ACC Basketball Media Days are happening down in Charlotte, and the media took its annual poll to decide the predicted order of the conference. Pitt was picked to finish last:
JUST ANNOUNCED @DukeMBB selected as 2018-19 #ACCMBB Preseason favorite: https://t.co/cjLzbOIcXr— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) October 25, 2018
#ACC #ACCMediaDay pic.twitter.com/d6CsnMdnyX
Jeff Capel is taking over a program that has essentially no expectations. The Panthers went 0-19 in conference last year (including the ACC tournament), and lost those games by an average of almost 20 points per game. They weren’t just the worst in the conference, they were boat raced in almost every game. Jeff Capel knows this as well as anyone, as Duke beat Pitt by 27 and 35 points last year in its two games versus the Panthers.
However, a good portion of that team, for better or worse is now gone. Five scholarship players that had seen significant playing time, whether through graduation or transfer, left Pitt. Pitt replaced them with:
- Three freshmen in Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens, and Au’Diese Toney,
- Transfer becoming eligible in Malik Ellison
- A graduate transfer in Sidy N’Dir
Personally, I don’t think Pitt will be the dumpster fire most of the media seems to expect. They certainly have good reason to believe they will be based on last year’s performance, though. Personally, I expect (hope?) Pitt will win somewhere between 2-4 ACC games. ANY ACC win will be an improvement over last year. It’s hard to overstate just how low the bar is set for the team to be better than last year.
I think fan expectations could/should be summarized as the following:
0 wins: Welp, this is going to take some work
1 win: Improvement!
2 wins: Hey, not bad
3 wins: This is pretty good
4 wins: JEFF CAPEL!
5 or more: *has fainted*
Even if Pitt only wins 1 or 2 games, or even doesn’t win one, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Jeff Capel was the wrong choice. The scope of the rebuild required here is gigantic. We are a long long way away from the #1 seeds and contending for conference championships that many Pitt fans got accustomed to during the Jamie Dixon years.
The one great thing about Capel: He’s not Stallings, and he wasn’t hired to replace Jamie Dixon. Jeff Capel deserves to write his own story here at Pitt, and should not be compared to what Pitt had with Dixon. So hopefully, that means the end of the Dixon debates among most of the Pitt faithful.
How many ACC games will Pitt Men’s Basketball win this year?
This poll is closed
5 or more