A POVer’s Take on the State of Pitt BB

Here is Dan72’s view of the current state of the Pitt basketball program under Head Coach Jeff Capel and how it got to be this way. Pitt is 15-40 in the ACC under Jeff Capel. That is a fact…

First let me say the Capel knows more about basketball in one finger than I know in my whole body. Give him an equally talented team as the opposition and he will win 50% of the time. It’s all about recruiting! So all I have are thoughts and opinions, like all of you.

I will try to relate Jeff’s dilemma to my life in sales and managing sales. First thing I always did on a new sales managers job was to set up a few folks as advisors on “unintended consequences”. Silent killers of success!

I think Capel and staff suffer from two problems. The “law of unintended consequences” and focusing on today instead of thinking ahead.

Of all the sports coaching jobs, during a live game, a basketball coach cannot “get caught watching the paint dry”! His job during a game is to be thinking ahead, not just concentrating on the play in front of him. You have assistants for that. The thought has to be “if they do this, then I’ll counter with that! So we can argue over floor coaching prowess all day but creating a successful BB program really boils down to one thing …..RECRUITING! You can never just sit back and let recruiting happen!

Going back to four years, when Capel took this job, I think he was waiting for the stench of his coaching stint at Oklahoma to go away. After superstar Blake Griffen left his team for the pros Capel had no Plan B in place (again, there’s that looking ahead thing). More talented players defected OK during Capel’s last two years then when he was told mid season he’d be fired at year’s end, he had NO recruits lined up and little recruiting activity. Basketball is 70% talent and 30% coaching. Kinda like today, at Pitt.

Pitt seemed to be a high profile job for Capel and after the Stallings coaching fiasco the only way forward for Pitt’ program seemed to be up! Pitt was thrilled to have a Big Name hire and Capel jumped at the chance to coach here. Quickly he hired his brother and two close friends (also former HCs) to be his staff.

It’s my belief that Capel thought his name alone would bring in recruits. Friends of mine working in the scouting business told me that at Pitt under Capel every shortcut was taken to get recruits. Capel thought by going after big name recruits, he would attract one or two and then surely lessor players would then be honored to come to Pitt. This was a flawed strategy from the start.

Recruiting, like sales, is all about putting in tons of time meeting parents, HS coaches, street agents
etc. CREATING RELATIONSHIPS IS WHAT CREATES SALES! From what I hear that base was never set and that footwork was never done. Thus the unintended consequence was where we are at this moment with zero recruits and Capel having to depend on the transfer portal (which did not exist at his time at Ok.)

Then Capel, out of last minute desperation, started picking up talented but flawed players to fill out his roster. The big names never came to Pitt. Champagne was a good get but no superstar until he got to Pitt. This is the ACC, the best and most talented NCAA D1 League. It’s all about shooting percentage. When I asked my scouting friends about Horton, Sibande, Jeffries et al, the reply from coaches and scouts was the same “great HS players all – but doubt they are ACC level great! “

Appearances and perceptions are everything in sales and recruiting. Capel had to overcome several negative issues with recruits. He was told when hired that there would no cash payouts to players and no contact with street agents. Then after Heather disciplined Hugley after he stole a hooker’s car when she was staying at the dorms with him and his buds during the summer, Pitt was rumored to be a racist school on the recruiting trail. Perceptions are everything and are hard to change.

It takes very hard work and many hours of travel to recruit in general. Then to overcome the above issues is even harder work! That’s where I see the problem with Pitt Basketball! People in the know tell me that work was not done! You have to build from the bottom up and that wasn’t the Capel plan.

So here we are. We’ve lost to UMBC, Monmouth and barely survived Towson. Capel has had six high profile players transfer out over the years. He’s had two players with horrible legal issues while at Pitt. There’s that law of unintended consequences. He seems busy prepping a team (which will not win an ACC game this year) for the next game only with no real foresight as to the program’s health.

The loss of Sibande and Horton really hurt but a coach needs to plan for just those instances. Where are the young recruits who should be learning behind them ?? Pitt has a walk-on and a tall high dribbling poor shooting guard on the perimeter. That’s it! On top of everything else our shooting in general has been abysmal for four years. Especially from the foul line which are uncontested points.

One last thing; dealing with players who aren’t D1 talent is like rearranging the band’s chairs on the Titanic! So while I might question floor strategy – like the flubbed inbound play, It’s the least of Pitt’s problems. If I’m Heather, I have only two options.

