and history.

      And just call me out by name. It’s not bragging when you are right. I walk the walk and not talk the talk.


    2. Thanks for saying that. Anyone who doesn’t capitalize Proper names doesn’t show respect. It’s Heather, not heather. And we’re supposed to respect you?


  20. Pitt baseball swept by the freshmen lead hokies – lost 3 straight at home this weekend.

    Today was an 8-4 loss – the hokies with 8 freshmen bats in the line-up.

    Pitt was ranked #14

    EE who will switch his attention to watch Michigan HC Howard face off with Fl St’s HC Hamilton. I’ve got the wolverines in my bracket.


  21. Good luck Erie…I have Fla St but I am OUT OF IT.
    And Tex, I care about baseball very much…just don’t post much.
    Actually have 2 Pitt game jerseys from the recent past.


    1. Didn’t know. Wish there were more baseball talk. It probably would be more fun than football. I never played organized football. I bet most commenters never did. I actually prefer to talk about sports I played and coached like soccer, baseball, basketball and hockey.


  22. The Seminoles getting their clock cleaned. Last ACC and BigJoke teams left. BigJoke moves on unless
    a miracle FSU comeback.

    Looking over the boxscore. 19 Fouls called on FSU to only 8 on Michigan. seems a little out of whack.


  23. Haven’t been here for a while. But it’s more of the same. Lyke is incompetent, narduzzi sucks etc. how many times can people say the same thing??

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Check back in 35 years pittman, it will be the same thing. When an administration does not know how to change a culture, don’t expect it to change. Why would you expect the comments to change, including yours?

      It’s tough sometimes to admit that Lyke is incompetent , narduzzi sucks, etc., but I am glad you spoke your mind there……

      Wouldn’t it be great to come on here and have the same thing typed year after year about Pitt winning championships and growing in academic prominence? I for one would love to type that but I can’t because the truth is the truth.

      The great bagman theory was debunked by the transfer porta potty. Nary a booster will drop 100k to an athlete without assurances they stay at x university. The large number of freshman transfers indicates there was NO bagman! When other coaches recruit harder and better, call them cheaters, bagmen, etc. I am not believing that as much.


  24. Found this on Chris Peak. Not a good tournament showing for the ACC.

    “Michigan’s demolition of FSU finishes ACC’s tournament at 4-7. League’s fewest NCAAT wins with more than two bids, fewest overall since 0-2 in 1979.”


    1. Peak is the master of stating the obvious. Not much was expected from the ACC. As only 2 teams in the Top 20, NONE in the Top 10.

      Everything was expected of the Great BigJoke with their 9 schools invited and 4 teams in the Top 4.
      Let him bash them !


  25. I thought everything would be better next season if all the guys stayed and Capel could actually get a commit and a decent transfer. All bets are off the table now.

    Speaking of bets (I never do…) that FSU game was the most fixed sports game I ever watched. The NCAA is doing everything to assure the mighty B1G has a team in the Final 4.

    That being said, FSU is the dumbest BB team I ever saw….

    Fouls though were 22 to 10 and the refs called 2 late against Michigan to make it look better. I even told my brother that would happened. He was amazed I predicted that. It was a very physical game and the refs called only 8 actual fouls for the whole game. Ridiculous…no one on Michigan had more than 2 fouls.


    1. Thanks for verifying what I thought, by just checking out the boxscore stats with 6 minutes to go in the game. No way with two competent teams from two competent leagues, one would have 11 more fouls than the other team That just doesn’t happen unless the game is rigged.

      With 9 schools invited and all the media hyper during the season how great they were, it would have been a Major Black Eye for the BigJoke had ZERO gotten
      to the Elite 8. They weren’t going to let that happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Nice article and food for thought Reed! I thought Capel was a great hire at the time but I think it will take a near miracle to right the ship with him at the helm of the Bball program now.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Duquesne FB completes an undefeated regular Spring season at 4-0 with a win over Bryant 20-10.

