153 thoughts on “Can They Win One? Pitt Basketball Open Game Thread: UNCW

  1. Hopefully Burton plays and the experience versus WVU helps offensively. Pitt should come nowhere close to 32 turnovers tonight.


  2. Justin Fuente has just been fired at Va Tech

    CAVEAT EMPTOR: Fuente was considered a home run hire for VT. He checked all the boxes having been a very successful HC at Memphis. All the experts had his name listed at or near the top of hires that year. ( go back and look)

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hiring head coaches is a tough, tough job.

      Seems there are less than 20 people out there in a given sport who can do the job consistently well.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We should make a fake search firm to “help” ACC schools find their new head coaches. Any ideas for the name of the firm?
    Dear Hokies, Mike Haywood, Todd Graham, and Paul Hackett come highly recommended and have been perfectly vetted. If you need an AD, Steve Peterson is the bees knees as well.

    Your friends,
    The Firm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If Virginia Tech had waited until Dec. 15 to fire Fuente, his buyout would have been reduced from $10 million to $7.5 million. Instead of cooling their heels for a month, they paid an extra $2.5 million to get rid of him now. Shows how seriously they take this down in Blacksburg.


  4. I kinda feel bad for Billy.

    “Ezeakudo’s shot. No good. Rebound Olafapo! Kick-out to Odukale. Odukale for three!”


    Billy needs some short nicknames for these guys…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The basketball game is on ACCNX if you have the ACC Network on your streaming or television provider. One needs to go into it via the ACCNX links otherwise ESPN will try to sell you ESPN+.

    Is this game one of the ones Pitt was supposed win? Is this one of the three or four even Pitt MBB should win?


  6. Back to Fuente for a moment… This guy didn’t just forget how to coach. And VT seems like a committed program with sufficient budget to win. So what went wrong? And is there a lesson for us Pitt fans that as ike says the grass isn’t always greener?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Saw this on the Lair. An article on Kenny Pickett by Pete Thamel entitled:

    “Kenny Pickett’s reward for staying at Pitt: brushes with Marino, another ACC title shot and plenty of ricotta”

    A good read – unless you don’t like Coach Whip…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. omg….they have the cheerleaders masked again. Game 1 they did not. Coaches are not.
    Everyone is vaxed at Pitt…..so…….what gives.


    1. You can still get covid if you are vaxxed. You probably won’t go to the hospital or die, but I know a few that have been pretty sick. If you are a player it means you don’t play.
      The rule for spectators is that you are supposed to be masked although I saw plenty that were not.
      There are still 500-600 new cases a day in Allegheny Co.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The good news is Pitt wins. The really BAD news is that Pitt Stadium on its worst day was not as sparsely inhabited as the Petersen Events Center tonight.

    Think it just might be time for Pitt to declare every Blackboard game going forward


  10. I saw it on TV…

    Odds to win the National Championship in football:
    Wake Forest. 200-1
    Pitt. 400-1

    Also saw Pitt with an 81% chance to win versus Virginia. (Course that means a 19% chance we won’t win…)

    Go Pitt.


  11. Pat Skerry and Towson come to the Pete Friday. I love Pat as a coach and have been to a few clinics with him. I wanted him to come back to Pitt before we hired Capel. I’m know Heather spoke with him. Pitt is in for a war!


  12. Dan, what is your assessment of Pitt’s most significant weaknesses at this point? They have players who can shoot the 3 but they aren’t taking shots. Also, can this team get better at the line? 55% is terrible.


    1. Pitt’s most significant weakness is lack of talent at the perimeter!

      They have maybe 2 guards (counting Burton) that can play at all. Other than Santos, the rest should be playing rec ball at Trees!

      What I really don’t understand is the lack of any recruiting or hope for the future or any plan to fix it!

      Imagine I came to my CEO for a review of my sales team’s progress after four years of lousy sales and showed NO plan for the future or why the plan I had in place didn’t work. I’d be fired in a NY minute!

      That’s a real reason for the empty seats. No Hope on the floor, no Hope on the horizon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One component missing Dan. Capel should have been forced to deliver a five year plan to his boss. The conversation should then be like “We are in year four of where we are supposed to be according to my plan”. This is where we are. AS WE DISCUSSED, this is what could have gone wrong that threw us off target. This did go wrong. This is why we are here and WE knew we would be here if this thing or these things aligned against us.

        No surprises. The AD can then go out to the public and very clearly outline the process early, develop kpi’s. Measure performance against KPI’s and make decisions based on documented performance.

