Pittsburgh basketball preview!

#214 R.P.I. Pittsburgh @ #113 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:  

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns to the weekend Saturday-evening/Monday-nighting Associative Property, or N.b.a. wheel of a rarefied collegiate back-to-back @Away then back Home match and rematch with Pittsburgh.

The Hokies will travel (pardon the sporting pun) 321-miles Nor-by-nearly-due-North to Pitt on Saturday nite and then sojourn the very same 321-miles So-by-nearly-due-South back home for game#2 on Monday nite. As A.c.c. hoops in lieu of G.P.S. itself goes… Pitt enters the Monday Night throwdown at 8 up against 15 down for the duration. And (3-9) inside the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Panthers have not exactly set the 2021-2o22 world on fire and have clearly Program fallen and have not (yet) gotten (standings) back up. This is not the stalwart era of Pitt Panther hoops, more parts the Stallworth era or 4th or 5th hometown banana. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to finds, outs!

Pittsburgh Head Coach: Felton Jeffrey Capel III: age=46, 223–173* (.565) overall, 48–62 (.440) at Pitt. (know as a defensive coach with a penetrating O and with some recruiting)
$950,000 (base), (with: $525,785 in OK and Duke residuals +bonus/kickers)

Baby Capel is from a basketball family. His father is basketball coach Jeff Capel II, former assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats and former head coach at Old Dominion University, and his younger brother Jason played basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the head basketball coach at Appalachian State University. As a senior at South View High School in Hope Mills, North Carolina, baller Capel led his team to the 1993 state championship defeating Charlotte powerhouse South Mecklenburg 53–52 with a last-second cardiac clutch make. He also set school career records in points (2,066), rebounds (669), and assists (663).

The jury is still out, here…

Baller Capel ran hoops at Duke University (1993–1997), where he earned a starting position as a freshman and was a starting guard on the basketball team for four years. On February 2, 1995, in the regular-season game played at home against UNC, with Duke trailing 95–92 at the end of the first overtime, Capel hit a running 40-foot shot at the buzzer which sent the game into double overtime. Although Duke lost the game 102–100, Capel’s shot was hailed as one of the most memorable plays in Duke basketball history, and it was nominated for an ESPY Award for College Basketball Play of the Year. Capel’s college career was marked with success. During his years as a Blue Devil, he racked up 1,601 points, 433 assists, and 220 three-point field goals. He finished his career among Duke’s all-time Top 10 in minutes played, three-point field goal percentages, three-point field goals, and assists. Also earned his Duke.edu degree.

Pro’ Capel played professional basketball for two years, playing in France and the CBA. Capel was also drafted in 1997 by the Raleigh Cougars of the USBL.

(nepotistic) Coach Capel began his coaching career serving as an assistant coach under his father, Jeff Capel II, at Old Dominion University for the 2000–2001 season. In 2001, he joined the coaching staff of Virginia Commonwealth University as an assistant. He was promoted to head coach of the Rams for the 2002–2003 season—making him, at the time, the youngest head coach in Division I men’s college basketball (27 years old). In his four years as head coach at VCU, Capel guided the Rams to a record number of wins (79) and the highest winning percentage (.658) of any Division I program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Following the 2003–04 season, Capel was named both the Richmond Times-Dispatch and VaSID State Coach of the Year after leading the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996.

On April 11, 2006, Capel was named the head coach of the Oklahoma men’s basketball team, succeeding Kelvin Sampson. As the big whistle for the Boomer Sooners, Coach Capel had one really sharp Blake Griffin fueled season (Elite-8), made the round of-32 one other time, and was spring broke and Merrill Lynch (see: below) scandalized in the meantime. As Coach Capel teams seem to be either: very very good, C+ good or not good at all. (i.e. not a middle ground or WWI type of coach).

On May 8, 2011, it was announced that Jeff Capel would be joining the staff of Mike Krzyzewski at his alma mater, Duke University, as an assistant coach. Coach Capel coached one game for the back surgery (may St.Wolfgang help) riddled/pretzeled coach-K. Then he moved on to a thus far pretty .5oo adhesive run while attempting to rebuild the once pretty dang sharp hooping Panther’s program.