    The Dukes ran for 225 yards on the ground to the Bulldogs 235 rushing yards. Graduate transfer running back Garrett Owens (from Erie) ran for 105 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Freshman running back Billy Lucas (also from Erie) added 110 yards and a touchdown of his own on 26 carries.

    EE who believes Narduzzi will follow Capel’s lead and not schedule a city game anytime in the near future.


    1. You need to consider the quality of
      Duquesne’s opponents before you get too excited about them being a superior program.


      1. I don’t think the Duke’s are superior in any way to Pitt in FB nor BB.

        We did barely beat their unranked men’s soccer team with our 5th ranked Pitt players.

        I was just stating that Capel’s choice to not play the City game will probably translate to Pitt FB as well.

        The dukes have a run game though…Pitt does not…


  28. One question that was asked, did Heather dig deep enough into Capel’s past history? Both coaching and personal life. It’s an important question but are we assuming she did not and is it just as safe to assume she did. Capel may not be the right guy for the PITT job and one reason is that he recruits in desperation mode. He should have stuck with a rebuilding a program plan. Obviously the team Capel took over was horrible and he did not work with the players to be more cohesive enough.

    Also, to me, it looked like his team could never catch a break. Sounds like an excuse but from my eyes PITT was closer to the top of the mountain than the bottom like they were a few short years ago.

    Reed, you were way off with the transfer remark but I admit it myself that there were way more in hoops than I realized. Looks like Narduzzi is a real trend setter with all his early transfers? Still compiling info but it’s looking more and more like a winning football team this coming year? 9 or 10 wins, OMG!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It should be 4-0 in the non-con. So go 5-3 or 6-2 in the ACC, yes.

      Would love to see it Ike. Been a long time since 2009 and 10-3.

      But not confident in the Dooz, or Pickett. And most definitely not with Whipple’s 3 yard passing offense.


    2. ike, it is a tough fight, but you have to keep going. I want you around for all your positive comments, plus you tend to think like me. I love people who agree with what I have to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I wanted Cronin when Dixon left. Pitt should have given him $3 million a year but went cheap of course since Gallagher doesn’t have a clue.


    1. Hey I’m good at being a bureaucrat and counting Atoms. Also I didn’t like the O…so I let it die,


  30. Is UCLA the first….First 4 team to make it to the Elite 8 ? Don’t watch tv so they might have discussed it on
    any number of shows.

    I would have to think yes. Kind of ironic, one of the most storied bball programs, maybe the most storied.
    First one to do it. haha


  31. Ike, I too am glad to hear from you and know what a struggle you are facing. Hang tough.
    As I said earlier, I like Heather but I think she had been turned down for even an interview by so many coaches post Stallings that she was thrilled when Capel responded and looked the other way at his 7 year old foibles. I’ve done that a few times myself when hiring because I really liked somebody. 9/10 times it comes back to bite you in the butt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree completely, Dan. Heather and her staff have far more information and background on potential candidates than anyone on a fan blog. I have to believe there are confidential feelers back and forth between schools and candidates that never become public. I don’t know if Hurley was offered the Pitt position and turned it down and I doubt that anyone else here does either. If that is the case and Hurley’s camp intentionally made it public, I think that would be pretty stupid on his part. What future school would want to risk that happening and tainting their eventual hire?

      Pitt needed a hire who would stir the national media and bring immediate buzz to the fans and ticket purchasers. Coach Capel met that objective. To me, the results are incomplete although others have already determined that the hire was a failure. Not surprising.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hurley was the less problem brother. But any tiny amount of due diligence knew to stay away from that clan. He definitely would not have been a good fit. Capel at least fits.


  32. Hey guys, thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement, hope you all realize how far your kind words and thoughts go? Headed to Hillman Center early April for yet another evaluation. Can you believe that? The tumor is large and inoperable and my liver may not be strong enough for surgery anyways? If they take out the whole kidney, I would be down to only1/2 total. 11 years of cancer and I’m still ready to beat it and get back to my old self. Keeping the faith thanks to you all.

    ike ………. Red 5-A or bust.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Ike, Red 5A will be waiting for you. Even if you don’t think you are up to heading into the stadium for the game, we would love to see you and spend time with you there. Fran and I set up the tailgate when the lot opens five hours before kickoff. We start to gradually tear down the tailgate about an hour before kickoff. If you left for home around that time, you could be back in Latrobe for the kick.

      And thank you again for sharing your progress and even setbacks with us here. We care and it provides a much needed dose of perspective on things we quibble about.

      Liked by 5 people

  33. Can’t say it enough…
    I ❤ Iek!

    And the more of you POVerts that I meet convinces me that positive drinking is a time honored tradition of the POV.

    #drinkinginthehamptons with my buddies Snoop and Martha Stewart.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. If you watched Alabama lose to UCLA in overtime yesterday, you saw Bama go 11 of 25 from the free throw line, including 2 of 8 in the closing minutes and overtime. Oats, Capel, it happens to everybody. UCLA shot 27% in the second half and still won. It’s a funny game.


  35. I had Bama but was rooting for UCLA as the decided underdog. Didn’t know little Mickey Cronin was their coach.


  36. I am certain that Ms. Lyke knew everything about Capel before he was hired. Capel was a good hire and still could turn the PITT program around. This was a very tough and unusual year. We’re not the only ones losing players as was mentioned. Covid was also a big issue. I do think Capel needs to change some assistances. Too many ex-head coaches. Brother was hired more for loyalty and to keep an eye on other assistants rather than coaching skills. If he has a 20 win season next year this forum might have one of the few positive threads.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The problem is he is not going to change any assistants. That is a major red flag when a guy doesn’t make any changes after a third consecutive losing season.


      1. And his pattern of post “New Year” losing streaks to end a season is alarming and not new with his time at Pitt.


    2. One obvious visual problem with Capel’s choice with some of his players. There was no discipline or team play on the court. There seemed to be a lack of character among some of the players. I never enjoyed watching a “Capel” PITT coached team. McGowen was the player to have stayed, not Johnson in the first place.


  37. Capel needs a real center who can score. Capel is used to coaching a team with a real center. Has Pitt ever had a center with any offensive game?

    I guess Charles Smith played center, so there’s one. Clancy and Blair could rebound and put-back, but I don’t remember offensive moves.

    Aaron Gray? Steven Adams hardly ever got to touch the ball.

    Have I just forgotten our centers with offensive skills? Help me out here.

    I still think a decent center recruit would do wonders… And that’s what I’ll continue to hope for…

    Go Pitt.


  38. Good Morning Panther Fans,

    First and foremost, I hope you and your family are staying safe! We are thrilled to have football back with our Spring Game on the horizon next month. As more and more individuals are being vaccinated, we cannot wait for the start of football season and a packed house at Heinz Field.

    2021 season ticket packages are now available. Secure your seats today to not miss a second of the action. A few of the notable benefits include:

    •    Best savings versus single game pricing
    •    Renewable seat location from season to season
    •    Priority on all away and postseason ticketed events
    •    Access to tailgate parking lots around Heinz Field
    •    Interest free, three month payment plan available on all purchases

    I can look more into specific seat locations (section, row, seat numbers) for you as we normally hold back the best locations from online. What questions do you have about our upcoming football season?

    Thanks and Hail to Pitt!



  39. Will Heinz be at 100 percent capacity? Pitt fans are known for their excellent social distancing. Pitt ranked lowest in the ACC for attendance as a percentage of capacity back in 2019. Heinz should be very safe for Pitt football games.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Further thoughts on the City of PITTSBURGH. Why does the grass always seems greener somewhere else?
    Yes, PITTSBURGH is a smaller city than NYC, but that’s what makes it special. It has everything NY has, theater, good restaurants, art, museums, symphony, major league sports, some pretty good colleges and universities. It’s also a major business hub. Plus it has special people.