Fire Capel outright or have him release his current staff in favor of some young upcoming assistant coaches who are proven recruiters. I see little else that can be done….. and recruiting for next season is ongoing.

What say you??



70 thoughts on “A POVer’s Take on the State of Pitt BB

  1. Dan, certainly can’t argue with anything you wrote

    Hard to believe that a year ago, we all were pretty well pleased After an opening loss to St Francis, they reeled off 6 straight including wins at Northwestern and Miami. We thought the corner had been turned

    But then in starting in Jan, Hughley screwed up, and 2 of the 3 best player (Toney and X) defect. Then of course, the best player declared to declare. Unintended consequences!!!

    I couldn’t agree more that if Capel isn’t axed, his staff has to go … and probably his brother has to be first one.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 4 people

  2. Great post and sad to hear that Capel, who was supposed to be a great recruiter, isn’t doing the hard work on the recruiting trail. I think it shows how much Duke “recruits itself”. He didn’t need to have the great relationships at Duke because everyone already wanted to play there.

    Just as a note of correction, Capel coached at Oklahoma, not Oklahoma St.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When Capel filled in for Coach K his last year there, the team looked sluggish.

    Duke pushed Capel onto Pitt, which I hate. Just like Alvarez with Moose.

    I believe now Capel was a bag man at Duke as top recruits were flocking to Kentucky and elsewhere and Duke couldn’t fall behind. Carolina fans are adamant about Capel as the Duke bag man. That Zion Williamson scandal sure got buried. No doubt he was paid by Capel. Too bad that investigation didn’t name Jeff, as that could mean fired for cause by Pitt.

    Heather will be under so much pressure with her next hire. She has to hire a guy with coaching experience. The Xavier coach should be vetted.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved it, Dan. Especially, the perspective from a sales manager … my occupation as well. The present is very important … this quarter is the most important quarter … but, you have to be playing 3D chess as well. You have to have a pulse on what you’re going to do next if something happens. It’s how you stay sharp and how you make quick decision in real time without missing a beat. This deal is falling through, but we have this deal to fill the gap … the art of forecasting … But, I digress …

    I agree with the 70/30 split. I’ve said all along that the Capel hire made sense and I feel it’s the way you have to win in the ACC. You need someone who can recruit before everything els in the ACC. It’s an ultra athletic league with legit NBA talent on most rosters at the top of the league. The ACC, in general, is a very aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball, too. It’s up and down and outside of a couple outliers that is not ugly’d up to offset the talent/skill level.

    Basketball is a shooters game, now. You have to have a couple elite shooters on your team. It’s not all about the athleticism … which can be very appealing and tempting … they have to have a shot. The ACC has athletes to counter your athletes …

    He’s going to have to fire some staff. If Heather really wants to keep him, I don’t think firing his brother will be on the table. Family, first, always. Now, if she doesn’t care then it’s certainly a stipulation. That’s just a statement … I’m not taking a side one way or the other. I, personally, would have a hard time telling someone to fire their brother if I’m not also going to fire that person. That’s just me though.

    As you said, you have to recruit for the ACC … and they haven’t. Jeffers would have been a great Big East player in time. Same with Hugley and Odukale. Big, physical guys … but the rest of the roster is really, to be cliche, very MAC’ish. Jeffers should have redshirted a year and been an 8th man this year, with him making strides as a redshirt sophomore. He was thrown to the fire way to quickly as a 17 year old freshman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tossing, after doing massive research, I have unfortunately made bad hires. Like you, I probably know after 6 weeks but always gave it six months unless there was cheating or insubordination. But…. One hard and fast tenet I learned the hard way was once you made that call, act as quickly as prudently possible! Every day you keep a bad hire brings your team a ton of trouble.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, you know very quickly and you have to act fast … but, it’s almost impossible to fire someone now. Haha.


        1. So glad I retired 4 years ago. I was sued several times for a variety of discriminations after axing some one. None successful.

          But today, their is an entire group of lawyers dedicated to protecting new hires. Ugh.


  5. I think there is more that we don’t know than we know about Pitt Basketball.
    Hadn’t heard that it was a hooker’s car, Duke pushed Capel on Pitt, or Capel was a bag man.
    Do we really have to go down the rabbit hole?

    I do agree that Capel badly misjudged the difficulty of recruiting to Pitt and he flat out hasn’t got the job done, I think saying it was laziness is disingenuous at best.

    I also have no understanding of why he was given a pass last year regarding the wholesale defections. At the very least he should have been told to clean his coaching house and start over. The only reasons I can come up with are Covid, the Hugley situation, Champ becoming good enough to leave, and maybe having the inside track on Mintz. But none of this adds up.