        Similarly, the AD should have her AD plan submitted to the Chancellor, etc.. It is comical to me that the place that teaches students about strategic plans, doesn’t use them.

        Pitt Athletic Department – “Fooling alumni and fans since 1985”.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Hugley looks like he belongs in the ACC as does Odukale and Burton. They aren’t star level at this point, but wouldn’t get embarrassed. The rest are marginal at best, some look to have some upside. The team is sloppy and out of control much of the time. This was against a very poor opponent, although they played hard.
    Overall the team needs hours of coaching and practice and there isn’t enough time. You can tell they have never played together and there is no system to their ball movement or their defense, pretty much a free for all of individual players. The number of turnovers is the evidence.

    The attendance at the Pete was Stallingsesgue.

    It is going to be a long winter of discontent.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. With all the empty seats now going on six straight seasons, think of all the lost money the school has missed out on by Gallagher’s awful decision to move forward with the Stallings hire. Counting ticket sales, concessions, parking and merchandise, the loss has to be around $40 million.

    It is just shocking to see the product in year four with no reinforcements on the way. This program needs to get Rick Pitino for 4-5 years just to be resuscitated and the coffers filled back up. But we know the pretentious administration, along with some fans, wouldn’t want that.


      1. Like I care about that. What does that have to do with the basketball program?

        Nothing! I hate when people bring the academic/university side into a sports discussion. How are those empty seats going to be filled? Do you think that’s not a gargantuan problem?

        Glad you’ll get a fix driving by that building when it’s finished and finding excitement in it.


        1. So you are ok with a guy that uses strippers (prostitutes) to recruit players and their fathers.
          No doubt Pitt Basketball is a problem that won’t be fixed overnight, there are no quick fixes.
          Sorry you can’t see that a University has to stand behind ethics and morality, otherwise you end up like Penn State, or other B1G schools that have ignored or covered up abuse. tOSU wrestlers, Michigan State

          Liked by 2 people

          1. No one cares about that stuff when you win. Would you if he was Pitt’s coach and had the team in the Elite 8 playing for a Final Four spot. Would you boycott or watch and cheer on Pitt?

            And who’s thinking of those strippers now? About as many who are thinking about the Pitt professor who poisoned his wife. But do not worry. Pitino will never be hired.

            Sort of funny fans talk of the Sherrill days and Pitt was so shady in those days. Or, talk about great alums like Heyward, who beat up a pizza delivery driver and took a crutch and beat a kid with it; Siragusa got into a huge fight with campus security, Boyd with the DUI.


            1. Kids are going to make mistakes, that is totally different from institutional malfeasance.
              I get it some guys don’t care about anything but winning. Our society is filled with liars and cheaters
              A University should stand for something better than that.

              I’m not worried about Pitt hiring Pitino, I worry for guys that think it’s a good idea.


            2. You are win at all costs….Pitt63/U of Pennsylvania65 …..my Penn degree has been platinum.

              Academics is everything whether you like it or not….Vandy, Duke, Stanford, Northwestern are all amazing institutions (Duke being the outlier in sports with a legendary bb coach). Yes, there are rotten apples
              everywher (Washington D.C.) but a degree’s value is not based on empty seats to sports games.

              Pitt basketball is a disgrace….out of control locker room, players getting arrested, players transferring out, recuits decomitting, and a complete lack of coaching////foul shooting can be taught as a minor example. So, if a university turns its back on respectable sports the end result is the empty seats at The Pete.

              Hail to Pitt and Fight On Pennsylvania

              Liked by 2 people

      1. The draft guy espn had on during the game had Kenny No.1 too, as does Mcshay. And more than several others on other networks & websites.


  15. KP has 3 more chances in a PANTHER uniform … gotta win all 3 , put on a QB clinic for the voters….he’s going to have to do it the ole fashion way- earn it as politics will not be on his side….Go Kenny… lite’m up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. PITT can win four more games and become only the second team in program history to win twelve games in a season. If PITT loses this week, blame Biggie B, he started it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pitt’s shooting %’s from last night’s barn burner (sarc).

    FG % – 43%
    3 Pt FG % – 25%
    FT % – 55% (16 of 29)

    Mind you, this is against a team with 10 new players and expected to finish next to last in
    the mighty Colonial Conference.

