2022 Season Up Next: Pitt vs. Duke

Once again, I am back for what I do and enjoy. But I enjoy visits to the mountains of western North Carolina more and not for fly fishing. Even though there is a on property stream where visitors do fly fish for trout.

Pitt won last week’s game over Virginia 37-7. In my last articles(s), I ranted about turnovers both good ones and bad ones. Last week was all good. It is a good thing I had my Sirius radio, rocker and beer in hand or I would have missed the fireworks.

Pitt is now 6 – 4 (3-3 Conf, 3-1 OOC) and is tied with Miami for third place in the Coastal.

The Duke Blue Devils have now won three games in a row. The latest was a home victory over Virginia Tech 24-7. Overall, they are 7 – 3 (4-2 Conf, 3-1 OOC). They are in second place in the Coastal.

Below is the schedule for both teams.

Duke lost to that terrible team (Georgia Tech) the week after Pitt lost. I think four of the five teams that fired their HC early in the 2022 season won their next game. GT and at least one other won their second game.

Here are the NCAA offensive stats comparison after week 9 action:

The offense revolves around QB play. Like the last article, I am showing some of the ACC QB stats I update weekly. I use ESPN game stats for my individual team stats but always verify with NCAA stats.

Except for Yards per Attempt (YPA) and Yards per Completion (YAC), Leonard is the better QB. But his passing is not what makes him pass the “old eye test.”

RB’s and WR comparison:

Another QB leading his team in rushing yards, and he is good at it. Top Ten in all the ACC rushing stats – Yards per Attempt (second), Rushing TD’s (tenth). Rush Yards (fifth) and Rush Yards per Game (sixth). This is where Leonard passes the eye test. BTW, Leonard has 3 rushes of greater than 50 yards (56, 60, and 74 yards). Without those 3 rushes, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry.

No RB had a 50+ long rush. Of the other 4 RB’s, Jaquez Moore has numerous 15-to-40-yard runs.

The Duke wide receivers are nothing special. Jalon Calhoun is the best of the group, but he is no Jared Wayne.

On to the offensive lines. Chart includes players with game experience, TFL’s and sacks allowed statistics and a breakdown of pass/run/sacks ratios, average offense plays per games, True TFL’s Allowed as a percentage of Adjusted run plays and average offensive plays per game.

Yes, I know Ryan Jacoby is playing as a blocking TE. Yes, I know at least four Pitt Linemen will be gone next season but plenty of reserves are getting gameday action including starts.

Duke’s OLine seems to be more stable injury wise compared to Pitt.

Duke’s OLine does a better job of protecting the QB and opening holes for the RB’s. Is it the offensive scheme or Leonard scrambling or short passing throws at the first sign of duress?

Did you notice the simple Pass/Run ratio for Duke and Pitt? Duke 42.4%P / 57.6%R. Pitt 41.4%P / 58.6%R. Actually, after the Syracuse game, Pitt’s P/R ratio was 42.4%/57.6%. The 1% swing was due to the Virginia game 33.3%P (24 Attps.) / 66.7%R (48 Attps.) ratio.

That ends the Offensive review. On to the defense. I am starting with NCAA defensive stats.

A clear tilt to Pitt on defensive stats except turnovers.

Let us take a look at the individual defense stats for Duke. I am only showing those defensive players with five or more total tackles. For Pitt, I will only be showing the summary. As fans, we should know the starters and backups.

I think Duke plays a 4-2-5 defense with a safety taking on a role of a LB. I also believe that person is DB Brandon Johnson based on his 5.5 sacks (leading Duke sacks master). But it could also be DB Darius Joiner. I really do not know. I am just typing to get my word count up.

LB Shaka Khan Heyward is the SirVocea Dennis of the Duke defense. The LB position seems to be the only group with injury/personnel changes.

Below are the summary lines for Pitt’s defense and my attempt at duplicating a S&P+ statistic – Havoc Defense.

Miscellaneous NCAA stats:

Overall, Duke wins the NCAA Miscellaneous stats category. Pitt is still horrid in penalties and punting but the turnover margin is getting better.

On the bright side, Pitt is back in the NCAA top ten (#9) in TOP. Duke is a minute and 26 behind. Put TOP, my attempt at seconds per offensive plays (see bottom of rushing/receiver chart), and the closeness of the Pass/Rush ratio and you will find two long time defensive coordinators now head coaches. This game boils down to Riley Leonard. Can Pitt control him. The Pitt defense seems to have regained its mojo. Pitt wins.

191 thoughts on “2022 Season Up Next: Pitt vs. Duke

  1. Richard your previews are like the buffet at the Bellagio: there is a ton of good stuff to chew on!

    I could not help but notice that duke has forced 15 fumbles. 15! Pitt has forced four. Could be the difference in what I expect to be a close game.

