The 2017-18 season was downright miserable for the Pitt basketball fanbase. Negativity, hopelessness and disinterest had settled in but that all changed with the hiring of Jeff Capel.
Since his hiring on March 28, Pitt fans suddenly have hope and a genuine interest in their basketball program once again.
That enthusiasm really showed on Tuesday, when four-star guard Trey McGowens announced his commitment to Pitt. Twitter and Facebook timelines were flooded with positive comments for Capel and his first verbal commitment.
“It got me excited and I feel like one of them and that the fans love me already,” McGowens said to Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I received so many notifications that my Twitter account kept freezing. I actually turned my phone off because I was getting so many messages and notifications. Before I announced my decision, I figured I might get a little bit because Pitt fans have been sending me messages all week leading up to today. I never thought it would be like it was today.”
The only person that was probably more excited than the fans was Capel who landed his first big commitment at Pitt.
“He was very excited, but said that he now has to get more people around me,” McGowens said.
Although the decision was announced Tuesday, McGowens had an idea a few days earlier that Pitt was going to be it.
“I actually knew three or four days ago but my mom always taught me to take a few days to think about a decision and see if I still feels positive and it did,” he said.
Aside from selecting Pitt, McGowens decided to jump ahead a year and re-classify into the Class of 2018.
“I just felt that with all of the top guards and top players that Coach Capel has worked with and gotten to the NBA, he believes that I’m ready for 2018 and I just feel he’ll be able to get me ready,” McGowens said.
Now that his decision is out of the way, McGowens knows that a lot of hard work and training is ahead because he’s going to be expected to play major minutes and a major role for the Panthers next season.
“I believe I’m going to be ready,” he said. “I’ll also be mentally ready for the praise but also the criticism that will come. When I arrive on campus, I feel that Coach Capel since he knows the position will help me with that.”
McGowens will get his first chance to check out his new home next weekend when he makes his official visit.