    So while Dan points out a coach can’t get caught watching paint dry, neither can an AD, the writing was on the wall in block letters. How can there be no consequences for what happened at the end of last year?

    Four years later and the Pete is vacant again.

    Our home run hire is a strike out artist. His credibility is shot and while Heather is to be commended in her part of this year’s football success, her inaction at the end of last year is not a good look.

    I said before I will continue to support the kids and Capel while he is here, but it is damn hard. Some times good guys fail, it’s the nature of the business. Why do we have to paint him as lazy, corrupt of incompetent?

    Liked by 4 people

      1. “It’s my belief that Capel thought his name alone would bring in recruits. Friends of mine working in the scouting business told me that at Pitt under Capel every shortcut was taken to get recruits. Capel thought by going after big name recruits, he would attract one or two and then surely lessor players would then be honored to come to Pitt. This was a flawed strategy from the start.

        Recruiting, like sales, is all about putting in tons of time meeting parents, HS coaches, street agents
        etc. CREATING RELATIONSHIPS IS WHAT CREATES SALES! From what I hear that base was never set and that footwork was never done.”

        “every shortcut was taken to get recruits, the base was never set and the footwork was never done” I would think that some might interpret that as laziness. You certainly describe a lazy approach to recruiting.

        I would agree with flawed strategy bit, Narduzzi made the same mistake going after the elite guys, but has since changed his approach.


        1. I would also add that he took the lazy approach regarding his coaches adding his brother and his buddies, rather than doing the due diligence of finding and mentoring young up and comers with potential and who have enough charisma to get future stars to Pitt.

          Add to that the hubris of thinking it was him and not Duke’s allure bringing in the top dogs.


    1. Heather extended his contract two years ago. There was no way she would let him go a year after unless proven “cause”.


    2. How is laziness defined? Not doing the work. It’s pretty clear he is not a demi-god who can sit back and collect recruits.

      How can you ignore the integrity issues which are so obvious with Capel? He’s getting very little out of his assistant coaches. Fire the brother. Are you freaking kidding me? Big time college basketball is a business and not a bag business and not a family welfare business.

      I can only assume Heather knows a lot more than she’s letting on and if the inside scoop Dan has gotten is true then Capel is as bad a hire as any of Pederson’s.


  6. Good piece….sorry state of affairs, what’s happened to Pitt basketball. Which under Howland/Dixon had built up a pretty good brand.

    We also had the first game loss to another low tier Southern Conf squad, The Citadel. Great school on the order of the service academies. But should never lose to in basketball, unless they had say another David Robinson of Navy bygone days. And that loss immediately caused Capel’s only recruit for 2022, the 4 star kid Judah Mintz to decommit.

    We could have possibly one the last game, had Capel gone to the Zone in the 1st half, instead of waiting until the 2nd half and Pitt was down 19 points. Monmouth’s outside shooting was horrendous after doing so.

    That is coaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Other than his big long term contract I know of no other reason why Heather would want to keep him now. But an almost empty Pete going forward sounds like what it just might take to finally get Heather to bit the bullet and end this Capel debacle.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Even with Pitt’s depleted squad it has more talent than The Citadel, UMBC & Monmouth.

    It has equivalent talent to Vanderbilt & Minnesota (both predicted to finish last in their conf’s, which is why Capel scheduled them)

    Losing to all of them….is Coaching !

    As is barely besting Colgate & UNCW & Towson.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pitt had 11 3 pointers against UMBC.,..still lost. Monmouth was only 6 for 25 on 3’s still won.

        Pitt loses the Turnover battle in every game….sometimes by large margins.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. To be clear, I would doubt very much that Capel was the actual bag man. But wouldn’t doubt at all that he was aware of it and may have even facilitated the deal

    Sent from my iPhone



  10. I don’t follow basketball but since this my alma mater I will add my 2cents…the man has been here for several years and has NO recruits lined up for this year or next year?????.something is very very wrong….Lyke swung for the fence and missed with Capel but who could blame her after the Stallings/Barnes fiasco…..would love to be a fly on the wall in the office of the AD…….I too liked the splash hire but it looks like Duke wanted to push Capel onto another program….Coach K soon retiring…Jon Scheyer will take-over the helm.. not Capel.