    Also I agree the other aspect will be containing Leonard. Let’s see how much better the linebacker play has actually gotten…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. On my one and only car trip to Vegas, stayed at Planet Hollwood but spent 80% of our time at the Bellagio. Got comps for the buffet and a pass to the express sitting line. The memories your first sentence invoked are priceless to me. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great write-up Richard. But the trouble with statistics is that they focus on the over all season and not the current state. What I’m getting at is the Pitt D is definitely playing at a higher level especially the front 7 over the past two games. Whether that continues who knows? But it’s my guess with some of our injured DLmen returning and the upgraded play at LB is the main reason for our upgraded D play.—Now I must say our O is very capable of keeping all our opponents in the game with many missteps just like last weeks penalty filled play after the 1st Q.—Yes, I think Pitt has a good opportunity to win this one but it’s easy to see how they could fall on their faces and resort to playing like they did against GT and Louisville.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jrnpitt – You are right about statistics being a season long state. That is why I have started showing game to game stats for the QB’s. It does give a sense of how they are performing week to week. Leonard’s QB stats have definitely gone down since conference play has started.

    As part of the QB stats I update weekly is performance of QB’s against FCS/G5 teams, P5 OOC, Conference teams and all P5 games. Leonard against conference teams is 120.1 (Slovis is 116.4).

    It would be nice if I could show other grouping on a weekly basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe Heather and Pat can take a hint from Duke on how to do a non-conference schedule…Duke’s toughest game was mighty Kansas who was in the top 25 for a cup of coffee and in conference their only tough game thus far has been UNC. #cakeschedule

    The fellas at work believe the Dukies will destroy us because they have seven wins but to quote Shania Twain, “wins against Temple, Northwestern, and NC A&T don’t impress me much.” The emperor wears no clothes.

    Welcome to the cold of Heinz Field and a long road trip above the Mason-Dixon line Dukies. Izzy and the D bring this one home in a Jamie Dixon slog ball like fashion …31 to 14.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Heather and Pat should absolutely schedule OOC cupcakes every year until the program is on sound footing like Duke did this year and Pedo had done for years. If it’s never on sound footing than don’t schedule tough games. However some feel that those games aren’t interesting enough and feel no one wants to sit through them.

      However, next year when Pitt is getting it’s collective brains beaten in by that HORRIBLE schedule Lyke has rubber stamped the stands will be empty and no one will have any interest in seeing a 1-4 squad in early October. 6 wins is a pipe dream next year thanks to that schedule.


      1. Cincinnati was added by Barnes. Lyke/WVU?

        ND is part of the ACC rotation.

        This is what a lot of fans want: tough schedules and good teams coming to Heinz. Both are happening in 2023. Ticket sales should be through the roof.


  5. Mike Elko was a career assistant. Had some good stints at power programs as DC. Was never on any list of mine since he hadn’t been a HC somewhere. I think that experience is invaluable when running a large national program. But then again duke isn’t known as a football school. And Pitt is now a soccer and volleyball school. Yet we pay our football and basketball coaches a kings ransom.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Duke points per game against ACC opponents 36.
    Pitt points per game against ACC opponents 26.

    Can the Pitt D make up for 10 points? Can Cignetti’s 1960s offense dominate time of possession and actually put the ball in the end zone?

    I’ll predict a Pitt loss just because I am usually wrong. 🤪


  7. I liked the Slovis interview this week. Said he never played in an offense like Cignetti’s. No one has at Pitt since coach John Michelosen’s players, LOL.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. A little something for the “Blame Cignetti” Gang.


    Cignetti’s new offense is large, much, much larger than prior offenses ran at Pitt in recent seasons, according to the coaching staff and players, and it’s such a vast offense that Slovis is still implementing new plays into the scheme.

    Pgh Sports Now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am not sure where the greatest blame lies this year, but I do have some pretty strong leanings, in no particular order:

    Cignetti for sure is part of the problem, but its difficult to say how much of that is due challenges implementing his new system, or even the fact that he may not have the right players for his system (don’t you just love that cliche?)
    I’m a broken record, I know, but our mediocre offensive line is not a good fit for a QB with cement shoes.
    While I’m on the subject, Borbs needs to be fired.
    From what I’ve seen, Slovis has a plenty good enough arm is a pretty accurate passer, but those skills are not nough to overcome his decision making issues combined with his aforementioned lack of mobility.
    And finally, we need to add playmakers to the WR position

    In summary, our offensive is frankly boring right now, and it is not productive enough to allow this team to reach anywhere near last year’s level, nor is it a surprise that it may actually drive away some recruits.


  10. It is week 11 and Frank is still installing his offense. LOL. Did someone tell him this is college ball? Well, at least they should hit on all cylinders by the bowl game.

    “There are other plays too that maybe we installed Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, that you think you get, but you might not understand as well throughout the game. I think there’s some of that.”


  11. Not to bore you or make you run away with your hair on fire!… But
    Pitt is a 3.5 underdog to VCU at 6pm tonight on ESPN2.

    If I was still a gambler, I’d bet the house and car on VCU!


