2019 Summer Hoops Refresh – Pittsburgh



Welcome to the Hoos Place 2019 Summer Hoops Refresh, where we review last season and this summer’s personnel moves for all 15 ACC programs in alphabetical order. To read program capsules already complete, you can click here. Today we look at the…

Pittsburgh Panthers

Jeff Capel left Duke’s bench last offseason to take over arguably the worst roster in the ACC, reeling after Kevin Stallings had gone winless in the ACC and run off any quality talent the program had left. Capel started his rebuild and scored a couple nice wins over Louisville and FSU before a 13-game skid tanked their year. As he continues to rebuild the Panthers in his imagine, just how far does he have to go to get them competitive?

Coach: Jeff Capel; 189-129 in 19 seasons overall, 14-19 (3-15) in 1 season at Pitt.

2018-19 Record: Last season: 14-19 (3-15); ACCT 2nd Round (14 seed); No postseason

2018-19 Efficiency:


ORtg: 104.9 (168 of 353)

DRtg: 98.5 (70 of 353)


ORtg: 95.4 (13 of 15)

DRtg: 108.1 (12 of 15)


Roster Roundup:

Key Departures:

G Sidy N’Dir (Graduated)

G/F Khameron Davis (Transferred)

SF Jared Wilson-Frame (Graduated)

F Malik Ellison (Transferred)

PF Shamiel Stevenson (Transferred)

F/C Peace Ilegomah (Transferred)

29 G, 20.2 mpg, 5.9 ppg, 1.9 apg, 24% 3P%

26 G, 13 mpg, 2.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 32% 3P%

32 G, 31.3 mpg, 12.7 ppg, 5 rpg, 40% 3P%

31 G, 21 mpg, 5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 19% 3P%

4 G, 8 mpg, 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 58% FG%

7 G, 4.6 mpg, 0.9 ppg, 1 rpg, 100% FG%

Key Returnees:

PG Xavier Johnson (SO)

G Trey McGowens (SO)

F Au’Diese Toney (SO)

F Samson George (RS JR)

F/C Kene Chukwuka (SR)

C Terrell Brown (JR)

33 G, 31.2 mpg, 15.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 35% 3P%

33 G, 27.8 mpg, 11.6 ppg, 1.7 apg, 33% 3P%

32 G, 25.2 mpg, 7.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 25% 3P%

6 G, 3.7 mpg, 1.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0% 3P%

32 G, 18.3 mpg, 3.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 53% FG%

33 G, 19 mpg, 5.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 44% FG%

Key Additions:

G Ryan Murphy (JR Transfer)

G/F Justin Champagnie (3-star FR)

SF Gerald Drumgoole (4-star FR)

PF Karim Coulibaly (3-star FR)

C Eric Hamilton (RS Sr Transfer)






36 G, 16.3 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 59% FG%

    as a RS Jr at UNC-Greensboro

*Projected starters in bold


2019/20 ACC Opponents:

Home & Away: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Syracuse 
Home Only: Boston College, Clemson, Virginia, Wake Forest 
Away Only: Duke, NC State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech 



Capel has made a debateable but nonetheless bold choice to play for the future, and from the opening tip last season featured “his guys,” the incoming true freshmen that he personally had recruited, over a number of incumbent veterans. Four inherited players from the Stallings era transferred out, and when coupled with graduations left the Panthers with a full youth movement on their hands. The returning sophomore trio of Johnson, McGowens, and Toney will continue to be the backbone of the team, and while they didn’t win many games last year, at a bare minumum they played valiantly in those defeats. A 3-15 ACC record looks terrible on paper, but frankly it was a massive step forward from where they’d been. Winning an ACC Tournament game, even if it was just against Boston College (sorry BC), immediately following a Senior Night win over Notre Dame showed they kept fighting until the very end. It will be up to Capel to prove he can keep that forward momentum and tenacious attitude going through likely a second straight rebuilding year.

Joining that rising sophomore core are a pair of veteran big men in Chukwuka and Brown, who are solid options in the middle, and five newcomers of varying readiness. Wing Gerald Drumgoole is probably the most likely to crack the starting rotation, as he fills the gap between guards Johnson and McGowens and the posts Toney, Chukwuka, and Brown. JUCO transfer Ryan Murphy and combo wing Champagnie will have plenty of opportunities to contribute as reserve in the backcourt. It’s still a pretty thin, inexperienced team, but one that should be capable of taking another incremental step forward. The NIT may be a realistic goal, though still a challenging one, if they can stay healthy and get quality contributions from the newcomers; hopes of the NCAAT are still at least a year away. Most of the ACC’s top tier (UVA included) shouldn’t necessarily fear a trip to the Zoo this year, but they’ll be able to pick off a sleeping middleweight or too and continue to build towards a hopeful breakthrough in the years to come.