Connect with us
PSN is sponsored by Beaver County Auto

Pitt Basketball

Pitt HC Jeff Capel to Face New Challenges After Building Strong Veteran Core

Published

on

After a disappointing fourth season at the helm of the Pitt basketball program, Jeff Capel had his hands full heading into this offseason.

With a 51-69 record through four years, Capel knew he had to turn things around next season, and it started with rebuilding the roster. After Femi Odukale, Ithiel Horton, Noah Collier and others entered the transfer portal, Capel saw his opportunity to hit the transfer portal hard, and he has done just that.

Without question, Capel has loaded this Pitt roster with veteran talent. Because of past injuries and transfer rules, this will be the sixth season that Nike Sibande, Greg Elliott, and Nelly Cummings have been on college rosters. It will be Jamarius Burton’s fifth. Those four guards have combined to play 454 games, score 4,319 points, and hit 516 three pointers at the Division One level.

Cummings has played in two NCAA Tournament games, scoring 14 against Arkansas in 2020-21 and 20 points against Wisconsin this past year. Elliott has played in one NCAA Tournament game and three NIT games, while Burton has played in four NIT games and two NCAA Tournament games. The experience is there for this year, but multiple questions remain: Will they be able to develop team chemistry and win games? What will the back court look like next season?

Get ready for another exciting offseason a year from now. Next spring and summer, Capel is going to have to rebuild the entire back court again and scour the transfer portal for another round of experienced guards. While there is still plenty of time for Pitt to sign 2023 guard recruits, the odds that they can add more than 2-3 high school guards that can compete in the ACC from the start are very low.

After the upcoming 2022-23 season, the roster will look like this:

Jorge Diaz-Graham, 6-foot-11 F, Sophomore

Guillermo Diaz-Graham, 6-foot-11 F, Sophomore

John Hugley, 6-foot-9 F, Senior

William Jeffress, 6-foot-7 wing, Senior

Nate Santos, 6-foot-7 wing, Junior

Blake Hinson, 6-foot-7 F, RS Senior

Fede Federiko, 6-foot-11 F, Junior

With virtually no guards on the roster past this season, this is Capel’s year to prove to guard recruits in the 2023 class and in next year’s portal class that he can take a whole group of new guys, rally them to play together, and win. He has recruited the portal well this offseason, but by using this strategy, he is setting himself up to have to rebuild again a year from now. Pitt is in full win-now mode.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
23 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
23 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Garland
Jim Garland
1 month ago

You wrote: “Next spring and summer, Capel is going to have to rebuild the entire back court again and scour the transfer portal for another round of experienced guards.” Not true. Next spring and summer, Capel will be polishing his resume, or at least he better be. He’s put together another roster that has “ACC Bottom Tier” stamped all over it, and there’s no way he gets a 6th season.

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Garland

Well I agree in a rational world that’s based on results he wouldn’t. But we’re not living in a rational world anymore.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
1 month ago

He’s got a guy who never started at Marquette, a 13ppg scorer from the Patriot League, a low double digit scorer from the MAC who averaged 6 points at Pitt, and a guy in Burton who probably isn’t a starter on 12 ACC teams. Let’s pump the brakes on the 4,300 points, lol

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Somebody on bad teams have to score. And if your playing for 4 years on bad teams other than the Colgate kid….that is gonna add up. You and I know Pitt will be among the lowest scoring teams in the ACC…..as they have been most of Capel’s tenure of ineptitude.

Eric payne
Eric payne
1 month ago

These new recruits believe that they can make a difference, that is why they signed here. Way to welcome them whit your negative thoughts. If they are right, you will be the first in line for tournament tickets.

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric payne

Kamikaze pilots believed they could make a difference too ! How’d that work out ?

Eric payne
Eric payne
1 month ago

Kamikaze pilots knew they were not coming back.

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago

A strong core of veterans. Or just veterans. By the way, none of those Guards are known as shooters. As in 3 point shooters. They’re all slashers Capel never can recruit shooters, which has been one of his major downfalls.

Jason
Jason
1 month ago

The twins can shoot the three just in case you forgot……

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason

And I hope they can…..cause with the players recruited, very few can.
But they will be freshmen and Capel has never shown a proclivity for running offenses that screen for shooters to get open. We shall see !

Robin Shoop
Robin Shoop
1 month ago

Sorry to disappoint the naysayers on this post. I believe that Capel has put together a competitive roster even though they don’t have the same money as a team like Miami which paid one of their new recruits $400K with a NIL contract. There were lots of haters with Narduzzi two years ago. Where are they now???

Josh
Josh
1 month ago

Rob Radich …. Go away ! Nobody cares about you or your opinions

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh

You sound like a cancel culture n i t w i t.

Last edited 1 month ago by Felton, Family & Friends
Rob Radich
Rob Radich
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh

And yet you take the time to respond

Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
1 month ago

Big Mouth Jeff will have another losing season.

What’s the over/under on player arrests?

Pittband
Pittband
1 month ago

Pitt didn’t join the ACC to compete in basketball, the Big East ignored football and gave them no choice but to leave. Could have gone to the Big 12 and been competitive like WV but who wants to go to Stillwater in the winter? Occasionally, Pitt will have a team which makes the tournament but the ACC is so competitive that your expectations are too lofty. This ain’t the Big East anymore!

Felton, Family & Friends
Felton, Family & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  Pittband

If VT & Miami can compete in the ACC, basketball wise….Pitt was better than both of them substantially for 15 years. And if you haven’t noticed the ACC has not been near the top of NCAAB the last several years. So that makes Capel’s follies even worse.

Ray Donovan
Ray Donovan
30 days ago

Acc has multiple national championships by different teams duke unc and Virginia

TMG
TMG
1 month ago

I am not a Basketball coach. I watch it. I played it in HS. I’m sorry, but I don’t see this roster as being able to win the ACC? They’ll win some games but a Tourney Team? I’m not seeing it. I hope Coach can bring it out of them and has a winning season because if not Heather will have some splaining to do.

James DeLeon
James DeLeon
1 month ago

Jeff Capel is able to get talent. He’s just not able to keep enough talent around to have a winning season. No projections or predictions. With Capel, it’s show and tell. And all he’s shown so far is nothing.

lorin Flickinger
lorin Flickinger
1 month ago

Looks like another losing season is on the horizon.This team is full of marginal players from
lower tier leagues. Jeff Capel isn’t fooling anybody with this lackluster roster of underperformers.Looks like ‘more of the same’
awaits Pitt fans

SRS
SRS
1 month ago

Hire Pitino, get some Adidas NIL deals.

Ray Donovan
Ray Donovan
30 days ago

Capel don’t get the same support that duzz gets…but he has been a failure smh no way around it…yeah there’s some valid reasons but he still ends up in failure lane

March Madness

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

 
Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend