Panther-lair - Capel: 'We were really bad'
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Capel: 'We were really bad'

Jeff Capel spoke to the media after Pitt's loss at Clemson on Saturday. Here's a full rundown of what he said.

Capel: Congrats to Clemson. They were terrific in all phases of the game. They shot the basketball well, they pressured us and forced us into 20 turnovers. They were terrific and we were really bad.

It seemed like John was having a hard time setting up in the paint. What was Clemson doing to force him out so high and keep him from getting into his game?
Very physical. They pinched the floor. They didn’t guard some guys for us and had a lot of help side. And they pressured the basketball.

John has now had 11 turnovers in the last two games. What do you think is at the root of those mistakes the most and how much do you think comes from the attention he’s been drawing?
He’s got to do a better job of valuing the basketball. Teams are extremely physical with him. He’s got to adjust to that.

You said you guys were really bad. Progress isn’t always steps forward, but 19 games into the season, how do you react when you see a night like this as you’re heading into the meat of the ACC schedule?
Well, again, this was not a good performance. I don’t put a lot into it. We’ll move on to the next play. We’ll get back and we’ll get ready for the next game.

We’ve talked with you over the course of the season about how your guys have responded to close, oftentimes very tough losses. How much more of a challenge does a loss like this, this kind of lopsided fashion, how much of a challenge does that present to what’s still a relatively inexperienced team?
We’ll see. We’ll see Tuesday. I can’t answer that question. I don’t know. We’ll see.

When Jamarius fouled out, it was a tough situation for the team, but what have you been seeing from other guys to develop any presence or command of the offense, because it seems like Jamarius is the guy that keeps everything together when things are’t flowing in the natural way and you guys aren’t playing your best ball?
Everyone on our team has to step up. It’s not about John, Jamarius or anyone in particular. Everyone on our team has to step up and play better. We have to play better. Period. Everyone. Everyone’s got to step up and do their job at a high level. We did not do that this afternoon, this evening. We’ll get back to work.

Was the problem on offense a lack of aggressiveness on your part or maybe just Clemson’s defense being pretty intense?
Clemson’s defense was very intense and they forced us into 20 turnovers. That was the problem. We didn’t do a great job of valuing the basketball, or even a good job.,

Between last game and this game, what are some of the biggest problems or biggest struggles that you’ve been noticing with your team’s zone defense?
It’s been bad. It hasn’t been good. We haven’t gotten to shooters, we haven’t moved, we haven’t kept it out of the high post. We have to get back to work and become better at it.

How discouraging is a game like this after you started to build a little bit of momentum - a couple wins in the last four, a close loss the other day - how much does a game like this kind of knock you back, if at all?
It doesn’t knock us back. You just move on. Move forward. Sometimes this happens during a season: you have a night like this, you have a game like this. Just like we did when we beat Louisville: you move on to the next play. We’ll flush it, we’ll learn from it and then we’ll flush it and we’ll move on. It doesn’t affect us.

What as a coach can prevent the effects of a loss like this or maybe the demoralizing aspects of it - what can prevent that from carrying over?
Move on to the next play. Just like if you have a great win: move on to the next play. Move on to the next thing. Our thing - we don’t have to wait a week. We play Tuesday. Our whole focus right now will be on Tuesday. That’s it. How do we get prepared for Syracuse? How do we get prepared for their style? How do we get prepared for the zone? How can we defend them better than we defended when we played at Syracuse 10 days ago?

Your team racked up 20 fouls by the end of the game. Did you feel like some of those were frustration fouls or was it Clemson being really physical or what do you chalk that up to?
I don’t comment on how a ref called a game. That’s not my place. Again, Clemson was terrific in every phase of the game today. They were terrific offensively, they were terrific defensively and we were not. So I chalk everything up to that.