Despite a tough loss to Nicholls State on Saturday, Pitt Basketball remains on the up-and-up moving forward.
After the Pittsburgh Panthers men’s basketball team opened their season on Wednesday with an exciting, come-from-behind win over Florida State, it looked like Pitt may be ahead of schedule as they try to rebuild the program. Unfortunately, Saturday’s humbling loss to Nicholls State showed just how far Jeff Capel‘s team still has to go in the rebuilding process.
It was an embarrassing loss to a team that Pitt should have handled with little trouble, but it isn’t the end of the world. Let’s not forget how bad things got for Pitt basketball under previous Head Coach Kevin Stallings and how far they have come in Capel’s time at the helm. Sure, this loss was embarrassing, but this Pitt team is still on the right path.
One big reason for hope is the performance of one of Pitt’s newcomers, Ryan Murphy. A JUCO transfer, Murphy has had a stellar start to the season, playing well against a tough Florida State team before exploding for 28 points on Saturday. His well-rounded game has been a welcome addition to the backcourt of Pitt.
As a relatively little-known player out of New Mexico Junior College, Murphy’s play is just further proof of Capel’s ability to scout talent. His big game didn’t lead to a win against Nicholls State, but it did at least prove that this staff is capable of identifying and developing talented players.
After their season-opening win, fan expectations for Pitt started to get a little out-of-hand, but this loss doesn’t mean we should give up all hope on the season. This was always going to be a full-blown rebuild, and though this game was a bummer, Pitt basketball is still on the rise.