As the college basketball season enters its final month, the Pitt men’s basketball team continues to sputter.
Entering tonight’s game at Virginia Tech, the Panthers have lost five of their last six games–with three of those loses by double-digits: 75-48 to Clemson, 69-56 to Boston College and 91-75 to Wake Forest. Pitt now finds themselves next to last in the ACC with a conference record of 3-9 and 8-15 record overall.
With eight regular season games remaining, Pitt has a chance of reaching seven conference wins, which would be the highest of Jeff Capel’s tenure. The last two seasons, the Panthers have finished the season with six conference wins.
The question at the end of the season will be does the Pitt administration feel this basketball program is headed in the right direction and after four seasons, has enough progress been made under Capel?
While the Pitt fan base undoubtedly have serious questions, the only opinion that will count will be that of athletic director Heather Lyke and Pitt chancellor Patrick Gallagher.
Lyke might have already made that decision because she made an appearance on 93.7 FM and “The Fan Morning Show” with Chris Mack and Colin Dunlap.
Here were Lyke’s comments when asked about Capel and the 2021 season.
“I have confidence in them. Yeah, there is a timeframe that makes sense. We will play out that timeframe right now. There is now question, I believe they can do it. It’s just going to take a little longer than expected.” Lyke went on to say, “They (the players) believe in Coach Capel and what he is teaching them. He has not lost the team by any stretch. They are dialed in. They responded well in the second half (vs. Virginia Tech). There is a desire to win. I’m not sure we are at the talent level we need to be.”
This is Capel’s fourth season at Pitt and has an overall record of 48-62 (.436) and 18-47 (.277) in the ACC. Prior to Pitt, Capel had a record of 96-69 in five seasons at Oklahoma and was 79-41 in four seasons at VCU.