It took Jeff Capel precisely two minutes and 10 seconds to say what needed to be said Monday afternoon inside the Petersen Events Center.
First, he fielded a question about Pitt's season opener Wednesday against Florida State, then another about the state of the program. And then:
"For all of us last year, everyone, players — everything was new," Capel began. "And now there's a familiarity. I can tell you personally I feel so much more comfortable in Pittsburgh. Not that I didn't feel comfortable last year, but I know my way around now. I don't have to get on Waze or Google Maps anymore for a lot of the places that I go. And so I do feel better about where we are. I do think that I have a better feel about where we are. We still have a long ways to go to get to where we want to be, but I think we're taking the necessary steps to make that happen."
Freaking. Nailed. It.
Capel inherited a dumpster fire from Kevin Stallings last summer and immediately went to work. It wasn't always pretty — the team went 3-15 in conference play, 14-19 overall — but the foundation was there. Freshmen Trey McGowens, Xavier Johnson and Au'Diese Toney accounted for 49.2 percent of the team's scoring. That was good for a team-record 34.6 points per game by freshmen, including 54 double-figure games and fourteen 20-plus-point games.