Capel: Pitt Can't Be 'Arrogant' Or 'Stupid' Enough To Overlook Anyone

The coach also talks N'Dir injury; recent transfers

Matt Koll
December 19, 2018 - 11:16 am
Jeff Capel talks to his players

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports


PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Pitt head basketball coach Jeff Capel already knows the results when his team starts to get a little too confident in themselves. 

He credited the overconfidence to being one of the main reasons why the Panthers lost to Niagara earlier this season and he is determined to not let that happen again against what may look like inferior opponents in New Orleans on Thursday and Colgate on Saturday. 

"No one in our program should look ahead. With what this program had gone through last year, we can't be arrogant or stupid enough to think that we can overlook anyone. We've already done that once this year and we've seen where that got us," said Capel. "So, there needs to be a sense of urgency, there needs to be a diligence with preparation and we need to play harder than New Orleans tomorrow. We need to take a break and then we need to come back and get our minds right for the three days of preparation that we're going to have and we need to have our mind right to play against a good Colgate team as well."

The Panthers did get some bad news recently as it was announced that guard Sidy N'Dir will miss 4-6 weeks with a leg injury. They also had two players leave the program, as sophomores Peace Ilegomah and Shamiel Stevenson chose to transfer. 

"The concern is losing Sidy, that's the concern. That's a big one for us because he was a guy that was playing and playing a lot. It certainly hurts our guard depth, specifically our point guard depth. We had a pretty good rotation, we felt, going there between Xavier [Johnson] and him, he could play with Xavier which we had started doing a lot."

"In my opinion, that's the only one that really hurts. Hopefully he's a quick healer and he's able to get back soon but that's the one that hurts us as far as right now and even a little bit for the future for however long he's out." 

As far as the transfers...

"Where it affects us I think is in practice. But in games we pretty much had an 8 man, 9 man rotation and neither one of those two guys were in it. Maybe Peace a little bit. So I don't think it affects us that much in games," said Capel. "I don't even know that it's unfortunate that they decided to leave. That was their choice, we support it. They're both really good kids and we wish them well but the fact of the matter is they weren't playing for us here. I understand their desire to want to play. I get that as a former player, I understand that, I respect that. They felt like they weren't going to get that opportunity to play here."

"Look, we're small, they were two front court players and they weren't playing. Again, I understand it, I respect it and we'll move forward. We wish them well and hopefully they find a place where they can play the way they want to." 

You can hear the entire interview with Pitt head basketball coach Jeff Capel on The Fan Morning Show below.           


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