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Pittsburgh expected to hire Duke associate Jeff Capel, ESPN analyst says

28 March 2018, 01:25 | Percy Christensen

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The university announced on Tuesday that Jeff Capel, formerly a Duke basketball assistant, has signed a seven year deal to take over and try and rebuild the basketball program.

A coaching search that starts as a hot mess doesn't usually end well, but that appears to be the case for the Pitt men's basketball program. "He possesses championship-level experience as both a head and assistant coach, as well as distinct knowledge of the (ACC) that will benefit Pitt immediately". Capel owns a 175-110 record as a head coach between his time at VCU and Oklahoma. With Griffin in the team, the Sooners made the second round of NCAA Tournament in Capel's second season at the helm and then followed that up by making the Elite 8 the following year. At VCU, he led the Rams back to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 for the first time in almost a decade. "The values I have learned from Coach K, his family and his teams will continue to have a significant impact on my career as I look to build on a great tradition here at Pitt".

Duke can't be pleased with losing one of its top recruiters, but the Blue Devils can find a silver lining in Capel's departure.

Capel's tenure with the Sooners ended when he was sacked in March 2011 as part of the fallout from an NCAA investigation that discovered former Oklahoma assistant Oronde Taliiaferro broke NCAA rules by failing to report that a player had received an impermissible extra benefit and by lying to investigators. He is largely credited with Duke's ability to land top one-and-done prospects in recent years. Capel was not implicated in the NCAA's findings.

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He has already been recruiting in the ACC for the past seven years and will likely be just smooth sailing into his new head coaching opportunity.

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