  11. Capel was not the lead recruiter on Zion. Let’s not go down any conspiracy theories. Capel was probably told he’s not the coach in waiting at Duke and K recommended him to Heather. Heather’s MO as AD has been to hire top assistants from winning programs. I think he’s just been a bad coach. Swing and miss.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. OT …PSN an interview on Duzz discussing OC and KP…Duzz mirrored a comment I made on KP a few articles back…”Kenny could call the plays…it’s his offense.!” Wouldn’t that be a fitting way to end his PITT Panther career!!! KP, you da man…just do it !!!


  13. Good piece. Disagree with the 70% recruiting 30% coaching. The Howland/Dixon era at Pitt disproved that. The Big East back then was what the ACC is now.

    I do not think Capel can coach, period! Neither can his staff. Who among our players are getting better as the season is going on? Heather is going to have no choice but to can the whole lot at the end of the year.

    Next coaching hire should be an up and comer. Any young coach worth his moxie would jump at the chance to coach in the ACC. We need a coach with a track record of developing his players. Next year will be as bad as this year with a new coach and staff unless he does well with the transfer portal.

    If you make a bad hire, correct it and move on. Do not let them ruin the rest of the team. Pitt has very good coaches at the present, probably the best overall in Pitt history!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was not one but a bevy of “ladies of the evening” that were staying overnight in our dorms. You can’t tell me Capel or someone did not know this was going on! And if not, they should have!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m a football man so excuse my ignorance but aren’t there only twelve guys on a basketball team? In the last twelve months, the three biggest stories from the bball program are a car getting stolen (I also had no idea about hookers), a police officer getting punched, and a group of good players transferring.

          Get it together Capel!


  14. A recent John Petrishen tweet congratulated EJ Borghetti and Danny Kozusko (asst equipment manager for 18 yrs) on their birthdays and called them unsung heroes

    Pretty classy. JP may not be the next AD but he may become the next EJ

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 3 people

  15. Good article, Dan. What a mess we are on the BB side. A coaching youth movement seems to be in order…

    OT – I see where our next season’s FB schedule got even tougher as the Eers QB is coming back for another year. Darn that Kenny Pickett!

    Also, Tennessee seems to be in the process of righting their ship…

    So get ready for “Fire Narduzzi!” and “Fire ___________!” movements. (Substitute the new OC’s name…😊)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Let’s not forget, when Pitt was striking out on 2021 recruits the narrative was Capel and staff was going all-in on 2022. How’s that working out?

    No way on earth this man is back in 2022-23. He might go 0-20 in the ACC and run his gaudy conference record to 15-60.

    How embarrassing. This school was no idea how to run basketball. Instead of being a powerhouse in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, it has one Elite 8 to show for it.

    We owe that shoe guy who allegedly forced Howland on Pitt because Smiley Pederson didn’t have a clue a huge debt of gratitude.


    1. Do you mean Sonny Vaccaro? That crap bag tried pay HS players in PGH under the table – while they were still in HS. I met him once, he offered, I said screw you and then had to shower as soon as I got home he was that dirty.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I could tell you Sonny Vaccaro stories from now til tomorrow.
          He was beyond dirty and was the promoter of street agents and bag men.


  17. Sounds like Duzz is recommending Kenny not play. I’m still not the biggest fan of Duzz but I do respect that he generally has the best interest of the players at heart. He did the same thing with Twyman, knowing Twyman’s family situation and how it had to change. Twyman’s decision backfired a bit but one game is different than a full season.

    And … another Kenny has opted out of the Peach Bowl as well …


    1. Did Narduzzi say anything about KP playing in the Senior Bowl? I’m guessing you can’t get hurt there but only in the Peach Bowl.


      1. The senior bowl is a glorified combine and run by the NFL. It’s NFL coaches, NFL balls and scouts from every team allowed to visit and interview. Lol. Not sure what you’re saying. That makes no sense. The senior bowl is a business decision as well.


  18. Was on an Atlanta site….that said….Tons of Tickets are unsold for the Peach Bowl.
    Which is exactly 2 weeks from today.

    The CEO Pittsburgh guy of the Peach Bowl…can’t be happy.


  19. It’s also only the second time the Peach Bowl has not had a team from the south. It sounds like the game is selling okay …

    “Before this season’s matchup was set, the Peach Bowl had sold all but 2,000 of the 40,000 tickets available locally each year, Stokan said.”

    Michigan State and Pittsburgh, both making their first appearances in the Peach Bowl, received allotments of 13,000 tickets each; the schools are responsible for buying any tickets they don’t sell to fans. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Stadium handles sales of about 5,000 seats in suites and loges. Stokan predicted total attendance will wind up being “somewhere in the 60,000s.”


