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. Keep in mind, Pitt began 3-3, and whereas losses have been to sturdy groups — West Virginia, Michigan, and VCU — they have been a mean of 20 factors.
Pitt misplaced to Vanderbilt and Clemson, dropping every 75-74 and successful all the things else. Which is form of a superb change.
Capel has but to have a successful season with Pitt, ending 14-19, 16-17, 10-12, and 11-21. You’ll be able to experience away with Covid, as we at all times recommend, besides, it has been a tricky time.
This was made worse by various transfers which will have helped. Capel had a roster with Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens, and Au’Diese Toney in 2019-20. Every part left. Final 12 months, promising goalkeeper Femi Odukale left for Seton Corridor. Though AD Heather Lyke made a public pledge of help, issues appeared dire for Cable.
To make issues worse, John Hughley, a stable 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, Vastly is a giant child and it may be troublesome for him to remain in prime form or get well from an harm.
No matter is happening 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 group solely managed 15 factors.
Whether or not it begins or not, Hughley will assist.
Henson has been a serious addition. The well-travelled younger man—he was previously at Mississippi State and Iowa State though 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 p.c on triples.
Greg Elliott, an skilled switch from Marquette, additionally shoots properly from the surface at 39.1 p.c and Henson can also be not dangerous at 35.4 p.c.
Federicko was the largest shock. He got here to the USA from Finland and frolicked at Northern Oklahoma’s JUCO, earlier than transferring to Pitt as a sophomore. He does not have an enormous statistical influence however he is definitely 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 an extended, cellular 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 properly. He averages 5.1 apg and runs the group easily. You don’t need this man anyplace close to a foul streak. It does not sound like he hits the road 20 instances 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 does not hit the road like a number of the different gamers do, however nonetheless, who does? It is actually superb. No person’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 harm 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 healthier total. It is cool that in each instances, the brothers are genetically equivalent however on very totally different paths athletically (Harvard’s Filipowski has solely performed in three video games to date however we do not know why. He could 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 School, however there have been some spectacular spurts there, not least by Darkish Whitehead, who’s wanting more and more like a professional.
Nonetheless, Duke will nearly definitely be with out guard and group captain Jeremy Roach, who continues to be battling a toe harm. This can be a main concern for a younger Duke group.
Duke ought to have a bonus inside although. Filipowski has been a bit erratic currently however has proven what he can do in opposition to increased 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 site visitors. It is a very nice transfer, however if you do it with somewhat 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 skills for a while, however he is additionally a fantastic passer.
Derek Full of life could also be one of many benefactors, however the younger senior is struggling. No person doubts his expertise. He is a good and dependable kicker, however he isn’t 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. Towards Wake Forest, 4-8. Towards 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 a superb defender. It is laborious to identify simply, however he is after it. Henson may 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 pressure it at instances, generally heading down the aisle with out a plan, for one. Like Filipowski, he must discover ways to decide his spots, however like Filipowski, he is legit. He simply wants just a few issues to get his method and he’ll be tremendous.
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 might help out extra on the within, too. And if Full of life was primarily a blocker and fullback as a freshman, that is okay. He has time to mature.
The person who could possibly be a significant factor for Doc is Whitehead. He was rusty after his harm, however had 13 BC first-half factors. Now that it is in significant sport kind, it is good to observe. He is fast, he can get to the basket when he needs (although his late BC dunk from Filipowski’s lovely steal and subsequent go was nearly disastrous), his three-point shot will get higher and higher and he does 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, but it surely ought to be a extremely enjoyable sport. It may be the basketball equal of hand-to-hand fight the place each groups are properly educated 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 a must to surprise what Cabell may take into account. He is spent a number of time on the sidelines at Duke and seen how that labored out. What wouldn’t it appear like if that occurred to Pete? He’ll perceive – it is a ruthless strain on the visiting group and at instances, there’s nothing you are able to do to cease it.
In fact, there is no such thing as a assure that issues will work out that method. He is a great coach and has a expertise to work with. We anticipate an in depth and difficult match. Hopefully Duke can win.
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