    I only had the privilege to live in the town in the early 60’s while going to PITT. Steeler fan for life! (born and raised in NYC) Except for 3 -1/2 years in Chicago, my whole business career has been based in Metro NYC area. I spent many years walking Park Ave. and riding the elevators of the corp. headquarters buildings.

    My business was all over the Country and in a number of international countries. In my field, didn’t do much business in PITTSBURGH, but when I did always enjoyed it.

    For all of you with close ties with the town, don’t knock it. You’ve experienced somethings not everybody gets to experience. I can go on but you get my point.


    1. You make good points.

      But Pittsburgh would be culture shock to anyone born and raised in nyc or Dallas.

      Pittsburgh does have some very upper crust things like opera and ballet if you’re into that. And some fine restaurants. But it does lack a level of sophistication and cosmopolitanism.

      You go to Dallas these days and you’ll hear at least ten different languages being spoken on the streets. It’s a world city.

      Pittsburgh is a special place for yinzers. It’s got character and charm but it definitely doesn’t look like the rest of the world. That impacts on how things get done in the City…priorities of projects.

      Pittsburgh isn’t growing like other cities. It’s not all that diverse. It’s old. Those are some big drawbacks.

      Like any city, it’s got good and bad. But believe me, Pittsburgh isn’t for everyone. Weather for one stinks. And don’t get me started about those hills, air quality and potholes.

      But to each his own.

      Hurley was never coming to Pittsburgh.


    2. You’d be welcome back to the Burgh anytime OPG.
      The best thing about Pittsburgh is the low (by Comparison) housing costs, because it hasn’t been a boom town.
      It certainly has it’s problems, but not the dirty smoky city its portrayed to be.
      It still has a lot of character unlike the suburban sprawl all over America, where everything looks the same.
      Same stores, same restaurants, same townhouse developments.
      Hoping our family owned restaurants survive the pandemic. Chefs have come from all over the country, because they can’t afford the rent anymore in the big cities.

      Reed will be happy to know that the Omni William Penn just reopened.


        1. Surprised Tex didn’t complain all that sunshine in Texas has him worried about skin cancer. Opera is also a bit less expensive in Pittsburgh. Tex didn’t listen or pay attention to all the European accents when he lived in PITTSBURGH. Now they are mixed with a lot of Asian accents. like the rest of America. While Texas knows barbecue, does anybody in Texas know pierogies? Have they learned how to make a pizza yet in Dallas. Has the Italian food gotten better down there? How about Mideastern food?

          Trust me, PITTSBURGH was not a cultural shock to a New Yorker. It is what a New Yorker thought a home town should be. It is the reason, people go back to visit.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. My New York friends always thought Pittsburgh was a little slice of the City. But none ever wanted to live or work there. Remember I spent eight years in buffalo. Pittsburgh was a nice place to visit for a day or two. After that complete boredom set in.


  41. How about this quote from a football recruit from Missouri City, Texas. He’s referring to being offered by Coach Marion:

    “To be honest with you, Pitt is one of my dream schools, so when I got it, I was really excited,” Banks told Pittsburgh Sports Now.

    “…one of my dream schools…”. Huh?

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice soccer there in Missouri City……

      Singing liberty liberty liberty….how are their sports teams doing? Interesting model and commitment.


  42. Ncaa poll ranking now 12,602,901…dropping like a rock.
    And I have no teams left…haha

    Knock Heather and the Pitt administration but dont knock da Burgh.
    I been to Texas…


      1. Weather is easy to correct, just buy or rent a winter get away in Fla., Caribbean, or anywhere else warm. That way you still have the seasons. You can even claim residency if you stay at least +6 mos in a non income tax State, if you wish.

        My son had talked about how he would love to have his law office in PITTSBURGH. He takes his family on vacations there to watch the Pirates and Steelers. He never went to school there. He just likes the town and the people.

        Only problem I see with the area is taxes.