Daddy Capel is married to Duke alumna Kanika Réale Blue. They were married in 2003. The two had their first child on April 26, 2007, Cameron Isabella Capel. Two years later, the two had a daughter, Sydney Gabrielle Capel, and three years after that,
they had a son, Elijah Blue Capel.
*Oklahoma vacated 13 regular-season wins (and 4 conference wins)
due to the use of an ineligible player during the 2oo9–1o season.

Pitt at a glance:

  • 6th most FT-attempts!!! (Pitt attacks the rack).
  • 68th in Rebounding Margin.
  • 3o9th in FG-percentage O!
  • 312th in 3-point percentage O!
  • 327th in Turnover Margin!!
  • 334th in Scoring O!
  • 14 different Team Rankings outta the 32 National ones that I routinely track checked in at 275th or, worse.
  • 2 injuries were listed… Coach God twice bless!

Returning Starters=1

Pittsburgh Strengths:

  • …give you a little hint… it ain’t: Experience.
  • …’cause it ain’t player… retention, either.
  • One #23, and last year’s Top Newcomer (John Hugley, 5.1 ppg on 4.3 rpg at 39% overall) may not quite be a pure disappointment; although he has not (yet) made an appointment here. As this 6′9″, 240 lb. play right away P/F or “Four” was at least a **** (four-star) VHT recruit. With a backcourt skillset, court-vision, and yet a powerhouse 220v frame. Plus he be styling a big-azz face-‘fro that same as Joe Stalin’s hair, just won’t Q-word. Those however are last year’s personal digits… the Pitt.big.fat.website now reads: “28o” lbs.!?! Wowzo! I mean, this C’town baller is the fish that ate Pittsburgh. That said, there is indeed talent here under all that mass… as Hugley was not listed lower than 95th nationally (ESPN) and he garnered pretty much Mr. Everything in Ohio H.S. ball terms. Where he put up big-time scoring and rebounding numbers over in the Buckeye state alike. A lot is still C-town or cavalier expected, here. (PREVIOUS UPDATE: “Hugley was suspended for disciplinary reasons, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.” Coach God help! Last year…) This year J.Hug’s is netting you 15.3 ppg, with 8.5 rpg, and 1.3 apg. That’s code for being your scoring and rebounding alpha-cat if you are keeping score at home. The seemingly lowly 16.1% long is actually up from an unsightly 0.0% deep last year. So, I suppose that is gaining some measure of range? The scoring is up 320% from last season as well, and that is coming on strong. That said, Hug’s scores are all over the place box-score-wise, low, medium, and high alike. Not a very consistent baller here who has been true to Smothers Brothers form yo-yo’ing of late as well. And yet… Johnny had very good H.S. digits: 25 ppg on 14 rpg says so. Tho’ he never won anything post-season wise and that is an injudicious look to me. As the kid has talent(s), plural. He has a videography career on the side as well— and frankly, if he would side-up to hoops 25/ate he’s prolly a fringe overseas Pro’, at least… not at most. ’cause the two felony counts of criminal conspiracy and one felony count of receiving stolen property. From allegedly jimmying a stolen 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in 2o2o be… “ridin’ dirty”. As j.Hug’s could be the prime-order #1 talent out on the floor most nites; if/when he decides to AAA TripTik be. And the high-scoring highly productive version of this overloaded 22ov Power-Forward could short-circuit our visiting chances here.
  • Femi Odukale is Scrabble Point names is fun just like dat. Femi was a 6′5″, 186 lb., nugget or rookie-year S/G last year. This year he is up to being a 6′5″, 2o5 lb. double-sophomoric S/G who went out and found himself a couple of 10 lb. plates to eat. Much needed 10 lb. plates to eat mind yah. Femi came up in the Brooklyn borough —of NYC Gotham game fame. Femi was your No. 145 overall baller by Rivals. Femi was a bit of a high school outburst typea gunning scorer. Being named to the: the All-A.C.C. Academic Team and A.C.C. Honor Roll alike shows he has some desktop caliber game in addition to his hardtop swagg. Panther.edu proppers on dats. Said to be a pretty pickpocket 5-finger-discount defensive ace when he wants to be; really moves slashing well to the hoops upon film study. Only has a momma-bear listed in his bio’… paternal Saint’s bless on this. Does have a nice rise on his J; like he was well-schooled/coached-up (by whomever) along the inner-city way. Getting you: 12.0 ppg with 3.6 rpg and the team-lead at 3.1 apg does not second-season suck. 38% overall, on: 62% from the FT-line, and 31% from 3-point-land all seem a bit low to me. As this kid is trying to do much {sic: on O}; as he looks smoother than that on breaking-tape. (That said, Odukale has been heating up of late… so maybe this Fe(r)mi will now show out as being mo’… Constant?
  • 6′4″, 2oo lb., Jamarius Burton, Sr., by way of: Wichita State and then by way of: Texas Tech, somehow shrank 1″ and yet weighs the same since we saw him last. His game however is reasonable enuff this campaign: 13.2 ppg on 3.7 rpg with 2.5 is solid if unspectacular work if you can second-option get it. Does field a history of left-knee dings (St.Nikon help). Although Mister Burton did pocket a:  North Carolina’s Class 4A or AAAA quadratic state championship bling prior to all of these colleges, plural. Very efficacious guy… as Jam’-B has flirted with an astounding 5:1 assist:turnover ratio off/on throughout his collegiate career. Momma-bear played basketball at Alabama A&M, and all 3-siblings have played college hoops on full-rides already. Then his Uncle, Todd Peat, only played six seasons in the N.F.L. for the Cardinals and Raiders. Then his cousin, Andrus Peat, only plays for the New Orleans Saints and was only the 13th overall pick in the 2o15 N.F.L. draft. Then his Aunts: Pamela White and Tammy Newton, only 100% played college basketball as well. “Snap!” Human Genome Roundball Project check insert in boxes; (very) plural… here! Does seem stronger upon tape than his listed metrics as well to me. A hardnosed veteran kinda kid who coaches wish they had one mo’ of. Defensive, willing, and the team lead at 88% from the charity stripe does not suck.

    …this dood is now a doublewide, load!
  • Ithiel Horton G 6′5″, 2oo lb., Off-G by way of: Delaware is now classified as a r-Jr. (And yah; this is a strange ‘did not count year’ thingy, is it not?) 9.3 ppg with 3.0 rpg and 1.0 apg is decent enough. It is however the Shooting-G blue-ribbon netting of: 46.3% that got Ithiel into this preview here. That said: Horton may have heard a Ho’… as he and Doc Seuss both got popped fo’: aggravated assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness. Then I.H. was reinstated after a near 2-month sit-down. Then he appears to have appeared in 3-games. (Did well enuff too… tho’ he was scoring better back when as a Blue Hen). Then he appears to have been suspended, again; a 2nd-time? His Uncle ran ball at Gah.Tech… and yet it is Google unclear to me if this kid will be back, as the legal reports both support and retort him equally alike. As there sure are lotta grapes on the grapevine here; and same as playing Pt.Guard my ownself… Eye’ll just pass on dats.

Pitt Weaknesses:

  • Discipline?
  • Talent itself???

  • A true off-season Roster gutting.
  • Zero pre-season nominees for any-string All-A.c.c. might be a clue…
  • Nearly every single rotational guy from last year is gone (less 2). That’s about 20% returnees and about 80% departees.
  • As 3 guys averaging between 14 ppg and 18 ppg all kicked rocks. The same Triade of ballers was averaging between 6 rpg and 9 rpg to boot.
  • This from a buncha L’ers last year (1o-12 overall (and: 6-1o in the A.c.c.).
  • So, it is now or pretty much Coach Next never up in my hoopology home-crib. As this Panther big-whistle has gotta fish or get off the, pot.
  • Nike Sibande (6′4″, 185 lb.) Miami of Oh., is your Alpha-sub’ who is done for the duration (A.c.l., St.Nikon help!) Also done would be this fourth-year ballers Red Hawk incoming ≅16 ppg and 6 rpg on respectable netting. (43% from the floor and 38% from deep). All-M.A.C. Third Team baller who had a history of post-season heroics as well. H.S. class 3A state champ in hoops-happy Indiana is G.N.C. strong. And this is a major Panther backcourt weakening; make no misQ on that. Coach God Help.

Panther Den: (depth=three to four’ish give/take)

Fourth-year, 6′, 180 lb. back-up Pt.Guard Onyebuchi Ezeakudo and his rolled ankle (St.Philip bless) were: “OUT INDEFINITELY” although the x-rays were negative here as this was a bad high-ankle sprain. Tho’ O.E. is now back and back as well as his 2.5 ppg with 2 rpg and 1.4 apg alike. Which is to say his former game does not look fully box-score back to me. As Onyebuchi Ezeakudo had yet to put up any real digits although the tip-end of the Pitt bench and practice rotations were none deeper for the presence of his absence up in Stiller country. As E.O. is a rarefied rotational D-1 power-conference walk-on who splashes a noteworthy 45% of his trifectas and that merits his inclusion here.

6′1o″, tho’ only 2oo lb., Mouhamadou Gueye is a transferring 5th-year Four or P/F from: Stony Brook.  Gueye may or may not have cut any: Gruyère… that ‘too easy’ attempt at culinary satire asides… kinda seems like the po’ Dadi Nichols De1 of VeeTee fame on film to me. Really lean/high-metabolism guy who just cannot really house any right-mass or weight. Elongated, lean, rangy guy… 4th already at Stony Brook all-time in swats tells you how he defends. America East Defensive Player of Year (2o2o) prolly tells you the same. 5th in the whole NC2A shebang for it in bpg on top of all of that. Was actually at little ole: Monroe College (of: New Rochelle, New York) prior to Stony Brook. Did NOT play high school ball as a Jr. or as a Sr. Was found per se due to a YouTube mixtape after he grew a whopping 10″ before/after his final couple of scholastic non-seasons. Has a SB.edu degree. Was a big-time violin and viola strummer (1st-chair in both!) and then went Jack-n-the-Beanstalk and started stalking offenders in hoops. Wild! Wants to try F1 (Formula-1) racing… if/when he can fit in that is? 8.6 ppg with 6.0 rpg and 2.9 bpg in relief is not bad substituting. Still a bit raw on O at 40.6% from the floor. Tho’ the nifty 84% on the FT-line might be a lifeline of defensive-stopper exporting hope.

Daniel Oladapo is a: 6′7″, 23o lb., Oakland transfer baller in his pure-Sr. or fourth year. Daniel finds his way to: 3.6 ppg with 2.1 rpg and a remarkable 80% on the season overall so far. That’s how he found his way into here… tho’ the 13 ppg and 8 rpg @Oakland are smart enough. Does have a history of ‘illness’ and knee-dings (St.Culbreth) curtailing his seasoning here-n-there. Seems a bit undercooked on tape to me and is not logging as much P.T. of late. Godspeed on that. Lindy’s calls Oladapo a: “strong inside scorer and rebounder” so you gotta wonder what is up with his minutes being down, here?

Sweeping Pitt in this 48-hour N.b.a. -esque turn @home is all about, whats?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Panthers who could prowl @Tech=4 or 5, actually.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is...

…would it be premature to begin to be taken with Mike Young and Co. just starting to 2o22 (spring-side) Coastal Division… take things over?

Could be… not umpossible or jus’ downright, premature…

…tho’ the recent spacing and shooting signs are encouraging… for the first time since they looked really good/sharp and well offensively set-up over @Annapolois in point of fact.

That all O&M reasonably struck… Pittsburgh has their better shot at upsetting us in the Igloo or whatever this crib is now called; of course. So, maybe we should not be too quick to count our Hokiebirds before they are Vet-School, hatched?

