Mar. 18—GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jeff Capel's career in college basketball stretches back to the turn of the century. Since that time, he has been a host for many recruits.

But the day prep stars Guillermo and Jorge Diaz Graham showed up at Pitt with their family — extended family, really — was different, Capel said.

"It's right up there with the greatest official visits I've been a part of," Capel said Saturday while taking a break from final preparations for Pitt's NCAA Tournament second-round game Sunday against Xavier.

"The twins, their family, their mom and dad and their spouses," Capel said. "Their mom and dad are not together, but their new spouses are best friends. It was really great, just the energy was so positive."

Before that, the recruitment began when assistant coach Tim O'Toole became aware of Guillermo and Jorge, who had matriculated from the Canary Islands to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He believed they had what it takes to play in the ACC, and a match was made.

Capel said Pitt was one of the few schools recruiting the twins as a package.

The next trick was for Capel to figure out how to tell the twins apart. It helps that one wears yellow shoes and the other white in practice. But if you look close enough, you'll see Guillermo has an earring; Jorge does not.

"I wanted an earring or tattoo," Guillermo said of a decision he made four years ago. "It was my subconscious telling me I want to look different from him."

"He wanted to be the cool one," Jorge said.

"I'm the serious one, the organized one," Guillermo said. "He's kind of like the crazy one. He does whatever he wants to do, and we fight a lot because of that."

Their most recent disagreement?

"He wouldn't do the dishes," said Guillermo, who simply carried them onto Jorge's bed. "It's really fun, though."

Jorge is more of a wing player at 6-foot-11 than Guillermo, who is an inch taller and has started both tournament games for Federiko Federiko, who has a knee injury.

He has 12 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Jorge's assist on his brother's dunk was a big part of Pitt's domination of Iowa State in the second half Friday.

"As they get stronger, they are going to have a very bright future," Xavier coach Sean Miller said.

If Pitt beats Xavier and advances to the Sweet 16 in Kansas City, they said their parents — Francisco Diaz and Elizabeth Graham — might make the trip. In any case, they communicate after every game.

When the two embraced on the floor after the victory against Mississippi State, Guillermo said his mother couldn't contain herself. She also burst into tears — 6,205 kilometers away.

"My mom was emotional. My dad was so proud," Guillermo said.

No lead is safe

Big deficits haven't stopped Xavier from advancing in the postseason. The Musketeers fell behind DePaul by 13 in the second half of their game in the Big East Tournament before winning 89-84. Miller said that situation might have helped when Xavier was in a similar hole Friday against Kennesaw State.

In the next game after the DePaul game, Miller said his team played one of its best games of the season while beating Creighton, 82-60.

"When that (DePaul) game ended, we were able to take a deep breath, lessons learned. We became a more united group, a more focused group," Miller said. "We had their attention. My hope is in Sunday's game we can be better."

Said graduate student Jack Nunge: "We know we have a good team. We're never really out of it."

It was nothing, really

Miller said a public tiff between teammates Souley Boum and Adam Kunkel during Friday's game was nothing more than "raw emotion ... competitive spirit" on display.

"Two players who saw their college careers coming to an end," he said. "It was repaired in five minutes. There's no doubt they care.

"We worked really hard to get to the tournament. When you're in it, you don't want to ever leave, in particular in the first round. That was the fight inside of them to play another day.

"It really didn't affect me at all. I would rather pull guys back than slap them in the butt to speed them up. I clearly understand their feelings. It was really nothing."

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at or via Twitter .

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