    1. Has Duzz ever done something regarding player safety to make you think that? This is a guy who was a big reason Conner found his cancer and the driving force behind catching Randy Bate’s cancer. I think that’s a bit of an unfair comment.


  20. The basketball program is in disarray, the recruiting, the transfers and the performance on the court directly reflect the head coach’s imprint on the direction or lack of regarding the program.

    I’m sure he will coach until the season is over but I can’t even grasp at anything positive that warrants his return.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. OT: ACC Network now on Comcast Channel 1325. Just in time for many POVers to view Pitt BB when they begin their ACC schedule this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Good analysis, Dan. So without saying it as impolitely as this: The Capel approach is laziness and laziness does not build a program.

    Blame Lyke for this in general, but particularly far not intervening when an intervention is clearly called for.
    Capel has shown us who he is. Lyke is showing us who she is. Pardon to all those volleyball loving fans, but she is failing in 50% of her job.

    I will follow the scores just to keep up but boycott watching games. The longer this goes on, the deeper the hole


  23. Thanks Dan, what a great job you do being our go to baller for such great info and news. Too bad the news just ain’t very good right now.


    1. Ike, you know I always do a preseason look ahead, but like watching a Pitt game, it seemed a waste of time under the circumstances.

      While past performance does not always equal or predict future results, this is the exact same situation Capel was in his last year at Oklahoma.

      If I thought actual floor coaching and prowess actually mattered, I could write a book on Capel’s in game mistakes!


  24. My point is why single out Pickett and not any other players? If, as you say, his concern is across the board then say so.

    But, if the regular two-deep kids started saying they were skipping the bowl game out of fear of injury there would be steam coming out of his ears.


    1. First, we don’t know in what context he made the comment.
      Second, the talk of skipping the bowl game is centered around Pickett.
      Third, 5th round draft picks and second stringers don’t skip games unless your Paris Ford, LOL. That worked out well.
      PN didn’t say anything wrong. Players want coaches that look out for them.


  25. Dan, your sources make some bold accusations. I’m not saying they are not true but I find some hard to believe. For instance, Capel not putting in the appropriate work recruiting. He was known for his recruiting. He recruited against the best schools in the country. Duke sells itself against Pitt, but not UNC, Kentucky, etc. Capel had to put in tons of work to beat those schools out. I doubt he thought his name would sell. He knows the ropes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not to be a jerk, but it’s not uncommon when the chips are down to know what to do but not be able to muster the courage and enthusiasm to do it. You can’t defend Capel’s recruiting and desertions when there’s a documented paper trail and multiple losses on the court.


    2. My sources said much worse and much of it was damning! I cleaned it up and bared very little
      of what they actually said because I had no corroboration of actual facts. I like Jeff. He’s a great guy and a decent floor coach who is used to working with elite talent. I never said or implied he or his staff were lazy.
      Just misguided.


      1. Misguided is a good description. Bottom line, he hasn’t produced and Pitt is pretty much stuck with him. His only life line is good recruiting. Yikes.


  26. So today some justice is served in the world of sports. Scum bag Urban Meyer, who kicked a player this past summer – literally, kicked the guy on the side of his body he had surgery – has been terminated. For Meyer, karma proved to be supreme. The final story – at least for us – of Capel’s karma is being played out in front of us.


  27. Dan,

    EXCELLENT article, because its one of our two major sports, and it is in the dumps right now, it needs to be discussed. All other sports are a drop in the bucket- nothing wrong with pulling for our minor sports team (I like wrestling & men’s soccer, wish we started up a D1 hockey team), but this is important to the university.

    It wasn’t too many years ago when coach Dixon was serving pizza to students, packed to get into the Pete, and the Oakland Zoo was one of the top fan bases in the country. It can be done. Duh. Actually, it was one year ago when Capel’s trio of Toney, X, and Penny was on a roll, beat Duke, and the headlines read “We’re back”- just one year ago. How short our memories are.

    If Capel doesn’t show vast improvement in the squad this year PLUS bring in a decent recruiting class, I don’t see how the benefits of keeping him outweigh the loss of ticket sales, merchandise, etc. I took like Capel personally, but short of firing him (a deserved consequence), here would be my plan B, sort of alluded to above:

    Fire the ENTIRE Staff
    Move his brother to an Administrative role, something he might actually excel at.
    Intensely vet all new coaching staff hires
    Set forth a timetable for results

    blah, blah, blah. You guys can fill in the blanks better than I but I’d only be open to Plan B if Capel is all In.

