Mack first…seems as if this is the job he was holding out for all along and when it came open and he was contacted, he leaped at it. Remains to be seen how hard Louisville gets hit by the NCAA around the FBI stuff (if at all…and “if at all” absolutely remains on the table), and that probably determines how quickly he gets his thing off the ground there.
I think it’s always interesting to watch a coach make the jump from a program like X, where they’re mostly relying on kids who are outside the top 50, to a bigger program where the name alone gets them in the game. Guys like Matta and Miller made that jump easily and I would expect Mack will follow. In fact, he’s the guy at that school who really elevated the recruiting profile. He won battles against Big Ten and other high major programs for guys like Bluiett, Scruggs, etc. So we know he can recruit against the big boys. With the platform Louisville offers, I would think he’ll have them right back more or less where Pitino did in terms of profile and results, though I don’t know if there’s anyone they could have gotten who is on Pitino’s level as a pure coach. That’s not a knock on Mack as much as it is just an acknowledgment of how good Pitino is/was.
Capel is going to be more of a crapshoot IMO. He gets a lot of credit for Duke’s move into one and done territory and their success in landing those kids, and he was a good recruiter at Oklahoma. I wonder, though…Pitt isn’t really an easy place to recruit to in basketball. Pennsylvania outside of Philly isn’t really a great basketball talent producer, so your home turf isn’t going to keep you competitive in the ACC. The success that Howland and Dixon had was based largely on second tier recruits from the East who they got to buy into a toughness and defense approach. They weren’t loading up on McDonald’s AAs. Yet Capel has been a guy who’s rep is based largely on his ability to reel those high end types in (though admittedly he’s the guy who got VCU’s program rolling before Shaka Smart, and he did that without top tier players). Will he change the profile at Pitt and land those high end guys or will he try to adapt to recruiting a different kind of player and build it in a way similar to Howland and Dixon?