On Wednesday, Jeff Capel introduced the Pitt Panthers to Cameron, and it was a task reversal: Pitt is 11-5 and tied for second within the ACC whereas Duke is 12-4 and in a tie for fourth.
Seems like Capel was on the new seat when the season began. Bear in mind, Pitt began 3-3, and whereas losses have been to robust groups — West Virginia, Michigan, and VCU — they have been a mean of 20 factors.
Pitt misplaced to Vanderbilt and Clemson, shedding every 75-74 and profitable every thing else. Which is form of change.
Capel has but to have a profitable season with Pitt, ending 14-19, 16-17, 10-12, and 11-21. You may trip away with Covid, as we all the time counsel, besides, it has been a tricky time.
This was made worse by a variety of transfers that will have helped. Capel had a roster with Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens, and Au’Diese Toney in 2019-20. All the pieces left. Final 12 months, promising goalkeeper Femi Odukale left for Seton Corridor. Though AD Heather Lyke made a public pledge of help, issues regarded dire for Cable.
To make issues worse, John Hughley, a strong teen, was injured early on and, for causes that stay unclear, had not performed since December 10 when he had an ineffective 10 minutes in opposition to Sacred Coronary heart.
Like NC State’s DJ Burns, Massively is an enormous child and it may be tough for him to remain in high form or get better from an damage.
No matter is occurring with him, he’s limiting Pete’s flip. Cabell performed 9 males in opposition to Clemson, however one, Jorge Diaz Graham, solely performed a minute. Blake Henson missed, and Federico Federico and Jorge’s twin, Guillermo, each completed with 4. And since three gamers obtained 52 of Pitt’s 74 factors, together with 14 from Henson, his fouling was clearly painful: the remainder of the workforce solely managed 15 factors.
Whether or not it begins or not, Hughley will assist.
Henson has been a significant addition. The well-travelled younger man—he was previously at Mississippi State and Iowa State regardless that he hadn’t performed in two years at Ames—was a revelation to Pitt. He averages 16.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and 1.6 apg. It is a massive a part of their success.
Charlotte native Jamarius Burton is shut at 16.6 ppg. In his final three matches, Burton scored 31, 15 and 28.
It additionally hits 44.8 % on triples.
Greg Elliott, an skilled switch from Marquette, additionally shoots nicely from the surface at 39.1 % and Henson can be not dangerous at 35.4 %.
Federicko was the largest shock. He got here to the US from Finland and hung out at Northern Oklahoma’s JUCO, earlier than transferring to Pitt as a sophomore. He would not have an enormous statistical affect however he is actually succesful on the within and helped overcome the lack of Hooghly, which, on the time, appeared like a devastating blow. On the age of 6-11, he has a protracted, cell arm. It averages 1.6 sport blocks however take into account it solely performs 21.6 mpg, which makes that much more spectacular.
Nellie Cummings, a graduate scholar from Colgate, dealt with this level nicely. He averages 5.1 apg and runs the workforce easily. You do not need this man wherever close to a foul streak. It would not sound like he hits the road 20 occasions an evening, however that is a fairly superb stat: He is solely missed one free throw this season, in opposition to North Florida on December seventeenth. Once more, he would not hit the road like among the different gamers do, however nonetheless, who does? It is actually superb. No one’s taking pictures 96.3 for the season, however nonetheless. very nice.
NIke Sibande is again and certain an element. He missed most of final season with an ACL damage however he is in rotation and harmful.
The twins additionally play, though at totally different ranges, as Kyle and Matt Filipowski at Duke and Harvard respectively. Jorge will get extra minutes and his stat line is best total. It is cool that in each circumstances, the brothers are genetically an identical however on very totally different paths athletically (Harvard’s Filipowski has solely performed in three video games up to now however we do not know why. He is likely to be injured).
As for Duke, the beating in Raleigh is behind them and presumably classes utilized. Duke needed to maintain on to win at Boston Faculty, however there have been some spectacular spurts there, not least by Darkish Whitehead, who’s trying more and more like a professional.
Nevertheless, Duke will virtually actually be with out guard and workforce captain Jeremy Roach, who continues to be fighting a toe damage. It is a main concern for a younger Duke workforce.
Duke ought to have a bonus inside although. Filipowski has been a bit erratic recently however has proven what he can do in opposition to greater high quality groups and is beginning to get again to that degree in BC. He nonetheless must grasp discretion and, on the one hand, cease making an attempt to maneuver him in visitors. It is a very nice transfer, however once you do it with just a little guard able to pounce, it backfires.
Ryan Younger was additionally already concerned and, in Roach’s absence, appeared as an unnamed chief and unquestioned chief. Folks have been going round his goal-scoring abilities for a while, however he is additionally a fantastic passer.
Derek Vigorous could also be one of many benefactors, however the younger senior is struggling. No one doubts his expertise. He is a good and dependable kicker, however he’s not but making his massive strides.
Mark Mitchell began to excel, although not constantly. In his final seven matches, he made 17, 2, 14, 8, 6 and 14.
However in opposition to Iowa, he shot 6-8. In opposition to Wake Forest, 4-8. In opposition to Florida State, 3-6 in opposition to NC State, 3-6 and in opposition to British Columbia, 4-6.
He was aggressive at BC, reaching the purpose line and taking pictures a 6-7 from there.
He was additionally defender. It is exhausting to identify simply, however he is after it. Henson might trigger some hassle defensively.
Therese Proctor was benched in two video games however began for BC as Roach was unable to run. He appeared to power it at occasions, generally heading down the aisle with no plan, for one. Like Filipowski, he must discover ways to choose his spots, however like Filipowski, he is legit. He simply wants just a few issues to get his manner and he’ll be nice.
Duke must work on his interior presence a bit. Younger was attractive however he could not do all of it. Filipowski likes the three, and he can beat it up, however he can assist out extra on the within, too. And if Vigorous was primarily a blocker and fullback as a freshman, that is okay. He has time to mature.
The person who may very well be a significant factor for Doc is Whitehead. He was rusty after his damage, however had 13 BC first-half factors. Now that it is in significant sport type, it is good to look at. He is fast, he can get to the basket when he needs (although his late BC dunk from Filipowski’s lovely steal and subsequent move was virtually disastrous), his three-point shot will get higher and higher and he would not thoughts defending.
Kapil will fear about him. He hasn’t had a full blowout but however it’s coming.
It will not be fairly, nevertheless it ought to be a very enjoyable sport. It may be the basketball equal of hand-to-hand fight the place each groups are nicely skilled and observe it down on protection.
And each groups have issues. Duke is younger, inconsistent, and lacking an important participant, whereas Pitt is sorely missing and has a poor turnover. Bugs will be key in both case.
If Duke wins, significantly if he pulls out late in entrance of Cameron’s throbbing crowd, it’s important to surprise what Cabell may take note of. He is spent loads of time on the sidelines at Duke and seen how that labored out. What would it not appear to be if that occurred to Pete? He’ll perceive – it is a ruthless strain on the visiting workforce and at occasions, there’s nothing you are able to do to cease it.
In fact, there isn’t a assure that issues will work out that manner. He is a brilliant coach and has a expertise to work with. We anticipate an in depth and hard match. Hopefully Duke can win.
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