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Tag:Jeff Capel
Posted on: December 24, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2011 7:46 pm

Prominent summer hoops figure Mac Irvin dies

By Gary Parrish

Mac Irvin, the namesake of the Chicago-based and Nike-sponsored Mac Irvin Fire summer basketball program, has died, multiple sources confirmed to on Saturday. The exact cause of death was not immediately known, but Irvin had been fighting diabetes.

Duke assistant Jeff Capel was among the first to Tweet about Irvin's death.

"RIP to Mr. Mac Irvin," Capel Tweeted. "A mentor to so many. You will be missed!"

Countless elite prospects have spent summers playing for the Mac Irvin Fire. The most recent 17-and-under team featured Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward who is regarded as the nation's No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013. Parker is being recruited by Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas, Illinois and a host of other top-tier programs.

"My condolence goes out to the Irvin family," Tweeted NBA veteran Damon Jones. "MAC was a super dude and did a lot for our youth with his aau program."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 7, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 5:24 pm

Trippin' : Duke's Kelly shines the brightest

In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.

By Jeff Goodman

Jeff Capel got his first up-close look at his alma mater in Duke's recent trip to China and Dubai, so I figured the former Oklahoma head coach would be the ideal choice for insight on the Blue Devils.

OK, fine. I'll admit it. Coach K big-timed me, but Capel was perfect for the task and shared some of his thoughts - including gushing about the trio of Ryan Kelly, Miles Plumlee and Seth Curry.

What he learned from the trip: "How good Ryan Kelly is. He was our best player on the trip - and was pretty consistent in practice, too. His body has changed, he's more mature and his confidence continues to increase. This trip should provide him with even more confidence heading into the season. The second thing that stood out to me was how Seth Curry has expanded his game. I also thought of him as a shooter, but he's really worked on his ballhandling and decision-making and has put himself in a position when we put the ball in his hands and are comfortable with him running the team. He's better than I thought."

Who/What stood out on the trip: "How big and long we are. We have three guys in the frontcourt who are at least 6-foot-10 - Ryan, Miles and Mason. The strength of our team was in our frontcourt. The three main guys who stood out on the trip were Ryan, Seth and Miles (Plumlee)."

What concerns you following the trip: "The two areas we didn't play as well as we'd have liked were defense and rebounding. We need to rebound the ball at a higher rate, especially with the size we have. But we didn't implement a lot of our defensive stuff in the 10 practices prior to the trip."

- Nolan Smith told me a few months ago he expected sophomore Tyler Thornton to win the job as the starting point guard, but it was Seth Curry who started each game at the point. "I think he'll see time at both backcourt spots," Capel said.

- Freshman point guard Quinn Cook did not play on the trip as he continues to rehab from an injury he suffered last season at Oak Hill Academy. "He participated in the first three or four practices, but it was obvious he wasn't ready," Capel said. The Duke staff expects Cook to be ready for the start of practice on Oct. 15.

- Highly touted freshman Austin Rivers is really the one guy on the team that can break down an opposing defense. "The best thing he does is penetrate and create offense," Capel said. "He didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but that's not something we're worried about." Capel said that the area where Rivers needs to improve is on the defensive end, but he knows Rivers is capable since he did it when Capel was coaching the U-18 team last summer. "He can be a heck of a defensive player, but has never really been asked to do it."

- Rivers' father, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, went with his family on the entire trip. Nolan Smith also spent the entire time with the team while Kyrie Irving and Grant Hill were with the team in Shanghai.

- Capel said the highlight of the trip was climbing the Great Wall with the entire team. "It was pretty cool how the guys came together," Capel said. "You don't realize how high it is. I was exhausted. Everyone was."

- On freshman Marshall Plumlee, the youngest of the Plumlee Brothers: "He probably got knocked back more than anyone. He's going to be a really good player for us, but he's playing behind the strength of our team - Mason, Miles and Ryan. His time will come." Capel said that the youngest Plumlee can really run and plays hard, but just needs experience and strength.

- On freshman Alex Murphy: "He played better each game. If he makes his free throws and a couple of 3's, then you're talking about him playing great. The big thing for Alex is he has to develop the ego that he's a really good player. He's a legit 6-8, is athletic, can run and is versatile. He can't worry about stepping on anyone's toes. I think he came in thinking he might redshirt, but now he sees that he can play this year."

- On freshman Michael Gbinijie: "He struggled a little bit, but had been good in practice. He has to understand who he is - a defender, rebounder and a kid who can bring us toughness. Like so many freshman, he feels as though his worth is determined by scoring - while what he needs to provide us is as a big, athletic wing."

- Andrew Dawkins did what he does - make shots. Capel said the staff talked about it was the best defense they had ever seen him play.

- Mason Plumlee came off the bench each game as his brother, Miles and Kelly started up front. "Those other two guys played better in practice," Capel said. "Mason played well, and I think that may have lit a fire in him. Now he knows, with those two guys improving so much, that he has to step up. We need him to be a great rebounder and defend our paint. He played well, but those other two guys just played better. Miles was tremendous on the trip - he looked like a pro. He was dunking on guys, blocking shots and finishing through traffic. He was a beast."
Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 12:58 pm

Source: Oklahoma decision coming, Capel not named

By Jeff Goodman

The NCAA’s decision in the Oklahoma men’s basketball probe is expected this week, sources told Former Sooners coach Jeff Capel will not be named in the report.

Former Oklahoma assistant Oronde Taliaferro resigned in April 2010 after it was found that he had made numerous phone calls to a Merrill Lynch representative in Florida.

The investigation was triggered by a report that former Oklahoma big man Keith “Tiny” Gallon had received a wire transfer from the financial representative, Jeffrey Hausinger.

The school conducted its own investigation before the NCAA’s probe.

Capel, who was fired after this past season, is not named in the report. Capel was 96-69 in five seasons at the helm and has since taken a job at an assistant coach at Duke, his alma mater.

Taliaferro, who is no longer in college basketball, is expected to receive a show-cause penalty for his part in the investigation. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 10, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 6:37 pm

Capel follows familiar path back to basketball

Posted by Eric Angevine

Will it be strange for Jeff Capel to go back to taking orders after nine years of calling his own shots, first at VCU and then at Oklahoma?

It might be, but then again, he'll be listening to his mentor, Mike Krzyzewski, the man who coached him when he was wearing the Blue Devil uniform. Taking pointers from a legend probably doesn't sting too much. Regardless of how he feels about it, Capel is not alone. Deposed head coaches often begin their comebacks as assistants; there are plenty of examples in the sport today.

One of the more prominent return-to-the-sidelines stories of the past season involved Steve Lavin's decision to return from broadcasting. Not content to put an end to his own time away from coaching, Lavin also talked his mentor, legendary former Purdue coach Gene Keady, out of retirement. Keady's return is certainly not predicated on the notion of getting back to head coaching - it comes across as almost a favor to Lavin, who has been criticized for a perceived lack of strategic knowledge of the game. Keady seemingly serves in that capacity, as well as playing senior advisor and best buddy to his former protege.

Capel almost certainly expects to end up back in charge of a program again, though it won't likely be Duke. With Chris Collins and Wojo ahead of him, and Coach K not looking to depart any time soon, it's much more likely that some school out there will put him back in charge within the next couple of seasons, once the stink of his departure from Oklahoma has a chance to die down.

It's tough to say whether Capel is making the right move, but it's the best move available to him right now. He doesn't seem like the TV analyst type, with his permanent glower in place. Looking at the other former head coaches in the ACC, it's obvious that attempting to get back into the limelight by taking a second or third seat on the bench is a strategy that yields mixed results.

Look at North Carolina. After leaving Roy Williams' Kansas staff for two years as head man at Tulsa and another five in charge of Florida State, Steve Robinson came back to Williams' side in 2002. In seven years as a Tar Heels assistant, the coaching carousel has never come back around for Robinson, who is nevertheless known as one of the game's top recruiters.

Just down the road in Raleigh, new head coach Mark Gottfried has shored up his staff with a couple of guys who are likely on different paths. Orlando Early spent five seasons as head coach at Louisiana-Monroe, going 60-92 in the Sun Belt. He spent one season as an assistant at South Carolina after that before Gottfried came calling. Bobby Lutz, on the other hand, had a pretty nice 218-158 record in 12 years at UNC-Charlotte, and was Early's boss for much of that time. Many feel Lutz was unjustly let go by Charlotte, and expect him to find another head job sooner rather than later.

The most experienced former head coach on an ACC roster might come as a surprise, however. Look to Charlottesville, where the youthful Tony Bennett was able to lure Ritchie McKay to be his right-hand man. McKay has a long history of short hops, spending two years each at Portland State, Colorado State and Oregon State before taking a rather leisurely five years at New Mexico. Then it was two years at Liberty (he couldn't follow Seth Curry out the door fast enough) before he joined Bennett. McKay only made the NCAA tournament once in all those years, and his 204-186 overall record seems pretty indicative of what he's capable of. Still, McKay is only 46, so a decent mid-major job might yet again tempt him into the coach's box somewhere else.

Even Boston College is in on the act. Former Cornell coach Steve Donahue snapped up Joe Jones, who spent seven years rowing against the tide at Columbia before his 86-108 record did him in.

Capel is known as a good recruiter. His inability to keep some of his star players in line thereafter was a big part of what led him to this pretty pass. If he learns how to overcome that weakness under Coach K's tutelage, there might yet be another program willing to take a chance on the fiery young coach. He's still 36, has a reasonable 61 percent winning mark, and even served an undefeated stint as the head coach of the FIBA U18 team for USA Basketball last year.

While his exit from Oklahoma was hardly a positive move, the future may yet be very bright for Jeff Capel.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:37 am

Coach Speak: targets for Oklahoma and NC State

Will Doc Sadler stay in the Big 12?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Two more expected firings have come down the pipe as we prepare for tournament coverage. Oklahoma let Jeff Capel go, and N.C. State finally ended the Sidney Lowe era.

One of the first things we like to do in these situations is look to see which coaches are on fan wish lists and try to sort out which are fantasies and which might actually happen.

Oklahoma: It's hard to believe that the man who brought us Blake Griffin is gone, but everything for Jeff Capel went downhill when the electrifying dunker left school early to go to the NBA. Strange names come up in the local newspapers for this one. Doc Sadler is mentioned, which isn't all that odd except that he's already struggled mightily to build a winning program at a football-oriented Big 12 school. It speaks well to the respect he has in the coaching community that both Texas Tech and Oklahoma have kept an eye on him. Right up there with Sadler is Marquette's Buzz Williams, who has also been mentioned for the Tech job. Billy Gillispie is on everyone's radar, so throw him in there, too.

The strange names are these: the Norman Transcript tosses out Miami's Frank Haith and UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma. Haith seems to be on the hot seat in Miami, but his history as an assistant at Texas (from whence he got the Miami job) may make him a popular choice. Auriemma is at the pinnacle of his sport, and has shown no willingness to toss that away in favor of the challenge of rebuilding a men's program just to show he can do it. Until Jim Calhoun retires, I wouldn't expect Auriemma to ever look at making that move.

N.C. State: Sidney Lowe's firing is so fresh that the local columnists haven't really weighed in with their wish lists yet. The website Sports by Brooks has a fanciful list (which they shoot down as well) of Rick Barnes, Tubby Smith, Sean Miller and Mark Fox. Three of those coaches are in the NCAA tournament. Barnes is slotted in at the school that figures to own and operate the Big 12 from here on out. Miller and Fox are seeing their rebuilding efforts start to pay off at Arizona and Georgia, respectively, so why start over after just two years? Tubby Smith doesn't really seem like he wants to leave Minnesota.

The guys at Backing the Pack have some candidates on their list that seems sensible. Xavier coach Chris Mack would be a great get. Some other mid-major geniuses on the list are Cuonzo Martin (Missouri State), Chris Mooney (Richmond) and Blaine Taylor (ODU). Any of those gentlemen would be a fine choice as well.

State allegedly has $3 million a year set aside to lure a top coach, so it'll be interesting to see who jumps at the bait of repairing this once-proud program.

We'll do this again when the next round of coaches gets the axe, and we will, of course, keep you apprised when hirings happen. They're so much nicer than firings.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 14, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 6:58 pm

Reports: Capel fired by Oklahoma

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The coaching dominoes continue to fall.

As first reported by Seth Davis on Twitter, Jeff Capel has been fired by Oklahoma.

As recently as last week, Capel was confident that he would return to the Sooners next season. “I plan on being back. I don’t get into the speculation stuff,” Capel told the Dallas Morning News.

Oklahoma has struggled the past two seasons, going just 27-36 since Blake Griffin led the Sooners to the Elite Eight in 2009. In Capel’s five seasons in Norman, he has reached the NCAA tournament twice 

Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, who has also been mentioned with job openings at Arkansas and Texas Tech, will certainly be on the short list of candidates for Oklahoma.

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Category: NCAAB
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