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After Exhibition Win, Pitt is All in on Preparing for Florida State



PITTSBURGH — Pitt has seemingly no time to rest after their 98-47 exhibition win over Slippery Rock on Wednesday.

“I’m pleased with some of the things that we did today,” Capel said. “But we are excited about the challenge that we have ahead.”

Pitt will host Florida State to tip-off their season on Nov. 6.

The Panthers beat the Seminoles at the Pete last season, that gave them their second ACC win under head coach Jeff Capel.

“We have to get ready,” Capel said of playing FSU. “We know that they are going to be really talented. They are going to be big and athletic. And they are going to play really, really hard.”

Pitt had a ‘secret scrimmage‘ with Maryland (who is ranked as a top-10 preseason team) on Oct. 19. The Panthers lost 84-75.

“One of the reasons that we scheduled Maryland — was preparation for Florida State,” Capel said. “We knew we would not get (that preparation in exhibitions. Hopefully (the Maryland scrimmage) and what we do over the next six days will have us prepared.”

The exhibition against Slippery Rock was still useful for Capel and the Panthers, in the sense that they are still young and haven’t had a lot of game action together.

Capel was able to get a better feel of what lineups that he wants to use and who can provide what when Florida State comes to town.

“It was good for us tonight,” Capel said. “It was good for guys to get out there and get in front of people and get the experience to wear the uniform for the first time.”

With Slippery Rock not providing the same look, size wise, that Pitt will see against Florida State, they know that they need to stress rebounding more than ever this week.

“(We have to) send four guys to the glass,” Grad-transfer Eric Hamilton said about rebounding against Florida State. “That’s one of the things that we are focusing on. Just get in position and keep working and keep fighting.”

Hamilton started against Slippery Rock, and had six points and five rebounds in 12:17 of play.

The other first year Panther starter, freshman Gerald Drumgoole Jr scored 13 points — while knocking down two three-pointers and grabbing five rebounds.

Drumgoole Jr. knows that there isn’t time to rest at this level of basketball. But he thinks that his team will be ready for the challenge, come Wednesday.

“We are welcoming the challenge,” Drumgoole Jr. said. “The team got a great win last year, so they know what it takes to beat Florida State. The newcomers — we are going to take pride (in getting another win this year) and play as hard as we can.”

Florida State is projected to finish No. 5 in the ACC this season. After Pitt hosts the Seminoles, their next conference game isn’t until they travel to Louisville on Dec. 6.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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