Share This Page

Everhart has Duquesne men moving forward

If Ron Everhart isn't careful, he might find himself working elsewhere.

In just three years, the Duquesne University men's basketball coach has halted a decades-long tailspin on the Bluff. At this rate, another school may steal him away.

"We're headed in the right direction," Everhart said. "We want to get to the point where we're consistently mentioned in the upper echelon of the Atlantic 10."

As well as in Division I.

It's no laughing matter, Everhart inferred Wednesday, two days before the Dukes open his fourth year on the Bluff with a rare Friday night game against Nicholls State at Palumbo Center.

"My goal with Duquesne basketball is the way I perceived it when I was a kid," he said of growing up in his native Fairmont, W.Va. "They were a power back then. They used to play at the Civic Arena, and people came down after work to watch them play. It was always an electric environment.

"Hopefully, we can get it back to where we're the type of team that consistently competes favorably for an NCAA Tournament bid."

Duquesne surprised virtually everyone last season by playing for the A-10 Tournament championship, nearly earning their first NCAA Tournament berth in 32 years.

They finished 21-13 — their most victories in a season since 1970-71 — and settled for a trip to the NIT against Virginia Tech.

Yesterday, the coach received signed letters of intent from two point guards — high school seniors T.J. McConnell, from Chartiers Valley, and Mike Talley, a two-time Class C state player of the year in Michigan while at Detroit's Melvindale Academy for Business and Technology.

Both players will come highly touted next season. McConnell averaged 22.1 points, 5.7 assists, 4.9 steals and 3.6 rebounds, and Talley averaged 25 points, 9 assists and 6 steals in 2008-09. They will join current point guards Eric Evans, a sophomore from Detroit, and Sean Johnson, a freshman who starred at New York's Christ the King.

The hope is that all the young talent Everhart has brought in will continue to elevate Duquesne's program, which has improved every year since the coach arrived.

"I've never really said we've got to do this or do that," Everhart said. "My whole thing has been for us to just go out and work hard and make it as good as we can make it from day to day and year to year. Let's not worry about the big picture right now. Let's just try to take care of the things at hand. Let's win some basketball games."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.