    A few things have become apparent in the 4 years of Capel & Crew.
    They appear to have this tendency (with an exception or 2) of recruiting players who can neither
    shoot from the field or from 3 point land or from the Charity Stripe. (Pitt was last in the ACC last year in FT shooting and 3 pt shooting)

    I believe the object of this game is putting the ball in the basket. First rule of recruiting, find players
    who CAN !!!


    1. I think the bigger problem is the tendency to recruit players who do not decide to come to Pitt.

      The players shooting these shots are largely not the players Coach Capel wanted on the floor shooting these shots…

      Recruiting is the problem. We would be somewhat better with Sibande and Horton, but you wonder how much better…

      For whatever reason, the better players are not choosing to come to Pitt…

      Tough having so little hope for improvement…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, I’m not sure how much better we’d be with both guards back, but I know it wouldn’t be anywhere near where we want it to be 4 years into this rebuild. I was envious watching some of Creighton’s win at Nebraska last night; they have a lot of new players and are ‘rebuilding’, but they appear to be light years ahead of us and seem to be well coached. Interesting that they brought in a Division II, 2,000 pt scorer (Hawkins) who looked like the best player on either team. If I were Lyke, I’d force Capel to get rid of his entire staff after this season, assuming it turns out anything close to what it’s looking like; he can give his brother an operations role if need be. Plan B (or A?) would probably be to move on to another coach, but I’m doubtful we have the financial stomach for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well….all schools recruit players that don’t come to that respective school. This is not unique with Capel.

        The problem is he doesn’t recruit players who shoot the ball well.

        That is as apparent as a stick in the eye.

        Also his teams generally are the leaders in Turnovers.

        He has yet to recruit a legit PG in 4 years. Which equates to the Turnovers.


  18. Many a scholarship has been waisted on Capel’s recruits for the Pitt BB team. Pitt should take the money needed for the Pitt BB scholarships out of Capel’s inflated salary.


  19. natebailey4, I suppose that the POV posters should quit talking about golf outings, or the health of friends and family, because it doesn’t square with your idea of what is important in life and what we should be talking about on this site. You should know by now that most of the posters care about the university first. Most of us don’t want to win by cheating, or by having troublemakers on the roster. Maybe you should take a hard look at priorities vs. winning at any cost.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Basketball needs to be fixed in the worst way. Hiring a proven winner to get the job done despite his transgressions doesn’t mean I have no perspective on a university’s true mission. It means after six seasons I’ve had enough. And unlike 99 percent of the posters on here, I have to tend daily to someone in my household who is special needs, so, I don’t need a lesson about life, and nor should you go down that path when posting to a stranger.


  20. Heather Lyke drew a byline by Zeise today that is not flattering. Should she be feeling the heat for extending Capel? The answer to that is yes. Glad to see Zeise finally pointing a finger, or at least asking the question about where the finger should be pointed, on Lyke’s ridiculous extension of a losing coach.

    I know most of you think she is doing a good job. I don”t. And, please, Pitt is #75 in the Director’s Cup rankings. A $300 million sports complex for non-revenue sports isn’t going to help.


    1. Actually, helping Olympic sports will help the director cups standings by improving all the other teams. Their current venues are a joke.


      1. True….but spending $300 million on non-revenue sports is absurd. And it doesn’t guarantee those sports will maintain being good after (if) they get there,

        See Pitt basketball !

        Liked by 1 person

  21. KPs draft ranking is stupid to even talk about. The articles are garbage. It can all change in the remaining games. Win and it takes care of itself. Lose out and it will all be for nothing. Just win Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Boy……TV has become a land of wastage hasn’t it. Commercials are even worse. If TV does indeed mimic society or help create society. In the words of Chief Wahoo McDaniel….we in Heap Big Trouble.

          Liked by 3 people

  22. Pitt has lost LB A.J. Roberts to the transfer portal. Roberts was a Rivals 5.5 3 star in the 2020 recruiting class.

    Just saw his name on the 24/7 transfer portal site.


    1. Is that two middle linebackers who have left in a couple weeks?

      Would love to know whether the coaches feel good, bad, or indifferent about each portal jumper…

      Does open up a scholarship…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. It is unfortunate that that basketball is taking away from the great feelings we should have heading into this weekend.

    Funny how we went from bringing football recruits to basketball games to….well you get it.

    Like 1618mt, I find it hard to believe that Capel was allowed to bring back his staff after last year’s end of season fiasco.

    Maybe he gets a pass because he is the first coach to deal with the portal, but something is seriously wrong and it is really doubtful that Capel is going to be the guy to turn around Pitt Basketball. His strength was supposed to be recruiting and that has not panned out to say the least.

