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 to be like Capel was on the new seat when the season began. Keep in mind, Pitt began 3-3, and whereas losses had been to sturdy groups — West Virginia, Michigan, and VCU — they had been a median of 20 factors.
Pitt misplaced to Vanderbilt and Clemson, dropping every 75-74 and profitable all the pieces else. Which is form of a great change.
Capel has but to have a profitable season with Pitt, ending 14-19, 16-17, 10-12, and 11-21. You’ll be able to trip away with Covid, as we all the time recommend, besides, it has been a troublesome time.
This was made worse by quite a lot of transfers that will have helped. Capel had a roster with Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens, and Au’Diese Toney in 2019-20. The whole lot 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 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 towards Sacred Coronary heart.
Like NC State’s DJ Burns, Massively is an enormous child and it may be troublesome for him to remain in prime form or recuperate from an harm.
No matter is occurring with him, he’s limiting Pete’s flip. Cabell performed 9 males towards 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 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 be not dangerous at 35.4 p.c.
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 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 note it solely performs 21.6 mpg, which makes that much more spectacular.
Nellie Cummings, a graduate pupil from Colgate, dealt with this level properly. He averages 5.1 apg and runs the workforce easily. You don’t 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 wonderful stat: He is solely missed one free throw this season, towards 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 wonderful. No one’s taking pictures 96.3 for the season, however nonetheless. very nice.
NIke Sibande is again and sure 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 circumstances, the brothers are genetically equivalent 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 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 Faculty, however there have been some spectacular spurts there, not least by Darkish Whitehead, who’s wanting more and more like a professional.
Nevertheless, Duke will virtually definitely be with out guard and workforce captain Jeremy Roach, who continues to be fighting a toe harm. It is a main concern for a younger Duke workforce.
Duke ought to have a bonus inside although. Filipowski has been a bit erratic currently however has proven what he can do towards larger high quality groups and is beginning to get again to that stage in BC. He nonetheless must grasp discretion and, on the one hand, cease attempting to maneuver him in visitors. It is a very nice transfer, however while you do it with a little bit 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 an important passer.
Derek Vigorous could also be one of many benefactors, however the younger senior is struggling. No one doubts his expertise. He is a superb and dependable kicker, however he’s not but making his massive strides.
Mark Mitchell began to excel, although not persistently. In his final seven matches, he made 17, 2, 14, 8, 6 and 14.
However towards Iowa, he shot 6-8. In opposition to Wake Forest, 4-8. In opposition to Florida State, 3-6 towards NC State, 3-6 and towards 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 great defender. It is laborious to identify simply, however he is after it. Henson may trigger some bother 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 occasions, typically heading down the aisle and not using a plan, for one. Like Filipowski, he must learn to decide his spots, however like Filipowski, he is legit. He simply wants a couple of issues to get his method and he’ll be fantastic.
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 may also help 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 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 desires (although his late BC dunk from Filipowski’s stunning steal and subsequent cross 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 is probably not fairly, however it ought to be a very enjoyable sport. It may be the basketball equal of hand-to-hand fight the place each groups are properly skilled and observe it down on protection.
And each groups have issues. Duke is younger, inconsistent, and lacking a very powerful participant, whereas Pitt is sorely missing and has a poor turnover. Bugs may be key in both case.
If Duke wins, notably if he pulls out late in entrance of Cameron’s throbbing crowd, you must surprise what Cabell may bear in mind. He is spent a whole lot 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 stress on the visiting workforce and at occasions, there’s nothing you are able to do to cease it.
After all, there isn’t a assure that issues will work out that method. He is a great coach and has a expertise to work with. We anticipate a detailed and difficult match. Hopefully Duke can win.
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