Jeff Capel: We Hope To Be A Lot Faster

New Pitt coach explains how this year's team is going to be different

Matt Koll
November 01, 2018 - 11:19 am
Pitt coach Jeff Capel

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- The 2018-19 Pitt Panthers play against an opponent other than themselves for the first time Thursday night when they tip off against Pitt-Johnstown at 7:00 at "The Pete" in an exhibition matchup. 

Pitt head coach Jeff Capel, in his first year with the program, joined The Fan Morning Show Thursday morning to discuss his team, including how they will be different from last year's, what work they did in the offseason and the opportunity in front of them Thursday night to just get out on the floor together against another team. 

"It gives a chance to play against someone else but also to see how we are with the lights on," said Capel. "This is the first time that anyone will have the opportunity to see us play. It's the first time we're going to have a uniform on, not a practice uniform but a game uniform. It's the first time that we're going to be playing an opponent where there are refs, under the lights. Where everything counts as far as the fouls and the team fouls. It gives us an opportunity to see how guys are." 

Capel said one of the biggest differences in this year's team compared to last year's will be their playing speed.

"I hope we are a lot faster. That's one of the reasons why we wanted to get in great shape. Again, it's no disrespect or anything to the previous coach or the previous coaching staff, just my style is different," said Capel. "The way we want to do things is a little bit different from the way these returning players were used to playing. That's been an adjustment for them. The way we practice has been an adjustment and I knew that coming in."

"But I think that's something that has to become a strength of ours because we aren't that big, we have to utilize our quickness and we have to utilize the athleticism that we have to put ourselves in the best position to win."

Capel has emphasized getting in shape to his team so they don't wear down and use that speed. One player in particular, returning starter Jared Wilson-Frame, has undergone noticeable change in body.

"The person that's most responsible for that is Jared because he put in the work. He had the discipline to understand that he needed to change and then the discipline to go about changing. The next person with that is Garry Christopher our strength coach. They put together a plan and they executed the plan. Certainly I think that's going to help him."    

Capel also said that his recruiting approach hasn't changed since coming over to Pitt from Duke, while understanding the elite, "one-and-done" talent may not be available immediately.

"We're just trying to get the best talent that fits all the qualities that we look for in a student-athlete. Would I like to be able to get one-and-done talent? Yeah, I'd love that here. But in my previous stop, we looked for the best talent that we could possibly get that fits the way we want to play. It's the same philosophy here."

"Now, I understand that right away we're probably not going to get those one-and-done type talents, but we still want to be able to develop and help guys get better and help them grow as men. The bottom line is that you have to be able to get really good talent to win. I don't care where you are, you have to be able to get really good talent and then you have to be able to develop that talent." 

Pitt will officially start it's season on Tuesday, November 6th against Youngstown State at 7:00 from The Petersen Events Center. 

You can hear the entire interview with Pitt basketball head coach Jeff Capel on The Fan Morning Show below, including his thoughts on the way the community has come together in the aftermath of the Squirrel Hill shootings this past weekend. 

 

     

     

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