    One other thing, I don’t think you need a team of athletic/shooter type of athletes to win in the ACC, sure, you need a few, but you can win with role players and physicality, just like Virginia did, and just like Dixon did before him in the Big East, Dixon never had to change his approach, it was a mistake.


    Liked by 1 person

  28. Dan, great piece for sure. Spot on. Thank you. I don’t know much about college bball 🙂 so here goes.

    Not Rock – You need to understand the recruiting game. Very few know this side of “the game”. Dan was absolutely correct with Vaccaro. He injected himself into the NCAA and then the shoe and apparel companies into this sport and ruined it. I can explain how this works quickly.

    College basketball works like this. Several coaches are in the inner circle but that is changing because the loophole is closing. Coach K says to Nike rep – Oh, you don’t need to pay me or Duke to endorse your products. In fact, keep that $1M a year, but listen, Zion would look really good in a Duke uniform, don’t you think? Wink! It would be great if that kid came here….wink! Nike Rep gets the message and heads off to the AAU coach and says “here’s the deal, 100k for your program and 100k to the players family if he goes to duke”. AAU coach pushes player to Duke. Duke gets a player with no money trail back to duke ( no ncaa violation) AAU coach gets money for himself and to pay for team travel. If you ever follow AAU bball, they travel by plane and stay in great hotels, yet noone questions how they pay for it? There are a select few coaches in the inner circle and one need only look at the top 10 every year in recruiting to figure it out.

    More recently, and to get a crack at top rated players, the non-inner circle coaches have found that they can handle things directly, without Nike or Adidas or UA. The Headcoaches get paid so much that they make one on one deals with athletes for the same $100k (see sean miller, bruce pearl, others). When you make $6M per year, paying 3 top kids per year $100k, is a rounding error. There isn’t as much recruiting as you think for the inner circle coaches.

    Fast forward. Capel is no longer working for an inner circle administrator. Quite the opposite. No trust with the current AD which means he needs to work. Dan hit it perfectly with footwork. You need great footwork to play the game and you need great footwork to out work your competitors. Capel hasn’t done that and his staff hasn’t either. He hasn’t figured out how to crack the inner circle, but he needs to…..or just go after the kids who will stay and develop them. The problem is the portal. The best way for Pitt to compete is with NIL. They can do it, but it takes great footwork. There are ncaa rules here, but easily worked around/through. Just takes effort.

    Regarding Jeffress and others. They were very good to excellent high school players. As I have typed for years, when you are 6’7″ in high school, typically you have no issues getting off your shot with little to no interference. Not so much in the ACC. You are contested on every shot, for every foot of space on the court. You either puff out your chest and grow as a player, or you disappear against good to great competition. Pitt’s players tend to disappear. I like Hugley, always have. Hated how he was treated by our AD and Dan was right about the issue on the recruiting trail. We talk about the shortcomings, but we also need to remember that Dan Hurley couldn’t be brought in because he wasn’t comfortable with our AD.


  29. PS : Geaux Pitt Women!!! Smash the fighting steve pedersons…lol. I see an ACC Final!!! Nebraska coming on strong, but I like our chances…..in 5 sets!


  30. It occurs to me that having a brother on staff makes it easier to carry out the bag man duties without danger of being caught. But I digress…

    Dan, you’re our go to man when it comes to basketball, and your superb entry piece for this thread was outstanding as usual! But I think the current scribes on this site are being a bit unfair to Capel. If Pitt had a lineup of X-Man, Toney, Champ, Femi and Hugely this year, things would be looking up and they would have a legitimate chance to make the tournament. One could certainly argue that some of these guys were maturity challenged, and it’s true that circumstances made Capel take a chance on a few, but most are working out at P5 institutions (and the NBA). So some coach is managing these guys, and it seems that coaching skills may be Capel’s biggest deficiency.

    Remember also that COVID limited travel and greatly reduced the home visits that could have lead to more 2022 commitments. In this situation, name schools benefit while upstarts like Pitt get screwed. It’s not clear to me how many scholarships Pitt has open for 2022, but if only 2-3 openings exist, it makes sense to recruit the transfer portal for the coming year to speed up the turnaround. Just saying..


    1. ummmm voice, the commitments go somewhere, right? Recruiting doesn’t start in the year of the commitment in bball. Bball recruiting begins in 8th grade for the really good players!! 9th or 10th for the good players. And then, there are late bloomers.

      No difference if it is capel or brother capel…..you have to be really dumb (Miller) to get caught and punished in bball.


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