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#15 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #135 R.P.I. Pittsburgh:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball must be (straight) butter!

The Hokies are on a… roll! As new role-players, next-man-(step)-up and the beat goes on no matter what happens over in Radford or anywhere else. At least so far… and here Eye had (mistakenly) thought Coach Young a worthy A.c.c. Coach of the Year candidate… silly me. That may not have been nationalized enough. Anyhoo… and after revenue sport sweeping the same… we now draw the Panthers of my hometown Pittsburgh, Pa. Pitt checks in at 8 up and 5 down. (or an even looking .5oo in the A.c.c., 7th place at 4-4 here as well). And o-o-4 on cancellation and postpones respectively. Pitt is not bad; Pitt is not great. Pitt does field a couple of serrated individual offensive pieces. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, right? So, read on to find… out!

Pittsburgh Head Coach: Felton Jeffrey Capel III: age=45, 213–151* (.585) overall, 38–41 (.481) 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 earning his 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.

Pitt at a glance:

  • 14th on the offensive glass!!!
  • 41st in assisting!!
  • 50th best in Rebounding Margin!
  • 56th in 3-point percentage allowed.
  • 255th in shooting overall.
  • 292nd in FT-shooting!
  • (one off-court casualty, Coach God bless!)
  • (BONUS round: Pitt is 2nd most in A.c.c. FTA’s!)

Returning Starters=4

Pittsburgh Strengths:

  • One, and 2nd-season, G/F, ‘tweener and 6′6″, 2oo lb., Justin Champagnie (epic name) was a flashy debut season Wing. Who now weighs the listed-same; and yet looks like he’s got mo’ physical pop in his cork upon breaking-tape. And he prolly could go get some urban modeling work in if he wanted it as I’d bet the over on his shellia tally here. Because after all, champagne is just Ginger Ale that knows somebody. (well, unless of course your Champagnie has been busting P.R. (personal records) and hitting for career highs recently on the reg’). That attempt at Hawkeye Pierce satire aside… this Champagnie has merely been averaging 20.1 points and a whopping 12.1 rebounds per game while shooting 53.1% from the field over the past eleven games! That’s all. (i.e., he was dinged up and missed a couple of runs earlier on; Godspeed). Yah; I’d have to ratify that rallies to Lindy’s: “Immediate Impact” player flag squarely enough. The rap-sheet here describes Justin as a: versatile, athletic, fluid Wing who is D-1 physically ready already. A dribble-drive finishing kinda guy with just enough J to keep you honest from the outside. He has a long wingspan (6-9) and a flashy well-quaffed look and finish to his game. Also said to be a: ‘strong defender’ and shot-blocker when he wants to be. Justin was the 111th ranked H.S. kid according to 247Sports and mighta been a scosche underrated coming outta non-inner-city NY State ball. Justin did merit entry into several slam-dunk competitions and he did really show-out in high school tourney and touring ball. Which tells you he has a shine for the spotlight itself. Good on Justin… as this is an interesting one come 2022. (ditto his: twin brother, Julian, (with a mere: 19.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 apg all on 44.7%) who is a sophomoric legacy Wing on the St. John’s basketball team). Where their father, Ranford, played college soccer at St. John’s and helped the Storm to the 1996 National (foütball) Championship. Not ½ bad Arbor D.n.a. as family trees grow… …as there very well may be 2 brotherly twinning pros on the come here.
  • Ithiel Horton, is a 6′3″, 200 lb. r-Soph. lead-G by way of Delaware transferring scoring rep’ and prowess alike. The book here reads… Horton hears a three… as this guy was a Blue-Hen marksman Audubon good-hard-cry insert (______), check. Ithiel is known as a long-range scorer, who can now score off the dribble as well as his roundball game rounds into a more complete form. Ithiel is Hebrew (אִיתִיאֵל) and mo’ or less means to… ‘sing’. (as in… to: God). Ithiel pipes in some sweet music from behind the arc… 41% at Delaware and a solid 36% so far at Pitt. Now mix in 8.6 ppg, with 2.5 rpg and 1.7 apg on nearly 85% from the charity-stripe and you could do worse as transfers and portaling go. Hommie was a C.A.A. Academic Honor Roll member, props on dat! His Blue Hen game-log was a little hit-n-miss, tho’ when he hit it he hit the freshmanic record books and went off from deep when he really got his outside game cranked all the way up. Thus making i.Hort’ something of a one-man committee of an X-factor here. Not bad work from a kid whose High School actually closed and kinda/sorta went C’bus flat-worlder and fell off the edge of the national recruiting map.
  • 6′3″, 200 lb., Xavier Johnson did lead Pitt in scoring at 17 ppg on an agreeable 39% long two years back. Tho’ X’ is noticeably down this season, all the way down to a bronze medalist or third-best 13 ppg on 3o% behind the arc. X’ (still) is a capable (bad coaching pun insert (____) here, check!) X’ is still a capable scorer when he gets it going early; and a likewise loquacious A-side talker as this Johnson wears thigh-high compression sleeves on his, legs. No joke. Never seen this before and Eye hope Eye never see this; again. Nevertheless, X’ is street-rawboned-strong; stronger than his listed metrics indicate in point of fact. X’ is also yet another Commonwealth (7th in-state at Woodbridge, Va.) refugee/escapee. He is additionally quite a vertical baller what with having won the 2018 Courtside at the Cathedral dunk contest. X.Johnson clears you 3.7 boards and drops you a team-pacing/A.c.c. leading and improved 6.1 dimes (apg). He is second in swipes (1.3 spg) and Johnson can intern at Smith & Wesson as a gunning champ. As confidence is not wanting here folks. The whispers say he’s: got terrific quickness, confidence, and competitive spirit; that he’s aggressive on both ends of the floor, and that Johnson is an explosive athlete with elite speed. I’d have to make purchase on all of that after scouting him. As this X’ is a pro’, the only question is domestic or export? As he will N.b.a. Combine test like a mother and he can stick the 3. Struck me as a bit individualistic, although he’s from a family with poppa, brothers, and cousins -plural mind yah- all at least playing D-1 college roundball and he is a pretty physically gritty kid for being a highflyer. Something that does not necessarily hold-historic-hands. So, let’s see where X’ is come 2022, and let’s see if he is still @Pitt as well. As this kid did field, some very tight Assist to Turnover ratio handles (+2.76:1, if you need him) last year. Tho’ a b.Simpson butterfingers looking 3.3 tpg this year tells you just how much x.Johnson is pressing things right now on O. (tho’ he did add a little off-season S&C work to boot). (UPDATE: hawt baller of late… check it… as Xavier Johnson has either made or assisted on 41% of all Pittsburgh field goals over the last five games. Johnson has 16 field goals and 36 assists in those games!)

    Not a dull kid… has a Panther mane and everythang!
  • 6′6″, 210 lb. off-G, yes, (a Guard) and second-year Au’Diese Toney is penultimate at Pitt in rebounding with 6.1 rpg snagged. And while that’s pretty sharp backcourt ricocheting-work -if you can get it- and this R.A.T.T. says: frontcourt… what? Well, it also says that his scoring is all the way up to 14.4 ppg on an unsurprisingly likewise quite improved: 30.2% deep and 44.5% regular; both of which needed some 2020 off-season work. Although that level of rebounding at age 18 from a backcourter tells you he ain’t exactly phobic of… work itself. Ditto the fact that the insiders say he lives in the weight room and has stacked-up nearly 20 lbs. of right-mass since Au’Diese got to Pitt. That and his crazy nearly 6-10 wingspan explain a lot here. The tag’ here describes Toney (no 76’er Keystone State relation: think: Dr.J sidekick shooting-G, Andrew); the tag’ here says that this Toney is a crafty baller with a full 3-level game. Inside, out(side) and midrange pops to boot. It also says he had a Hokie offer, that Toney was the 114th baller in the land per Scout, that he is an Honor Roll student, a fighty/scrappy guy on the court, and he himself says that he enjoys: “eating”. And, well… “So say we all.

Pitt Weaknesses:

  • Missing just one real guy here… S/G, Trey McGowens (13.4 ppg), and a couple of career reservists. As a very decent amount of experience is back for it for Pitt.
  • This is not a lowercase squad height-wise… tho’ it is a little bit Lt.Middleweight (at best/at most) weight-room-wise in more than a few spots.
  • 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. Not listed lower than 95th nationally (ESPN) and pretty much Mr. Everything in Ohio H.S. ball. Where he put up big-time scoring and rebounding numbers over in the Buckeye state alike. A lot is still expected, here. (UPDATE: “Hugley has been suspended for disciplinary reasons, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.” Coach God help!)

