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Pitt Basketball

Jeff Capel Describes Recruiting, Transfer Portal Importance

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After losing five players from last season’s team to the transfer portal and one to the NBA, Pitt head coach Jeff Capel had a lot of work to do to revamp his roster over the offseason.

In addition to class-of-2021 guard Nate Santos and JuCo wing Chris Payton, Capel went out and signed three players from the transfer portal: Jamarius Burton from Texas Tech, Dan Oladapo from Oakland, and Mo Gueye from Stony Brook.

Burton and Gueye have undoubtedly been fantastic additions to the team, being two of the four players on the roster that have started at least 20 games this season. Burton, who was stuck behind a crowded, guard-heavy rotation at Texas Tech, is now Pitt’s second-leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points per game and shooting 40% from the field. Gueye has also dazzled since arriving in Pittsburgh, and is now averaging 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while also averaging the fourth-most blocks per game in the ACC at 2.1.

Oladapo, while his role has decreased since the beginning of the year, has given Pitt some solid minutes inside off the bench. He started his season by making 14 of his first 19 shots, and scoring at least eight points in three of the Panthers’ first four games.

“I think it’s a tool that can be very important,” Capel said about the portal on Monday. “Sometimes you get lucky with it. Sometimes you get guys that you don’t anticipate having the types of years that they had. The kid at Wake Forest, Alondes Williams, is a perfect example of that. He’s as good a player as we have in our league, and I don’t think Steve or anyone on their staff expected that. I think they expected him to be good, but not to come in and be one of the frontrunners for player of the year in our league. We like the guys that we were able to get, it’s a tool that we will use going forward, but it is a different tool that you have now in order to help your team become better.”

Although the Panthers currently have no recruits signed for the 2022 class, they will always have the option to focus their recruiting efforts on the portal this offseason, which seems to be the case this year.

First Love recruit Fray Nguimbi, who was offered by Pitt over one year ago, told Pittsburgh Sports Now that the staff recently communicated to him that he was no longer one of its targets.

“I just talked to coach Jason, and he said they decided to make changes for this class,” Nguimbi told PSN. “They’re recruiting older guys. He wished me good luck and I appreciate him telling me.”

However, the focus was not always on the portal. Throughout the summer and fall, the Panthers struck out on several prospects in the 2022 class, including some prospects whom Pitt hosted on official visits, like Daniel Skillings, Ryan Dunn, Dom Barlow, MJ Rice, Judah Mintz, and more.

“You try to get the guys that you feel like are a fit with what you do and what you want to do with your program,” Capel said. “I don’t think you can worry about what other people are doing, who else is recruiting, or things like that. You try to get the guys that you feel are best fit for your program, and sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. That’s recruiting. But you keep working, you have two signing periods, and again, you just try to find the guys that are the best fit for what you want to do, your needs, and how you want to run your program.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Rob Radich
Rob Radich
9 months ago

Recruiting the scrap heap. That’ll play in the ACC. So glad we have the recruiting savant.

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
9 months ago

Transfer portal is his only form of recruiting…

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago

Two predictable comments from the same sad psu troll. Next up, Krackerjack Kid, Irish Hammer or maybe the return of Joe Bunda.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
9 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Your soft mind and limited capacity are showing. Try not to be such a gaslight fanboy, “Jimbo” (WTF). Grow up and learn a little discernment. The program is a dumpster fire.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

The only things showing are the emotional scars from your days showering at the Lasch. You & the rest of the pedd state trolls are disgusting enablers.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jimbo Grimm
Mark Recker is a jerk
Mark Recker is a jerk
9 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Another edit jumbo. How’s your husband? You guys back from your honeymoon?

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago

You should try editing your posts Pap. If you did, you might just fool a few people into thinking that you’re not an uneducated pedd state troll. WE ARE….INCONTINENT!

Send it in !
Send it in !
9 months ago

Puff piece. And yes the Portal is very important now that regular recruiting is a bust.
But Capel has shown he’s not that good putting teams together ‘on the fly’ so to speak.
So that does not bode well.
And btw Oladapo has played a combined 18 minutes since Dec 21, so in almost 2 months of games. And scored 4 points in ACC games. Solid minutes ?
The season is lost, Capel should be using the rest of the season getting kids like Santos, Payton and Collier minutes. Getting them some experience for next year.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

So you want Collier to get more minutes? In order for that to happen he would have to take playing time from Hugley. It’s becoming obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Send it in !
Send it in !
9 months ago

PSN really needs to banish these trolls who add nothing to the comments. Just personal attacks.

Last edited 9 months ago by Send it in !
Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

Just look in the mirror champ.

Send it in !
Send it in !
9 months ago

These 25 Colleges Spend the Most on Men’s Basketball

21. Pittsburgh

  • Expenses: $11,013,283
  • Appearances: 26
  • Final Fours: 1
  • Titles: 0

Pitt’s ROI on basketball must be the lowest of all P5 conferences. For economic
reasons alone…..a Change Must be Made !

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
9 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

That is truly awful. As of now, that is a million per win. I think he should get one more year. And I can’t really point to any substantial reason why aside from if he leaves, is the next guy doing a complete roster rebuild. And you could say…so what. That would be fair. And the fact he got Champaigne into the league after only 2 years. With that said, I would see if Pitino and Miller have any interest in the job. I know, they have some serious baggage. Also know how to put a team together in this… Read more »

dennis wagner
9 months ago

How often do we have to be on the list of recruits that go elsewhere. It is time to fire Capel or Pitt will lose the four players who if they were disciplined and properly coached could play in the ACC. First and foremost demand Hugley play at no heavier than 240lb., he could dominate at that weight. Work on Jefferies ballhandling, and outside shootng mechanics on his threes. Put height on him and force him to drive to the basket or pull up in the paint. Burton is not a point guard, he needs to play the 2. Most… Read more »

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
9 months ago
Reply to  dennis wagner

Hughley has dropped, I think 30lbs, with a goal of being 230. Think he is at 250 right now. He is a player and will continue to get better.

Jeffries, I just don’t know why they had him reclassify. He is still only 18 and looks like his confidence has been impacted negatively these past 2 seasons. Not sure if he still has 3 years or not with the covid eligibility parameters.

Dukes

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