Take 5: Pitt’s Jeff Capel juggles 2 necessary jobs, however the one at house counts most

Take 5: Pitt’s Jeff Capel juggles 2 necessary jobs, however the one at house counts most

Anybody with youngsters is aware of it’s not simple to stroll the road between work and household.
Think about strolling it as Jeff Capel — husband, father of three and Pitt basketball coach.
Within the midst of a tough season, Capel talked extensively about that difficult maneuver earlier this week on 93.7 FM.
Requested an insightful query by “Morning Present” host Colin Dunlap about how he helps his household tune out negativity from outdoors sources, Capel gave a considerate response that opened a window many coaches maintain closed.
“That is what I do,” he stated. “This isn’t who I’m.
“I’m the basketball coach on the College of Pittsburgh. I’m very proud to be the basketball coach on the College of Pittsburgh, and we are attempting our greatest to get this factor circled, felt like that we have been making some steps and moving into the fitting route.”
Capel and his spouse, Kanika, have three youngsters: daughters Cameron, 14, and Sydney, 12; and son Elijah, 9. Capel stated they’re of “the age now that they perceive issues a bit of bit extra.” He stated Elijah “actually loves our group, actually loves coming to the video games, actually loves sports activities.”
“What I inform them is that dad is working his butt off. He’s exhibiting up day-after-day. I’m giving all the pieces.
“I really like my job. I really like the blokes I work with. I really like the youngsters I’ve the possibility to work with. However this isn’t who I’m. Who I’m is who I’m with you guys day-after-day.”
Capel stated he tries to attend his youngsters’s video games and occasions. Most necessary, work stays at work. He stated he tries to be there at bedtime. At that time, he sits down and goes again to work.
He recalled sitting in his workplace after the one-point loss to Minnesota on Nov. 30.
“I’m heart-broken. I’m gut-punched,” he stated. “I’m sitting there simply form of staring, and I get a textual content from my daughter, my 14-year-old.
“She sends me this TikTok of this man speaking. And all he’s speaking about is ‘I need you understand how proud I’m of you and somebody wants to listen to this. I do know you’re working laborious.’ ”
Capel stated the TikTok submit stirred his feelings.
“I’m simply dad to them,” he stated. “I’m not coach. I’m simply dad, and that’s the best title that I’ve, an important title that I’ve and it’s the factor I take essentially the most pleasure in.”
Now, again to the season. Pitt will get a rematch with Louisville at 4 p.m. Saturday at Petersen Occasions Heart.
1. Deserved recognition
Most likely the very best guess anybody could make is to guess on himself. That’s what Pitt level guard Onyebuchi Ezeakudo did, and it paid off this week when he was rewarded with a scholarship.
Whereas at Homestead Excessive College in Fort Wayne, Ind., he was recruited by a number of Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges. However he was lured to Pitt, the place he was planning to review bioengineering with an eye fixed towards medical faculty.
“I needed to determine if I wished to go to a spot the place I might play for certain and have a job on the group,” he stated, “or if I might come to a spot like Pitt and probably make the group (as a walk-on), probably not. However simply take that likelihood.”
He stated one jilted coach really informed Ezeakudo that going to Pitt could be “an enormous mistake.”
Ultimately, he determined “to belief in myself, consider all the pieces would work out coming to Pitt and simply go for it. All the pieces labored out, fortunately.”
Initially, he was planning to be a observe participant for the ladies’s group throughout the 2018-2019 season. However when Capel scheduled a tryout for walk-ons, he jumped in and earned a job as a observe participant for the lads. Whereas house on vacation break, he obtained a name to return to campus. He was wanted on the energetic roster.
“Even when I didn’t get on the group my freshman 12 months, I used to be going to maintain making an attempt,” he stated. “That was my mindset: Simply don’t take no for a solution.”
He stated being a walk-on requires psychological toughness.
“Particularly once you’re working as laborious as everyone else and perhaps are usually not getting the identical recognition or any recognition,” he stated. “Quite a lot of occasions, I felt prefer it was very easy to only say, ‘Overlook it. Simply let me get via my final couple years.’ The toughest factor is to be mentally robust to say, ‘I’m going to maintain going.’ ”
That’s what he did, and he has develop into an integral a part of the group, averaging virtually 17 minutes per sport this season.
Ezeakudo could have one season of eligibility remaining in 2022-2023, however he’s isn’t certain if he’ll use it or go to medical faculty.
“I’ll put some thought into within the subsequent couple months,” he stated.
2. Assist wished
Over the previous 5 video games, John Hugley is averaging 16.2 factors, adopted by Femi Odukale at 14.6. Jamarius Burton has been constant over the previous 9 video games (15 factors). Mouhamadou Gueye is at 13.2 up to now six.
These 4, plus William Jeffress, comprise 41.6% of the roster, however have scored 81.7% of the factors (815 of 997).
3. The person is aware of how you can get fouled
The Pitt document for free-throw makes an attempt in a season (304 by Brian Shorter in 1990) is out of attain for John Hugley, however he does lead the nation (124). Whereas averaging 10 per sport towards 5 ACC opponents, Hugley has scored 39 of his 81 factors from the foul line.
4. Midway house
Pitt has a dropping document (6-10, 1-4) after 16 video games for the primary time for the reason that 1997-1998 season (7-9 throughout Ralph Willard’s penultimate 12 months as coach).
Wanting again, it was a bit shocking to see that the very best 16-game document since Jamie Dixon left is held by Kevin Stalllings’ group (12-4 in 2016-2017). Aspect observe: Pitt misplaced the following seven in a row.
Pitt’s second-worst 16-game document this century is 8-8, shared by Ben Howland in his first season (1999-2000) and Stallings in his final (2017-2018).
5. Busy stretch upcoming
The ACC has rescheduled the postponed sport at VPI (Virginia Tech) for Feb. 7. That’s two days after VPI visits the Pete. It additionally creates a stretch of 5 video games in 12 days – 4 on the highway — from Jan. 29 to Feb. 9.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Overview employees author. You’ll be able to contact Jerry by electronic mail at [email protected] or through Twitter .

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