Ties and Time

Junior basketball prospect Bobby Capobianco renewed some longstanding ties when he made an unofficial visit to West Virginia over the weekend of Oct. 19-21.

"Kevin Chappell, who is a graduate assistant at West Virginia, went to my high school here in Loveland," Capobianco related. "I have known him for a long time, and I used to hang out with him when he came back home [before he was at West Virginia]. And one of my AAU coaches, Louis Twigg, grew up with Billy Hahn. When Coach Hahn was at Maryland, Louis was a graduate assistant under him."

Thus set with familiar faces, Capobianco was prepared for a good experience at West Virginia, and he wasn't disappointed. He described a day packed with activity.

"Kevin met us and took us on a tour of Morgantown. We went downtown, and he showed us the student center and the campus. Then we came back out to the Coliseum and went through all the facilities there. We talked with the strength coach (Jeff Giosi) and pretty much took a tour of everything.

"Next we met with Coach Hahn and watched practice," Capobianco continued. "We got to say hi to Huggs while practice was going on, and then we talked to him more afterward. Then we went over to the football game and checked everything out there. The atmosphere there seems like, well, it seems that all the focus is on West Virginia. There are no pro teams there, so they get it all. That's what everyone focuses on."

Capobianco was also impressed with the way the Mountaineers from last year are adapting to the Huggins style/system.

"They are definitely in a different situation going from a precise offense like Coach Beilein ran to a different offense with Huggs," he said, showing a thorough knowledge of West Virginia's situation. "I thought everyone was doing real well. It looks like players are responding to him. But that doesn't surprise me a lot, and it doesn't surprise me with Coach Huggins coming back to where he played."

As of now, Capobianco lists West Virginia, Marquette Iowa, Southern Illinois, St. Louis, Bowling Green, and Miami (OH) on his interest chart (all have offered). However, he is not in a hurry to make a college choice. Just as he has learned a good bit about West Virginia, he plans to extend that approach to all of the schools on his list, as well as any others that may enter the picture.

"The way I am looking at it, I want to get through my high school season and AAU [this summer], and then I will have enough information. But I don't have to make a decision yet. I will make it when I think I have enough information and feel ready, whether it's tomorrow or a year from now. I want to keep going to places, keep talking, and get as much information as I can."

On those trips, Capobianco won't be just looking at the basketball side of the equation.

"Academics is a big thing," he said when asked what factors will play into his decision. "I want to go into business, so having a good business program is important. I want a coach who is knowledgeable and someone who can make me into the best I can be, whether that's an NBA player, a European league player, or if college is my last stop. I want to take it as far as I can, and I want coaches that can help me do that. And with those things, I know they will bring in others to play with me that will be doing the same thing."

At six feet, eight inches and 230 pounds, Capobianco can play in the post or step away from the basket, and is a threat doing both.

"I'm extremely physical. That's what I am known for. I can finish in the post, and I can play with my back to the basket. But I shot 48% from three last year, too," he explained. "Shooting is something I am good at, and I can take the ball to the hoop too. I can play the four spot, and I love rebounding too. Going after the ball is something else I am good at."

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