Panther Den: (depth=5 to 7)

Third-year, 6′, 180 lb. back-up Pt.Guard Onyebuchi Ezeakudo and his rolled ankle (St.Phillip 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 1.2 ppg with 0.4 rpg and 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 are 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 and that merits his inclusion here.

6′8″, 215 lb., Fr., Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, by way of far far away Bamako, Mali, is a P/F who looks more parts glider or maybe a stretch S/F to me. A.K.C. is a cunning looking Koufax or lefthander who can score on the block and step out to the perimeter. With solid passing ability from the high-post from a kid who balls with great energy and enthusiasm and is pretty dang active on both ends of the floor. Or a still developing energizer bunny off the Pitt pine-squad as every bench needs a Mr. Energy just add P.T. kid— as Coulibaly’s 5.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg on a now up nearly 20% shooting all the way to 53.8% from the floor and a shiny 50% from downtown have really helped Pitt Triangulate and Point things out. (see: the hometown (attempt) at geo’ humor?) Which is an encouragement from a kid with a scholastic defensive and rebounding tag to (now) begin to show a few collegiate offensive flashes here-n-there.

6′10″, 235 lb., last-year, P/F-C combo’ frontcourter Terrell Brown is 2.3 ppg and 1.8 rpg post who did lead Pitt in swat-team work with 1.3 bpg off the pine last year (.8 bpg this year). 37% shooting is not good and down 15% although this is a rim-protector and match-up big not a true box score stuffer. That said, t.Brown and his towering 7-3 wingspan and 9-1 standing reach can still do a lot for you as a defensive rebounder off the bench. (even if Brown’s pretty decent H.S. numbers (including 39% from 3-point-land) make you wonder if more was (eventually) more to be expected here— as he seems to have peaked a few years ago). As this is a rugged interior throwback yesteryear player with a little DET.Piston ‘bad-boy’ somewhere in his man’s game son.

Femi Odukale G and Gerald Drumgoole Jr. G got included here as I wanted a reason to look their bio’s up as Scrabble Point names are fun just like dat. Femi is a 6′5″, 186 lb., nugget or rookie-year S/G, and Drum’ is a 6′5″, 2oo lb., second-season G/G. Femi came up in the Brooklyn and Drum’ came up in the Rochester —both of New York fame. Femi was your No. 145 overall baller by Rivals and Drum’ (who has a history of left-knee and ankle dings/dents; St.Culbreth & St.Phillip help) was your No. 115 baller by 247Sports. Femi was a bit of a high school outburst type of gunning scorer and Drum’ was more of a regular scholastic scorer tho’ he does enjoy the services of a single-A (NY-state) championship bling. Drum’ also enjoyed some football Wr and Fs offers and there are those who thought the oblong spheroid to be his alpha (sporting) pick. Femi nets you 4.5 ppg with 2.1 rpg tho’ he needs distancing work at 16.7% deep. Ditto the Snare Drum’ at 1.4 ppg and 0.7 rpg on 20% long. Still yet, my mag’s say Femi is a quality passer and that all Drum’ lacks is consistency. As more than a little was/is expected from both here… time=tell.

In order to win as a rarefied 3-point A.c.c. road fave, VT must do what(s)???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

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

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… Coach Mike Young and Coach Fu’ just combined to Revenue Sports Electrolux, Shop-Vac, and otherwise sweep… uva!


Did Eye mention the revenue sports sweep, yet?

Anyhoo… on to the Pittsburgh Panthers and a team picked bottom-2 or bottom-3 in all my A.c.c. preseason preview magazines.

As we now sojourn nearly 321-miles nearly due North -as the crow flies- to go enjoy some Bimbo’s Pizza, some Primanti sammwich’s and wash those ~50,000 calorie eats down with some I.C. Lyte brew(s); plural.

Pitt is kinda/sorta still rebuilding a bit under the hard or too early to discern J.Capel.

That being said… Pitt could still slot as some variety of a lowercase springtime tournament team.

Which slots north of being spring. broke.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a bizarre-o looking 43-point Tech Triumph. Which even when taken pro-rata still calls for an 8.6 point VicTory. The curious thing was… this was only one team removed (both teams vs. Syracuse) from being a perfectly tilted correlation in the Hokies’ favor straight across. As Pitt handled the ‘Cuse; twice, and once of those two was with ease. Go fig’ here?