      1. As a former coach, I claim to know a lot about football but I don’t know squat about basketball. I have tried to watch the last two games and we really stink. Why are we so bad? Why can’t the guy from Duke recruit five decent dudes like Jamie did? Shouldn’t it be easy with so few players to quickly fix a basketball program?


    1. Dan, thanks for the reminder, I forgot about the back to back. I’m not specially qualified to give input on hoops, but from what I saw last night, in addition to Michigan having better players, I thought our team defense was offensive. I know its early in the season and there are a lot of new players, but there were way too many easy baskets for Michigan. Some of that was the result of double teams on the big man, but overall I thought we were very undisciplined defensively, which has to fall on the coaching staff. Also, in both the Michigan & Inbred games, we started the games strong for extended periods, but got overwhelmed in the second halves, and to me this too may be a symptom of poor coaching. I hope Capel and company prove me wrong, I really do, but the fundamentals in those last 2 games are reasons for concern.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Does anyone have a link/lit on how to evaluate a football coach, scheme? I’ve never coached so am ignorant on how to evaluate scheme/coaching.
    W/Ls are a macro concept (if they are winning, who cares!) but is there credence to a new system being a work in progress that may improve with cohesion/time? My bias is a good coach gets the best out of what talent they have, adapting their system to players’ strengths. Is Cig’s scheme 1)just bad 2) too complex for 1 season of install or 3) just not being executed

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Colin, great question!!!. I am in the group (me/Slowwwvis being the group) who feels that everyone is learning a new system. Football is still a game of talent/recruiting and playing solid fundamentals, eliminating mistakes/penalties and investing billions of dollars to “keep up with the Jones’s…(last line -an exaggeration to make a point) …..Cig has a lot of experience coaching just we old POVerts(know-it-all) have years of experience Bull-sitting!!!! I will disclose I am a bit biased in favor of Cig and the Cignetti’s are from near my home in WPA. Good family who have positively impacted many a young men’s lives. Ypu are write who gives a darn when we are winning….

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I like Cignetti and understand that he arrived and saw Slovis arm, saw slow WRs, 2 great RBs and designed an offense to fit. Top that off with his realistic assessment of Pitt’s O line (my were we all way off on their potential) injuries etc. and knew we wouldn’t be able to throw the ball worth a damn.

    The biggest problem with the four losses I saw was the defense and their midget secondary plus many injuries to the D line.
    Many of you were at the Spring Game. Mostly to see Slovis. Afterward to a person we thought Slovis was ordinary at best. He’s been a lot less than ordinary this year! H2P. Beat the Dookies.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. On offense it’s not ball possession anymore. It’s quick strike. More bad things can and will happen if you grind out the clock. That’s the new school camp.

    Cig is old school. Few if any players from high school play in old school systems. The elites all want new school. That’s what the nfl has.

    Cig needs to be retired and tending corn and goats on a farm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate Cig’s 1970’s high school offense as much as anyone else but we have to blame Nard for the lack of WR talent…maybe he should have kept the WR Coach Marion from leaving. Other than Wayne, these guys do not have break away speed. Has Mumphfield broke a big one yet? Means has shown a few flashes but not much. Where is Jayden Barden who was great last year?

      In the late 90’s Pitt was wide receiver U with Jells, Fitzgerald, English, Grimm, Bryant, and even Greg Lee. The last two big play guys we’ve had in the last ten years were Baldwin who had no one to throw to him and Addison who ripped our hearts out with the transfer. You can’t put the whole thing on Slovis and if I’m Cig, who do I have to throw to? No wonder we run so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. meanwhile virtually everyone HERE complained about the pass happy Whip offense, not sure YOU were one of them Tex

    your complaints about every thing on earth makes me think likely

    IF Cig assessed things and saw limitations with Slow and promise with the run game, it still makes little sense to have an immobile QB who in the balance does not add much unless Patti’s arm absolutely sucks

    on top of that IF Cig’s offense needs far more time to be installed, the undeniable problem with that is the environment of CFB with transfers that make player and team stability a thing of the past

    what is clear to me is that Cig’s offense v a Whip type one will not attract the kind of QB prospect that the modern college and also NFL QB talent needs which includes mobility

    the Brady days were the best but there aren’t many Brady’s around and Slow won’t be confused for him anytime soon(ever)

    no matter, Duzz remains Duzz, committed to Slow and in this case unfortunately unable to finish on someone who looks the part of modern QB in Minchey

    well, that’s what you get for continued commitment to stability, nobody should be surprised

    cool thing, one of the WR’s for Duke, Jordan Moore, played RB with my son on a very good youth FB team here in Maryland, one that might have beat a Jordan Addison Montgomery Village team in playoffs about 9 years ago

    I tried to drop a picture here into the post but can’t seem to do that any longer as I thought we were able to do years ago within the comment section of WP


    1. I confess that I complained about Coach Whipple’s O. That is until last year. I don’t know if Coach Cignetti’s O will be any better next year. I’m guessing Izzy will be gone and I like Rodney, but he is not Izzy. Answer me this…do you think Kedon Slovis will be better in year 2 of Cig’s scheme?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. only if he has a great pass blocking line that stays healthy in front of him, otherwise I think we see the ceiling and it is not high

        accuracy average on short and middle length passes, below average long

        if he doesn’t have a line his improvement on progression will be limited

        if he doesn’t have one great WR or 2 very good ones I think we rinse and repeat this year but against a tougher OOC and probably no Izzy although I think Hammond and C’bo fill that hole adequately

        maybe Cig will be better 😦


  17. Now it’s the WR are too slow, LOL. I know Frank’s a fellow yinzer and probably a great guy but come on.
    It is week 11 and his QB tells us they are still learning the offense. That is ridiculous. As someone stated, this is the age of the portal and player turnover. You can’t spend 11 weeks to develop an offense.
    Cignetti didn’t look at Pitt’s talent and design a run first offense. History shows he is what he is. The passing game is not his thing, neither is scoring points.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. If any system is too big or too complicated, then it’s the wrong system. Football is not rocket science. Very simple game. You create mismatches. If your guy is stronger, faster and smarter, you will win. Build a simple system to maximize your talent. Put the talent in positions to succeed and reach their potential. Again simple. But Cig will over engineer a wheel.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pitt mens soccer tonight at home against Cleve state.

    They got screwed in their bracket though.

    Acc well represented.


  20. From tvax1’s post and it should be repeated “it still makes little sense to have an immobile QB who in the balance does not add much”. This why many think Narduzzi is a less than great head coach. With all his experience he should know better than bring in via the portal or as a freshman recruit any QB today that can’t add the run option to his game. Almost every team we play has a QB starting that brings a run option that Pitt must plan to defend but not our opposition. It’s on Narduzzi that decision and its on Cignetti to not at least hand Patti that ball when Slovis was struggling greatly when he returned to play. Both should be graded D minus in their decisions when it comes to this years Pitt O.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I wonder if Nick’s ankle injury was far worse than we know-is that the reason he hasn’t seen the field??? He was touted by Duzz as being able to beat MSU by 2 TD’s in the bowl game after his injury or it was “too close” to call between Nick and Pokey in spring and fall camp-just say’n. Would have liked to see Nick start a couple of games but it wasn’t in Nard’s cards…I feel bad for Nick !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. C’mon let’s be real, Cigknownothing (CKN) has never coordinated an impressive passing offense in his entire career. He didn’t go with a run game because that’s the talent he had, it’s because it’s the only talent HE has!!!

    Given that we know the best CKN’s offense can do is score 20 or so points, it’s going to be up to SirVocea to do a great job spying Leonard and getting him on the ground when he escapes the pocket. If Calijah can once again put pressure up the middle, forcing the QB to go right or left, it can be a long day for the Dukie QB.

    Their “productive” run game is somewhat smoke and mirrors with a running QB who leads the team in yards. Doesn’t feel like there’s a RB to be afraid of nor a WR to take advantage of our undersized DBs.

    If Pitt can finally stop beating itself with TOs and penalties, they may be able to eek out a low-scoring win, but if Duke puts up 30+ points welcome to a 6-6 season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right TAX. Duke averages 204 yds/game rushing the football. I don’t think they can do that this weekend. And neither does Vegas…PITT-7.5.


  23. I just don’t see Pitt winning against Duke. That would mean some level of consistency and that’s exactly what we haven’t been at any facet of the game. Yes, the defense has been better, but the offense continues to sputter especially with Slow-vis. What’s the over under in Vegas for Slowvis closing his eyes and chucking up a pass to double/triple coverage in the red zone?

    Duke 38-17


  24. Ok, where do I start? I hang out around the house all day with a headful of great football thoughts and some heavy opinions then sit down at the CPU and nothing. Yeah, the first part of that sentence is a joke.

    I’ll start with Big Dan72, that’s really a nice compliment you gave me the other day. I’m flattered and honored you would come all the way back to Pittsburgh just to spend a little time not only with me but all the POVer’s. I go into every off season expecting to buy season tickets the next year. So my plan is to see you and everyone next year in Red5A, God willing.

    Great job Richard, what’s funny is, I picture your smiling face when you throw in one of your subtle jokes. The western mountains of North Carolina? Are we talking Asheville, the party capital of the Blue Ridge Mts? It’s a wonder you make it back home at all. 🙂

    So do we just slap a stamp on this season and let it go at that? You know, piss poor Narduzzi messed up another season with a team full of talent. Is this what happened? A poorly coached team that allows for inopportune fumbles and penalties. Hiring a coach that has a resume that says he’s better than the results this year? There has always been a rule on the POV that what actually happens on the field does not count, only the win or loss. What goes on for 60 minutes is completely voided out, so why do we even look at stats?

    I have much more on this topic, but I’m wiped out already.

    Just wanted to ask something to all the bowl game enthusiasts. What if everything was turned around and Narduzzi had a perfect bowl record but only a 500 record in the ACC?


    1. Ike – I drive by Asheville on the way west to Cherokee, NC. Cherokee is the start (or end if you’re coming from Virginia) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is also the southern entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Also, bordered by the Cherokee Indian Qualla Boundary.


  25. damn, did I say Cummings was a serviceable PG

    we have no ball handlers whatsoever, the Diaz Graham’s are as good as any on the dribble

    Hinson is a fouling machine, Federiko maybe also

    more hard to watch but this current bunch is hustling led by Jorge


  26. Burton Cummings (BTO?) a wolf out of control turnover machine. Pitt down 2 near halftime… usually a bad time for Pitt. Diaz brothers owning the underneath and the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Two teams tonight putting on an exhibition of terrible shooting. The Diaz-Graham brothers are obviously a work in progress, but they desperately need more weight and muscle. 7ft tall and about 190 lbs will not carry anybody in a rough and tumble ACC….conditioning is priority A for the twins, but I like what I see.


  28. If you are Cig and walk in the door and see Pitt’s offensive talent what is your strategy? Obviously, there are many new parts to the passing offense, when the OL and RBs are deep and experienced. And the inexperience in the passing game suggests that some conservative play calling is appropriate with an expanded passing game possible later in the season. A ball control strategy makes total sense. Cig is running plays to match his talent and experience level.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Nice job, Richard. You’re a stats juggernaut!

    I’ve seen a bit of QB Leonard in action and he indeed passes the eye-test. IMHO, he is exactly the type of QB Pitt should be looking for — decent enough arm with high escape-ability. The athletic QB who could also play shortstop or point-guard.

    I think he gives Pitt big head-aches in a shootout- and the team with the fewer turnovers wins…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that was funny….he was clapping like he did something…and then got abused on the roll and easy layup to the hoop !

      Liked by 1 person

  30. and the idiot Capel finally gets his best player….Hinson back in the game and Pitt has a 5 point lead on his 3 !


  31. Pitt hot dog Hinson w an awful foul. This games over. VCU w a 10-0 run.
    Up by 5 w 46 seconds. Pitt chucking up up from cheap seats as they’ve never been taught a play to run


  32. This team really is bad. Then again all of Capel’s teams at Pitt have been bad.

    It is hard to watch. Having no PG cost the Panthers this game.


  33. How long before “believe in the process” Capel starts throwing the team under the bus like he did last year?


  34. Pitt has NEVER in the history of the Program had a run like this. And that includes the end of the Bob Timmons MLK era. Time to end this morass !!!


  35. for everyone here complaining about the Duzz, Capel is the one stealing money for THIS garbage

    basketball is still a team game and if you have virtually no talent the only way to win is through defensive effort and system and offensive team ball with passing

    I have no idea what Capel is trying to get done on the offensive end, it looks like a disorganized mess or simply individual play and it’s been that way **EVERY F’N YEAR ** he’s been at Pitt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree and Pitt DOES HAVE AN ON CAMPUS BASKETBALL ARENA. Which isn’t a 100 years old !!!


      1. From Baltimore Sun:
        Takeaways from Terps’ victory over Binghamton By Ryan McFadden
        Maryland men’s basketball’s defense shined again and its strong start to the season continued with a 76-52 win over Binghamton in College Park on Tuesday night.
        From the Terps’ defensive identity taking shape to coach Kevin Willard’s frustration with their late-game execution, here are three takeaways from Maryland’s third straight victory at the Xfinity Center.
        Maryland won by 24 points on Tuesday. Willard thought it should’ve been more.
        He voiced his displeasure with how the Terps finished the game with his reserves, as the Bearcats went on an 8-0 run during the final two minutes to erase what the first-year coach thought could’ve been a 35-point victory.
        “I’ll be honest with you, I’m not thrilled with it,” said Willard, who also noted Western Carolina went on a 14-1 run in the final three minutes of last week’s game.
        Willard said “the last four minutes are just as important as the first four minutes,” while adding that the reserves will not get opportunities down the stretch if they don’t play better.
        “Because stats matter,” he said. “All of a sudden your KenPom goes down. Your NET [rating] goes down.
        “There’s no reason to blow a 34-point lead in the last four minutes of the game. So there comes a responsibility when you step on the court. You’ve got to do what you’re supposed to do.”

        Maryland hoops coach NOT HAPPY WITH A 24 POINT win!!!

        as I’ve stated, I believe JC is robbing Pitt far more than HCPN and this year will prove it

        last year’s garbage start and year had lineup disruption enough to give him cover and Dior could be viewed the same but I’m not seeing anything on the court to make be a believer(actually a hoper) in Capel any longer and unless he both improves his staff and actually recruits at the highest level, we are going nowhere for the foreseeable


  36. I was right though. Huff and I could coach this team to NIT. If this staff has any clue, it’s not apparent.
    Any HS Coach, man or woman could have led Pitt to win this game.

    Disgraceful Heather! Disgraceful!!


  37. LOL my HS team in Brooklyn was led by the great Billy Cunningham and a cast that had all starting players getting schollies. Erasmus was #2 in Noo. Yawk. Better ball handling…great shooting, led by a legendary coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. As the ONLY one to suggest Pitt even had a chance to win tonight, give credit where credit is due.

    Did not know that Hugley was going to be out. What BAD timing.

    As you’ll see, Hugley will struggle against a lot of teams. BUT this VCU team would not have been one of them.

    Had he played tonight Capel and Pitt would have won by more than a little bit.


  39. Dan described it best as sloppy street ball. This was my first real look at this Pitt basketball team, and I was surprised at the lack of team discipline. With the prior experience of these transfers, they should not be committing fouls and giving up a 5 point lead with 2 minutes to play.

    The turnovers and excessive number of fouls are not characteristic of winning play. Elliot is a complete liability and should not be on the floor except for an emergency. I was also disappointed with Hinson and his poor decision making and sloppy play. If he is their go to guy, Pitt is in trouble.

    And why the up tempo with a lead at the end? They should be slow down and drawing fouls. They wasted time outs that could have set up to go after the inbound throw ins. I didn’t see many assists in this game, but didn’t check the stats. Good coaching is not supposed to let a game like this slip away…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. huh….Hinson was the chief reason why Pitt took the lead in the 2nd half.
      He was 60% FG (6 of 10) and was 60% from 3 (3 of 5) PLUS HE HAD NO TURNOVERS.
      aND 75% FROM THE FT LINE. And hardly played the 2nd half after Pitt went up by 6…cause Capel is an idiot.
      Reason ? Voice of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


      1. What I saw from Hinson was a slightly out of control player who tried to take the game over at the end. They were not running plays at the end, and had no strategy to protect a lead. Maybe Hinson wasn’t in the game for a reason- he did have foul problems. Even Capel is not so dumb as to keep his best player out for no apparent reason..


  40. All these smaller programs find guards and Pitt has none. Elliott with an incredibly stupid inbounds pass. Cummings is a mistake waiting to happen.

    Capel and staff making all this money and cannot recruit players or athletes.

    At least the twins played fairly well. They’ll be gone after Capel is fired so no need to get too excited about their futures at Pitt.


    1. You know….you gotta wonder if Capel and these other 3 former HC’s are that inept.
      As dan72 has pointed out in various emails, they appear to not no even basic coaching principals and we know that just can’t be, since all of them (all 4 of them were Head Coaches)
      Or are they here…to just put nails in Pitt’s basketball coffin, since they’re ALL ACC good ole boys…in reality.


      1. When your coaching, it’s not about being inept or not knowing fundamentals but your teams success depends on how you competent you are teaching those ideas. From what I hear, Capel’s brother is 60% of the teaching problem

        Michigan is being blown off the floor by Ariz State to add insult to injury.

        As Joe Starkey wrote today, it’s time for Billy Knight to come in and take over.


        1. Strange cause AZ State barely beat VCU yesterday, trailing thru most of the game.
          It’s maybe more about getting your team motivated even more than teaching.
          Cause really teaching…..lol. In this era….no. Motivating decent or better talent.
          You have to be a motivation oriented coach along the lines of Jimmy V and Al McGuire.
          They both had less talent….were just great motivators.


  41. Why do I get upset watching Pitt garbage basketball…my Brooklyn roots are etched into my brain and basketball was KING in Noo Yawk and especially in Brooklyn. Our team was led by a very tough, brilliant coach who stressed FUNDAMENTALS. Bernie Kersner could have become a college coach, but he owned a very profitable summer camp which had the best summer camp basketball team in Upstate N.Y. Capel is so bad they would have blown him out of Brooklyn in a heartbeat.



    1. We had Red Manning’s Pine Hill Camp in Pittsburgh every year at Robert Morris.
      Pittsburgh has great basketball roots as well.
      Chuck DeVenzio was a brilliant coach, Ambridge HS’s undefeated State Championship team 27-0, I played under him.

      A 1947 Geneva College graduate, Mr. DeVenzio won more than 600 games and was the Head Coach of basketball teams at Ambridge, Springdale and North Allegheny high schools.

      Could care less about Brooklyn….Pittsburgh is KING !


      1. Pittsburgh has great basketball roots yet the university never took the sport seriously and so many great players left the area for other schools. I guess when you hire coaches who hate to recruit, even the local players, you get terrible results.

        Early 50s teams could’ve had Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman on the team together.

        The late 60s could’ve had Van Lier, Calabria, Durrett together.

        The early 70s, Dwight Clay and Lucas on that 1974 squad. A bit later Brad Davis and Pat Cummings with Larry Harris.

        There was a heck of a lot more players that I don’t have time to write about.

        Pitt had its Boeheim with Grgurich yet he walked because the school wouldn’t do what it took to win, similar to what it did to Sherrill.



  42. There are no set plays on this team, just a bunch of guys freelancing. Shooting and defense was a little better but VCU was as bad a shooting team as Pitt. Good to see the twins get some time, they could develop into something, but since players don’t seem to get better under Capel’s leadership doubtful Pitt will benefit. Actually no one sticks around long enough to get better.

    A good coach gets that team to the finish line tonight. We are going to see a lot of the other team making the plays down the stretch like VCU did tonight. It takes discipline to finish, something terribly lacking in the Capel era.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. I would be more than happy if Mooney Knight was brought in to resurrect Pitt’s bball program. Maybe bring Brandin Knight in to…since he is a link to the most recent great era of Pitt basketball. And we need a link to both era’s (of the 4)of Pitt basketball greatness at this point !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Look it’s not brain surgery. Pitt up 5 w 2 minutes left. You slow down the game on D and work the ball inside on O. Layups if possible. Make them foul. Run clock!! Instead Pitt is quickly throwing up 3s off balance, fouling like crazy, throw ing 3/4 court inbounds passes (sidearm no less) and speeding up the game X 3.
    Playing right into VCU hands.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. You nailed it, Dan. What is so hard about this that Capel doesn’t get it? And he doesn’t use his time outs to good effect. We just don’t get the sense that the wheels are turning and Capel is working some kind of strategy..


  46. Ok so this game is history…..you got 3 lightweights on the schedule next. or what should equate to 3 rent-a-wins.
    You gotta play the Diaz twins as much as possible to get em as ready for ACC action as possible. they had 17 points and 12 rebounds tonite. The G. Diaz led Pitt in rebounding.


    1. There are no rent-a-wins on the PITT BB schedule with Capel in charge. I’d be willing to bet Pitt loses at least 1 of those 3 so called rent-a-win games.


  47. Last time Pitt had a 5 point lead.

    4:16 Blake Hinson made Three Point Jumper. Assisted by Jamarius Burton. 57 52

    2:01 Brandon Johns Jr. made Free Throw. 60 59


  48. Basketball is a funny game. Just turned on the Michigan game. Watched for a few minutes and Michigan missed shots on four straight possessions- now down by over 25 points. Meanwhile AZ can’t miss. Mich is 2 for 14 from 3 tonight.

    I’m not crazy about watching BB for two reasons – we don’t win, and the officiating. Seems like at least 7 out of 10 foul calls, I’m wondering why it was called the way it was…

    Was kind of refreshing to see the twins out there giving good effort. We certainly have better talent than we’ve had in a while – now we need to win some games…. Duh!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. I don’t know if this was mentioned but playing Hugley for 22 minutes in his first game back against a premier center was probably not the smartest thing to do. Hopefully it is just a setback and not more serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Who is Pitt basketballs S&C coach now? How long have the twins been on campus? Get them over to the football team strength coach to bulk up. If they gain any leg strength their game will improve immensly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some stiff was hired who was S&C coach for a 5-27 Coppin State team then was fired and held the same job for another losing team.


    2. I agree 100%. I have been saying all along that the twins are twigs and with the proper conditioning and coaching they can be a tremendous asset to any team Pitt coaching..hmmm basketball conditioning… double hmmm


  51. This team will also be in foul trouble all year. I’ve never seen guys erratically throw their bodies when rebounding and just knock guys over. It’s like there is no coaching at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Back to football, with only one returning starter among the receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks, it’s not surprising that the passing game has sputtered. The answer was not to introduce a ton of new plays and expect everything to work out..

    Liked by 1 person

  53. The buyout for Capel and his assistants is probably south of $10 million. If we all truly loved Pitt, we would contribute money to a buyout fund and forgoe extravagant gift purchases this holiday season. 🤠

    I’ll come up with a list of five potential replacements.


    1. All reports are Capel is owed every penny remaining on his contract, about $14 million (what a thief).

      He could be given $5 million upfront and then the remaining $9 million spread out. What a terrible look for this university and Gallagher if it comes to paying out two coaches. The alum who’s a trucking tycoon can pay the whole bill since he allegedly put pressure on pushing Dixon out.


      1. Respectfully, neither Capel nor Duzz are thieves. They haven’t earned what they are being paid though. They are the beneficiaries of the incompetency of our Athletic Director and others who approved their compensation packages.

        We give guys long, expensive extensions when they have done nothing to earn them. One ACC football championship should not translate into a 6 year extension and an 7 million dollar a year salary.

        Both the football and basketball games are sparsely attended, except games against rivals or Notre Dame. I know we make lots of money from the conference, but how we justify these salaries when we don’t sell tickets is beyond me.

        Lost another football recruit today. Maybe I’ll get an email tomorrow morning asking me to donate or buy season tickets.


    1. I’ll give you one. Cummings is a very good off guard (2) but a horrible point guard ! He drives when there is no drive available,
      is a horrible ball distributer because he’s always looking for his own shot, has no quicks to play Vs a real PG, turns the ball over at an alarming rate and has an awful jump shot.

      On the plus side he is rough and tumble and plays a very physical game. Sees the floor well. If he was our 2 guard he’d be thriving.


  54. is it still perseveration when you switch Capel in place of Meatball?


    I hope you’re just copy and pasting this to save time typing


  55. Unfortunately there is no one at the Champagnie level of talent, no go to guy when you really need a basket. Also no good passers so no easy buckets. No one that can drive and dish.
    Generally poor shooting percentages all around.

    No defensive standouts but that may be a function of the coaching more than individual talent.


  56. Alright heathers minions, these are my five

    Bob richey – furman
    Kim English – George mason
    Dustin kerns – app state
    Darian deVries – drake
    Dennis gates – Cleve state

    I can help Pitt avoid a very expensive search committee yielding sub par candidates.

    My only ask is for my name on a prominent urinal at the Pete. And my name on all vinegar bottles in the food court. I think that’s a bargain.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. I agree with Zeise that Pitt has some good pieces. I love the twins and Hinson when he’s not hot dogging it. Elliot is playing out of position and had a horrible game last night. Hugley is terrific when not hurt.

    Burton is the little girl with the curl.
    When he’s good, he’s very good and when he’s bad….

    Sibande cannot create his own shot so he’s useless, Fedie Is a defensive presence but has no offense.

    Pitt’s biggest problem (next to coaching) is no point guard. We haven’t had one since Brandon Knight Asst Coach at Rutgers and Pitt’s next HC!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s about how I see it, Cummings great in the Ivy league won’t cut it in P-5.
      So what is Elliot’s position? The twins are going to be useless in ACC play, they will be manhandled. Hopefully they get some man muscle and a little more coordination and stay at Pitt for four years. Unfortunately Burton is not good nearly often enough.


      1. I would have the Twins running distance and sprints in the off season, also the stadium stairs. They look so awkward when they run. This can only be improved by running.
        I’d ask the track coach for help. Also they need some serious weight training and a high protein diet.


        1. Gordon – anyone that tall will look awkward running. They do need a ton of meat on their bones though.


          1. Not true, watch an NBA game. In fact watch Adams run the court.
            Not saying they will be gazelles, but they can get much better and they need to.


        2. The Twins also need some work on keeping the pivot foot anchored. I saw one traveling call but thought they (surprisingly) missed at least one other one.

          Skinny yes, but nice to see the way the Twin’s height and long limbs made shooters a bit hesitant…

          And we should remember they will get more comfortable with more playing time – especially with their shooting…

          Go Pitt.


        1. A coach eager to move up
          A coach eager to prove himself
          A coach ready for the challenge
          A coach that wants paid

          Plenty of takers

          Great conference
          Great facility
          Great fans if you win
          Close to recruiting hotbeds in DC, Philly and NYC

          Capel has no excuses. He’s getting all the support and then some from Heather and the administration.

          If heathers doesn’t stray from my list, it’s winner winner chicken dinner.


    2. In fairness Dan, James Robinson was a point guard you had to love. Protect the ball, distribute and run the offense. Contributed a little offensively. Krauser and Levance were both pretty good too.


  58. Lone, with your consent I will place a plaque with your name on any urinal you like.
    Being in the beer consumption business I’m aware of most urinal locations in the area.

    Liked by 3 people

  59. Having watched all of the BB games, we are in for a long season of erratic play with a losing (maybe very losing) team. ACC will be a nightmare.


  60. Super big match for #7 Pitt women’s volleyball coming up this evening! They are playing #4 Louisville at 6 PM for the ACC title as well as a top 4 seed. The match will be broadcast on the ACC Network. The match is at Louisville.

    Come on Panthers, you can do this!! Hail To Pitt!

    I will not be watching it live due to some social commitments. I am counting on the rest of you to cheer on the team and bring the victory home!

    Liked by 4 people

  61. This may be too early to say, but I could see Jorge and Guillermo becoming big fan favorites if they stay at Pitt for their entire careers. Similar to Chevy Troutman. I don’t recall Chevy ever taking over a game or being a dominant force. But the man worked his butt off and appeared to be a great team player. And when he was awarded his framed jersey on Senior Night, he received a huge ovation from those in the Pete. But maybe players staying in one place for their entire college career is a thing of the past.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Chevy was always good under the boards. Smallish but a very strong build and had a great touch under the basket. I see no comparison with the twins.


      1. That was the more experienced Chevy. As a freshman, my memory of him was he would catch a pass and look for who to pass it to next – little or no thought about driving or shooting the ball. The offense came with experience as I imagine it will for the twins…


  62. The one for sure positive from the game last night was the Diaz-Graham Twins. Look like they themselves might be worth the price of admission.

    Kind of remind me of some brothers from a different sport.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.