    I have to admit that I left the game at halftime last night, yes it was that bad and any guilt I might have felt disappeared quickly as I listened to Hillgrove on the way home. They got worse instead of better which didn’t seem possible while watching the first half.

    This is definitely Stallings part deux and is hard to believe in year 4. My guess is that Hugley and Odukale plus others enter the portal before year’s end.

    No changes in the staff sent a bad signal of no urgency to the situation. Perhaps Capel losing his one recruit due to not getting anyone else to join him will get a reaction. Heather was on TV touting the new lobby floor and the IC Light Club, kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.

    I don’t agree that this was caused by stupidity, sometimes things just don’t work the way you planned. VATech football is the best current example. The ACC is really tough to compete in, you need superior talent and great coaching, just to be in the middle of the pack. I think that is why Jamie got out of Dodge when his alma mater called.

    Fortunately basketball is easier to fix than football it just takes a couple of really good recruiting classes and a coach with enough gravitas to coach prima donnas before they go pro or enter the portal.

    Well at least we have a very entertaining football team.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just went to vote for Jordan Addison for the Bielitnikoff award. He is in 4th place, with the Ohio State guy right behind him and the PSU kid in 1st place. You can only vote 1/day, so we’ve gotta do better folks! Vote on your phone and on your tablet, computers ( work and personal) and let’s get him moved up so he can be a finalist!


  25. GC, I agree that basketball is easier to fix, but is it harder to compete? Just as a player or two can make all the difference, these good players depart quicker and must again be replaced. So some team in the division can go from being an assumed win to a surprising competitor in a relatively short period of time.

    In football, the larger size and numbers of recruits suggests that if the average player is pretty good, either initially or through development, a team can compete after several years of consistent recruiting and coaching. That’s why I wondered how the VT coach could get canned so quickly. We all know the learning curve for Narduzzi was rather stretched out, but in football it seams that a coach can figure things out if he is given enough time..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well unless you are one of the elite few, it takes some luck too. In Narduzzi’s case getting KP back for an extra year made all the difference. Those elite schools go three or four deep. Also injuries are a factor.
      Fingers crossed I think this is KP’s first year without missing a game. Jurkovec’s injury wrecked BC’s season.
      It will be a lot easier win on Saturday if VA’s QB’s are damaged goods.
      But you are correct that Football takes years of good recruiting and coaching.
      With one and done and the portal, basketball is much more of a crapshoot from year to year., and that one superstar player can make a world of difference.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. I think what’s evident from Pitt Basketball and sometimes football …is lack of PR and that falls on Heather.

    When players transfer out or are caught in legal problems, Alums and fans want to hear something, some reason – some circumstance! From the coach or Pitt!

    Instead all we get is silence, so we draw our own conclusions. God forbid like in the corporate world, we’d get out in front of an issue and put a Pitt positive spin on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Spot on Dan
    The job to sell is on all of them.
    They are all highly paid and marketing and sales are a big part of the job. They are lazy or incompetent.
    It is a major failure failure by all of them.
    It is year round hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marketing is not a coaches job. It is some associate AD. The coach should only have to show up for five minutes, shoot a take and get back to coaching.


  28. Riddle me this:
    If Coach Jeff and the Coach of The Citadel swapped teams for two weeks and then played, which team would win?

    And I would love for Ricky to come to Pitt. Instant enthusiasm. Instant energy. The hookers and everything else…let he among you without sin cast the first stone.
    Life is too short to be pious and proper and the perennial joke of the basketball world.


    1. My answer. Citadel would win easily again. Capel is a decent floor coach who can’t or won’t realistically recruit. Citadel was and is the more talented team.

      My beef with Capel the floor coach is his refusal to enforce fundamentals. It’s why year in and out his teams lose close games. He and his staff think it’s beneath them to fix FT and shooting fundamentals. Coach K at Duke works endlessly on them.


  29. Went to the Pitt women’s BB game tonight. They destroyed Long Island University by a score of 92-41.

    Yes, it was one of those early season “cupcake” games, but Pitt has struggled and even lost some of these for the last several years.

    Tonight, for the first time in many years, after the game was about 5 minutes old, I knew that Pitt was on another level and was going to overwhelm their opponent! We were bigger and faster and shot the ball well.

    Destiny Strother, who transferred in from Marquette, hit 5 of 7 three-pointers. Pitt ended up 9 for 19 from three and 48% overall from the field. They made 17 of 27 free throws. Only real downside was Pitt’s 23 turnovers.

