Pitt needed to make a statement.
The Panthers have the look and the feel of one of the best teams in the Big East. They have the size to pound the offensive glass, they don’t turn the ball over, their wings can really pass the ball and they have one of the most underrated back courts in the country with Tray Woodall and James Robinson.
But heading into Saturday’s showdown with Syracuse, the Panthers didn’t really have a great win.
Winning at Georgetown was nice, especially considering that it was by 28 points. But that came back when the Hoyas were still trying to figure out how to score, not over the Hoya team that’s won seven of their last eight. Beating Villanova and UConn certainly isn’t a bad thing, but those aren’t season-defining wins.
The Orange are a Final Four contender. They were leading the Big East up until yesterday. They’re currently ninth in the RPI. And thanks to Pitt’s 65-55 win over Syracuse on Saturday, the Panther’s RPI (currently 47th) should begin to reconcile somewhat with what Kenpom (Pitt is sixth in his rankings) and our eyes are telling us.
More importantly, Pitt has now won four of their last five games after starting Big East play 1-3. That means that, at 6-4 in the league, they are still within striking distance of Marquette, who is 6-1 in the conference but will be paying a visit to the Yum! Center this afternoon.
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Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie entered his name into the NBA draft without signing with an agent, sources told NBC Sports on Tuesday.
It was initially believed that McDuffie would return to Wichita State for his senior season. As a sophomore, McDuffie, a former top 100 recruit, averaged 11.5 points and 5.7 boards, but he played fewer than 20 minutes a night as a junior after missing the first half of the season with a broken foot.
He will be a late-second round pick at best, but is likely to go undrafted if he opts to sign with an agent. He’s expected to return.
The Shockers are already staring down the barrel of a rebuilding season. Two players, including starter Austin Reaves, are transferring out of the program while all-american guard Landry Shamet has already made the decision to enter the draft and sign with an agent. As it currently stands, assuming McDuffie returns, just four scholarship players from this year’s team will play for Wichita State next season: McDuffie, Samajae Haynes-Jones, Asbjorn Midtgaard and Rod Brown.
Jeff Capel is on the board with his first commitment as the head coach of Pittsburgh.
Trey McGowens, a top 100 prospect in the Class of 2019, announced on his twitter page that he will be enrolling at Pitt as a member of the Class of 2018.
A 6-foot-3 combo-guard, McGowens picked the Panthers over a handful of other high-major programs.
This is not exactly a program changing kind of commitment for Capel. Players that are late-spring commitments are almost always more celebrated because they end up in higher demand when there are fewer players left to fill the holes on rosters around the country. I’m not sure McGowens is all that different, but what’s significant about his commitment is that it’s proof that Capel is, at the very least, going to make some noise on the recruiting trail.
Capel has a long rebuild in front of him, but landing four-star prospects that will help spend a few years in the program are the kind of pieces that he needs at this point, and the kind of pieces that his predecessor was not able to land.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina point guard Rakym Felder is no longer part of the Gamecocks basketball team.
Felder, a key freshman reserve for South Carolina’s Final Four team two years ago, was dismissed from the program by coach Frank Martin on Monday.
The 5-foot-10 Felder, from Brooklyn, New York, was suspended last summer after his second arrest in less than a year. Felder was not enrolled last fall. He was allowed to return in the spring semester although he did not play.
Martin said there were guidelines Felder had to follow upon coming back “and unfortunately, he has not met those expectations.”
Martin has not detailed those guidelines for Felder’s return to the court.
Felder had 15 points in South Carolina’s NCAA Tournament win over Duke in 2017
Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.
“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”
The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.
“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”
Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.
Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.
Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.
“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”
McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.
After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.