7 PM kickoff (with some FOX and A.c.c. listings as well)!

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is up +3% in shooting percentage margin (virtually all on O); Vah.Tech is up another +4% in 3-point percentage margin (pretty evenly O & D advantage split), and V.P.I. is up a nominalized looking +1 carrom in rebounding margin year-to-date (with both teams boarding well above average off the fiberglass).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are now up +2% in shooting percentage margin (all on D as the teams are virtually tied on O); with nobody much much of anything in 3-point percentage margin (with the Panthers being up 4% on O and yet with the Gobblers canceling that out by being up 4% on D), and with the Hokies still up +1 in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of Windex Work. (although both teams are still positive off the ‘glass, both teams are rebounding less well of late do observe).

Virginia Tech looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over Pittsburgh. Virginia Tech has won by an average of 7 points in its last five wins over the Panthers. Pitt’s last win was 2016.

Pitt is a .75o host; whereas VeeTee is .5oo as a guest.
VeeTee is up +4% at the charity stripe for the year.
Nobody is up anything in R&R of late. Even.

 The Call...

no.31 Net Ranking Virginia Tec@ No. 88 Net Ranking Pittsburgh:

Right now… as things stand… Virginia Tech stands in good— or, possibly on the edge of a letdown trap-game of sorts after the first Revenue Sports sweep of hateful archrival uva in a billion years.


Oh, wait boo-hoos… did Eye bother to mention that rarefied revenue sports sweep, yet?


Well, and either way… Pitt has a couple of pretty decent looking wins under their whiskers thus far this year. Duke, Syracuse (twice), a couple of Big-10’s. During which they went on a rather sporty looking 8-1 run.

However, in the meantime, they have gone o for 3 run since mid-January.

And frankly, they nearly have the look-n-feel of a team in at least something of a minor decline of late— if not something a bit more major than that. And although Eye am recalcitrant to put my finger exactly/specifically on what is ‘rong here… it does seem rather individualist to me. And Eye do know that Pitt needs this win like a dead man needs a coffin. They need to slump-bust and they need to slump-bust soon enough. As 50% of their games are vs. nationally ranked teams between now and the end of February.

So, the feline row only gets harder to hoe, here.


Nevertheless… Pitt is not our worst match-up, however, being on the All Coaching Conference road however typically is. (3-n-10 odds to win historically, recall). 30% is quite the Pitfall, if you will…

That makes this one tighter than it should be or than it seems…

…as Eye’ma kinda still thinking this team is due for a post-Radford bounce as well. As fatigue won’t be diminishing any with a shorter rotation as we get closer to All Championship Conference Tourney play either. Not 1ι (one-iota).

Then we see that when you take a program over, the (re)building paradigm typically goes… learn how to win @home, then learn how to win on the road, then learn how to win big. (vs. BIG names and big blowouts vs. over-matched squads). Coach Mike (most curiously enough) seems to have skipped to the third-grade here. Tho’ he needs some mo’ secondary .edu work… look…

Last year Coach Mike was a .3oo road coach, this year he is a .5oo visitor.

A.c.c.ordingly, you can see the learning {sic: still} curving itself.
And even if @Pitt does not mandate a purrrrrrrrrrfect game?

We won’t be taming these cats with a B— pitter-pat punch.

So, is 2021 the year he goes Hawk and Animal
full-blown… Road Warrior(s)?


Or is that mo’ like 2022?


(59% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=69, Pittsburgh=65

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6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Seems to me we have a really good bench, we lost our best player and the whole team stepped up but as we all know on any given day …… I do think we will win by a large margin according to my orange and maroon glasses at least I know it will be on Fox Sports Carolina so I won’t be channel surfing at 7 pm

    1. …is Cattoor that guy– indefinitely?

      (^that^ and why teams do not drive right at K.A. and try to foul him out are unknown or mysteries to me)


  2. Winning any away game in the ACC is hard. I have not figured out why that still seems to be the case with empty coliseums but I still feel that way. If the turn over bug continues to stay away and we can get just one guy hot and the rest competent I like our chances – that requirement prob holds true most every game but still … I’m also counting on our D to continue to stay strong so a win tonight it is.

    1. Yah; on D.

      This is not a team to get into a turbo Indy race with –on their floor.
      (in their building and their inherent shooting comfortability to boot).


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