Pitt’s Jared Wilson-Frame wouldn’t mind turning back time
Many seniors who reach the end of their careers might wistfully ponder what it would be like to play one more season in college.
Don’t include Pitt’s Jared Wilson-Frame in that group. He’s actually thinking bigger than that. He would gladly turn back the calendar and re-live all four of his college years, if it meant he could play for Pitt’s Jeff Capel.
As it stands, however, Wilson-Frame and senior classmates Sidy N’Dir and Joe Mascaro will be honored before their final home game Saturday against Notre Dame at Petersen Events Center.
“I wish I could have played for coach Capel since I was 18-years-old,” said Wilson-Frame, 22. “I told that to him a month ago to his face. I could say that 1,000 times.
“He’s a great guy. I’ve developed as a man under him and that’s more important to me than anything else. That’s made me a better basketball player and a better leader.”
Wilson-Frame was recruited two years ago from Northwest Florida State, a junior college, by former coach Kevin Stallings. But from the moment 11 months ago when Capel phoned him and said he would need his help in keeping the team together, Wilson-Frame got in line behind his new head coach.
The past two seasons have been littered with defeats – the Panthers are 2-34 against ACC opponents – but Wilson-Frame will challenge anyone who believes the program isn’t on an upward trajectory.
“If anybody is doubting that this program will get back to the level it needs to be and has been at the past and, actually, exceed that level, if anybody is doubting that, more power to them,” he said. “They obviously don’t really pay attention to coach Capel and what’s going on here and the players he’s brought in already.”
Wilson-Frame’s memories of his two seasons at Pitt aren’t all sour. He recalls:
• The near-upset of West Virginia in 2017 (under Stallings).
• This year’s Duke game when Pitt kept the score close for the first 10 minutes , with rapper Jay-Z sitting courtside.
• The N.C. State game in which noise from the Oakland Zoo was, perhaps, as loud as it’s been in several years.
• Plus, the victories against Louisville and Florida State.
Wilson-Frame believes that not long after he’s gone, the program “is going to be back to the golden age when the Pete was sold out all the time.”
Any chance Pitt has to escape last place in the ACC – and they will do so with a victory against Notre Dame – probably hinges on Wilson-Frame continuing his accurate long-range shooting.
In the past 12 games, Wilson-Frame is shooting 41 percent (48 of 117) from beyond the 3-point arc while scoring 12 or more points in 10 of those games.
Just don’t remind him.
“Anybody who knows me knows I don’t care about individual accolades,” he said. “It’s all about making sure we look good, making sure we are winning. People who tell me (too often) I’m playing good, I tell them either stop talking to me or I just don’t talk to them. Those are the type of people to stay away from.”
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Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .