Perhaps it's talent drying up at the school, or the competition has stiffened, but the Cougars are searching fruitlessly for the magic that brought the program back-to-back state championships more than a decade ago.
It's hard to say if that magic will ever return to the 14th-largest school in the state in terms of enrollment.
Right now, that's a question better left unanswered, because the evidence clearly says no.
Six appearances in the State Tournament since winning the 2001 Class AAA championship includes five semifinal losses for Capital and no berths in the last two years.
Yes, Virginia, the Cougars are being left behind.
St. Albans Coach Marshall Kiser has his most talented team in his four years with the Red Dragons, but the way their nine-point victory over the Cougars transpired on Tuesday tells me everything I need to know about the plight of Coach Carl Clark's program.
I'm not running down St. Albans, but Kiser's team finished the game without its two best players - Nathan McNeil and Thad Moss - and saw Taylor Clark foul out.
That's not a good sign for Capital, which has shown the ability to exploit situations and turn them into blowouts.
Capital sits at 1-3 - its second such start in the last three years.
The Cougars have won at least 20 games five times in the program history - two of those were the state championship seasons in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
Quite frankly, it's hard to put an identity on the Cougars if you watch them play. Organized chaos typically identifies pressing teams, but when it comes to Capital, there is nothing organized about the way it does things on or off the court.
As other teams go through cyclical challenges in talent, many stay at or near the top of the state high school basketball food chain. The ones that don't are moving that way.
George Washington has superstar guard Luke Eddy and a bevy of supporting players, but the Patriots will win games they aren't supposed to. Last year they came an eyelash away from winning the state title - overachievers to say the least.