It’s the official beginning of the Capel era at Pitt as the men’s basketball team opens their regular season tonight versus Youngstown State. While the Pitt fanbase was nearly universally happy with the hire and Capel’s recruiting acumen has done nothing to temper future expectations, this season–at least according to the national experts–may be a bit of a let down for some.
ESPN’s BPI (Basketball Power Index) has Pitt at 201st in the nation (out of 353 teams), and they’re projecting the Panthers to go 11-20 and 3-15 in the ACC.
Sports Illustrated ranked every team in the nation, Pitt landed at #206.
In the ACC, 247 Sports has Pitt fully entrenched at 15 (out of 15), although they did receive at least one 14th place vote.
CBS Sports’ rankings place Pitt 219th with a projected record of 8-24.
On the more optimistic side is Ken Pomeroy, whose 2019 beginning of season rankings have the Panthers 138th and Jeff Sagarin, who places Pitt 127th. Teamrankings.com also has Pitt as the 138th ranked team in the country.
Massey Ratings, a composite of 18 ratings systems, has Pitt 165th in the country.
Locally, Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review is predicting a better season than last year’s: 13-18 overall and 4-14 in the ACC.
Anson Whaley at Cardiac Hill doesn’t give an exact number, but predicts 12-13 wins and a better outcome than last year.
In other words, it’s probably going to be a long season for Capel and the Panthers on the court.
Finally, while there are no season predictions, there are two profiles of Capel worth reading in the Undefeated and from Craig Meyer at the Post-Gazette and the Duke Basketball Report has a lengthy profile of the team.