    Coach White has this team playing aggressive at both ends of the floor. Twelve players played and everyone got significant minutes. All 12 can play.

    On Saturday night, Pitt plays at Duquesne. The Dukes will be sky-high to beat Pitt. It will be a good test because Duquesne has won most of the games lately…

    I’m cautiously optimistic that Coach White has assembled a team that can compete this season.

    Go Pitt.


    1. Strother is the real deal and a great addition to Coach Whites squad. Pitt Ladies will destroy The Dukes Saturday.

      Towson will take apart the men on Friday but I believe their Coach, Pat Skerry, former Pitt Coach and great/realistic recruiter, will be a candidate for Pitt HC in April when we fire Capel.


  30. Notable facts from a Pitt Mechanical Engineer graduate numbers guy, who as a retiree has time on his hands:

    Heinz Field capacity is 68,400 patrons

    Pitt Stadium, Terrace Street, Pittsburgh, PA. capacity was 69,400 until 1949

    Pitt Stadium, sometime in 1949ish dropped to 56,500

    Pitt Stadium tenants included:
    Pittsburgh Steelers 1942, 1958-1969
    Carnegie Tech Tartans 1929-1943
    Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera 1946-1958

    Pitt has poor attendance at Heinz Field.


    ESPN posted that of the 8 ACC games this week, the lowest to highest “tickets as low as” pricing range from a measly $8 to $30.

    Virginia at Pitt is the $30.

    I have not posted on the POV in the past 5 or 6 months until a day or 2 ago as I have been attending to my almost 96 year old father who passed away on October 12. Dr. Bob Bazylak, one of me Dad’s dearest friends consoled me at the funeral home. He was Pitt’s QB in the 1960s. I’m too lazy to Google it or to drive to Oakland and check it out, but i believe Bob Bazylak is engraved on a walkway block between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel. If not I got the story wrong. My Dad never attended Pitt but his other best friend and attorney, who passed away many years before my Dad and had was George Barco. Pitt’s Law School is the “George Barco School of Law.”

    Liked by 9 people

  31. Line on game is starting to stabilize, dropping with some key books. Methinks Armstrong is playing and if I’m right line will change in next day or so. Kid is tough, and even if hurt will start and gut it out. UVa receivers will give us fits, and the TE is really good. They will score often, this game, unlike the much hyped UNC game will crush the over. Just hope we have enough, it’s gonna be on the O this week.


    1. last row of section 4 (not 5)

      Thank you. I actually met you at a tailgate. raypgh introduced me to you. I was impressed by your passion.. I have thought of writing a sort of “meeting minutes” to Reed and/or Michaelangelo of when my father hosted a dinner in the 1970’s at his house and George Barco and his son-in-law Pitt athletic big-time donator Jim Duratz were there with their wives and George’s daughter Yolanda who is a female Pitt law student graduate historical note as noted in the Pitt Law School Law School lobby. There may be a bust of George and Yolanda in the lobby; once again this is based on a friend’s conversation with me..

      George Barco who was Pitt’s largest athletic donor at the time was in a talkative mood at my dad’s bar. He knew I graduated from Pitt (1974) and my girlfriend was a Pitt grad (1975). We had drinks in my Dad’s den with his 14 foot high fireplace and George said;

      “I drove down from Meadville to Oakland and I was with Johnny when we signed Dorsett. Johnny would have done a back flip if he could.”

      Hugh Green. “Comes up here from Mississippi and doesn’t see white snow but black snow. Jackie signed him.”

      George Barco ( I swear on my Mom’s grave);: “if I had one player to put before a Mom; for some reason there were few Dad’s around during recruiting, to get their son to come to Pitt; it would be Mark May.” Tonyinhampton note: when George said this nobody outside of Oakland knew who Mark May was. ESPN would later take note.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I expect to see Pitt blow out VA. this Saturday. The Pitt D is playing at a much higher level the past few games and a banged up QB with a rib problem or the freshman QB they played last week will not be able to hold up to the Pitt pass rush. Vegas got it right and it could be argued the line should be closer to 20 points and not 14.


    1. JoeL – thanks for posting that video.

      With Billy, I like the way you don’t have to know what he says – the tone of his voice tells you everything you need to know…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 4 people

  32. Thanks for sharing those stories Tony! Important Pitt history that should not be lost. If you have any Beano Cook stories I’d love to hear them.


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