Still yet, sweeping these Panthers would be “puuuurfect”… and yet there Eye go agains…
…always putting the cart in front of the horse.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a seemingly mere 10-point VicTory Dance in this one here. And do mind the store that this one is straight bassackwards from the last time (Gah.Tech one). As Pitt and VeeTee have actually not faced many in-league in common opponents thus far. And seemed to be more or less experiencing an A.c.c. docket or scheduling reversal of sorts. As our data points were all mo’ than 2-weeks old for this one. Pro-capita and this would only amount to a 3.33 Tech Triumph. Recall as well last time the much-vaunted Fourm-Guide only missed by two shots with a metric ton of y.Jacket data points. So, take this one with at least a grain of NaCl (salt) or three here.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up +6% in shooting percentage margin (curiously enuff, all on O, as D moved to precisely the same after game#1); V.P.I. is up a whopping +14% in 3-point percentage margin (all less 3% was funded by superior O, same as before), and yet Pitt is up a useful looking +4 in Windex Wipes in rebounding margin year-to-date (Pitt is pretty good on the O-glass here, tho’ this did narrow a scosche post-game-one).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are now up +12% in shooting percentage margin (all of it was on O, with Pitt just a smidgeon better on D): the Gobblers are also up a special looking +12% in 3-point percentage margin (…here’s the kicker, the Techmen were up a never seen before +20% on 3’s on O, tho’ now down to up +14% on trifectas after game-one, and the Panthers were better by ∼4% in stopping the 3 on D, this narrowed just a bit as well), and yet the Panthers have clawed the Fiberglass, for a now relatively mere +2 advantageous looking in rebounding margin recently. (Two rebound-daters passing in the nite… or last least they were when Pit was up +7 in the last five prior to game#1, tho’ things have caromed VeeTee’s way a bit of late…).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

The Pitt series finds Tech on an upswing with its offense humming along. In the win over Georgia Tech and an 85-72 victory at Florida State, Virginia Tech made a combined 6o of 1o5 shots (57.1 percent), including 26 of 45 (57.8 percent) 3-pointers!
Owens Dining Hall cooking with CH4 once mo’.

THE PANTHER’s ARE Ho’, Ho’, Ho’s?!?
The Panthers are now 3-7 since Christmas and the one-sided L’s are starting to resemble last year when Pitt went to (bleep) and closed 2-1o.

Virginia Tech has netted a fabulous-looking 50% on the money of their 3-point attempts in their last five contests!

VeeTee is a .7oo host; whereas Pitt is (only) .125 as a guest.
VeeTee is up +6% at the charity stripe for the year.
Pitt is up +1 in R&R in the last fortnight of play.

The Call...

No.192 Net Ranking Pittsburgh @ No.52 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

Seems like one we should take this one, right?

7 PM kick-off!

Though and in all candor -and Eye don’t always type you want you wanna reads, right- though in all candor, if you just HAD to pick Pitt to upset Virginia Tech in either game you would surely pick Pitt to do so, @Home, right?

I say this recalling what Jerry West taught us all in traveling-all-stars camp way-way back when… there are two tried-n-ture signatures of truly great teams.

  1. They go’on and smash lessor teams and beat the breaks off of rented goalies. They win BIG vs. the little guys’ way mo’ often than not.
  2. They also find a way to win on nites when they do not play their best.
Three… could this one end up an amalgam of Mr. Clutch’s first, two???
…Eye, wonder?

The Closer

…the hometown Steel City grapevine says that… Pitt’s coach Capel and a couple of the Panther ballers themselves are questioning some of the other ballers’ energy and fight. Call it ‘chi’… call it Fosteronian “want too” from the gridiron.

Be it heart or desire or whatever you myspacebook.you, deign… there are several whispers here that it is not there. (i.e. ex-Post-Up-(non)-facto if you and the Cowardly-Lion and Tin-Man, will…)


…kinda the same drill as what I closer wrote for hosting Gah.Tech.

A.c.c.ept this one is out on the All Championship Conference road… where the road warriors only wage war successfully about 3-in-10 Napoleonic times.

We need to go’on and put Pitt away, soon.
If not A.c.c. A.S.A.P.
Same as GeeTee.

The catch/glitch is, this squadron is meaty/hard-on the inside. GeeTee was not.


Pitt trailed by 27 at halftime after shooting 8-for-2o (4o percent) from the field and committing nine turnovers in the opening 20 minutes that the Hokies converted into 15 points.
Don’t bet the house, the car, and thy neighbor’s dog on this; happening, twice.

Mutually… don’t bet much of anything on… John Hughley, who averages a team-high 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, finished with just two points and four rebounds against Virginia Tech. He (way) too good fo’ dat back-to-back.

Additionally… don’t bet much more than 1u on… the Hokies never trailed, scoring 1o straight points to take a 16-4 lead about 8 minutes in and used a 14-1 run to take a 27-point lead into the break. Seven different players made at least one of Virginia Tech’s 1o first-half 3-pointers — including three by Alleyne. Virginia Tech shot 75% (18 of 24) from the field in the first 2o-minutes, setting a program record for a half against an ACC opponent.
^^^that’s^^^ just plum krazy! Even fo’: “shooters, shoot”.

Finally… Eye would not bet much on… Odukale hitting 4 of 5 from behind the arc, and he and Burton combined to make 13 of 15 from the field as the Panthers shot 7o.8% (17 of 24) in the second half. Pitt scored 2o points off 1o Virginia Tech turnovers after halftime.
(Hopefully, that can not happen in the chilly New River Valley, rights?)

The Panthers have gone 3-9 against A.c.c. opponents. Pittsburgh gives up 66.3 points to opponents while being outscored by 4.2 points per game.

With a numbing 79% of Pitt’s L’s coming by 2-full-shots or less!

Making for a (latent) Dickens of a contest…
Or, A Tale of Two, Cities…
(P’burgh and B’burg).

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The only krazier thingy is… Pitt got back into it and we semi-dang near gots, beats!

Same drill as @hooVa in football folks… had this 12-rounder been an old-school full 15-rounder the outcome coulda proven elementary indeed.

As it appears Mike Young and Co. have found their All Championship Conference marker… they are a legit D-1, P5, mega-hoops conference calling kinda good club. Fair-to-middling, like mid-range in-league, if you will.

Virginia Tech at a glance:

  • 2nd best in 3-point shooting!!!
  • 27th best in shooting overall!!
  • 29th in Scoring D allowed!!
  • 49th fewest Turnovers!
  • 314th in Swipes! (Mike has them play the man (stay in front of the same), not the ball.
  • 314th best in defensive-rebound!
  • 326th in FTA’s!!! (very perimeter-oriented team here).
  • NO injuries listed! (‘thx’ @Coach God!)

This does not however mean they are beyond Pitt’s range… not even @home.

That’s the news-news… the good news is VeeTee is up +1o% shooting margin @home (more so due to the Pitt softening on D on the road). The nearly hyperbolous part is… the Techmen are only up +1% in 3-point margin @home (as Pitt shoots noticeably better on the road for who knows what reason or reasons?!?). Then, as hyperbole itself goes… V.P.I. is up a totally mutually unexpected +6 in Rebounding Margin @home! (VeeTee really backboards well in Cassell).

The closer part Deux:


So, if that leaves you all a bit muddle-huddled?
Yah; 10-4. Me three on that one too.

Tough one to add up statistically speaking… so, I’ll just go with when Eye went with last time out…

…hopefully, our Vet’ School now has the podiatric measure of these pawprints…

Though this has been one hard Hokiebird Owens Dining Hall nut to crack all season long.

A.c.c.ordingly, therefore, to Whit… start=finish here. (Eye, think…)

’cause there is no need to give these Panthers any catnip here.
Distemper them early and often and then
#FREE the O&M scrubs @home on
Monday nite fo’ it too.

🦃 >>> 🏀 >>> 🐆

(63% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=74, Pittsburgh=63

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