        1. And aging infrastructure. Poorly designed highways. Can’t get good pho or chilaquiles, bbq or even deep fried greens. Yet I can’t get a good pizza or fish fry in Texas. And can never find a bowling alley that serves yeungling and is smoke filled. If I need pierogies, I’ll call mom. Cabbage rolls I’ll make including domas. No city is perfect. To be honest, it’s just too crusty and white toast for me these days. I’ve gotten spicier as I’ve aged. Always enjoy visiting. I just couldn’t live there again after experiencing and knowing what I know now. Don’t be a hater. Respect. I don’t plan on retiring in Texas. I’m no fool. My in laws are however.


        1. Nothing beat a buffalo summer. Less humid than Pittsburgh. It’s just winter took over half of spring and half of Fall. And summer was a mere three months.


  43. the biggest difference I saw when moving to Texas was the sunshine. I went from 60 days of clear/sunny days in both Pittsburgh and buffalo to 140 days. It most definitely is a shock to your body until you adjust. I literally sometimes prayed for a gray and cloudy day.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Regarding “Which factors at VCU contributed to his success and what was the possibility of creating those at Pitt?”…

    1) VCU accepts partial qualifiers – in fact the A-10 permits this. (Although my undergrad Richmond does not). The ACC does not permit this.


    1. oops – not sure how only point 1 was made.

      Second point is that VCU is not a football school, so basketball is THE front porch and its in a part of the country where basketball is bigger than WPA.

      The prior school President, Eugene Trani, worked very hard to move VCU from commuter school to an urban, nationally recgognized university. Significant financial support from the Commonwealth of Virginia in buying land and building housing and schools.

      Third point is that the prior AD, Dick Sanders was experienced and given a lot fo support by Trani and BOT.

      Fourth a local business person wrote the c heck for their basketball arena – The Siegel Center. It was part of the campus build-out led by Trani and was placed in the center of campus. The prior home, the Richmond Coliseum, was too big and a couple miles away. Moving it created a real vibe.

      They accurately saw themselves as a stepping stone school and targeted their coaching searches like that.


      1. But football is the front porch at Pitt. Yet they play in an off campus stadium way too big for its needs. Can Pitt hire the VCU AD and replace the Pitt BoT with theirs?


  45. Regarding all the comments about Pittsburgh – yinze guys who don’t like Pittsburgh are jagoffs. Where else can you get city chicken, a pahn of chippedchopped ham or an imp and an iron? Dahntahn is redd up real nice anymore now that the stillmills like Jaynell are gone – it don’t look like what the cat drug in anymore. And what about those pretty flahrs at Phipps? It never shars there. Well, gotta go and watch the next episode of Pittsburgh dad.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s no far from the truth. But many Pitt fans are sensitive to seeing or hearing the truth. They’ve been that way for 35 years. Koolaid is a helluva drink.


  46. I love Pittsburgh and miss it when I’m not back for a while. I was raised there and spent 23 years going to HS and College. Worked as a delivery boy from age 15-21 then my first real job til age 23.
    Never in the many city’s I’ve visited have I met nicer people. One comment every date and two wives I brought back for games made…how in the hell do you know where you’re going in this city of hills? Been to every major city in the USA but NOLA. Wouldn’t trade any of them for The Burgh!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same here Dan. WIll also say that folks from Buffalo are also some of the nicest. But Pittsburgh has the better weather – haha.


  47. I just had a conversation with a former VCU associate AD abut the situation at VCU and this person shared a really interesting insight. And this person’s father was a HS coach.

    Agreed with the points I made above and said:

    “I need to add one more thing to what you said. Think about rescue animals. No pet loves you like a rescue because you chose them and they innately know that. The players that VCU was (and is) able to land in many cases don’t get offers anywhere else and they come in knowing that. In that regard, they are grateful to be there and a so much more willing to take direction from a coach and play a role in a system than a kid with boatloads of offers from big schools. Pitt & Capel may have that challenge when recruiting players.

    Thought that was a really interesting perspective on it. They know who they are, made the best of it and have had some success.

    Liked by 3 people

  48. Don’t worry folks Capel will in due course fill out the Pitt BB roster. But will the final roster only be competitive in a conference like the MAC?


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