Duquesne prepares for opener with rout of Hawaii Hilo
This time, the ball looked a little more round.
Marvin Binney and Derrick Colter, Duquesne's talented yet young point guards, showed promise in Sunday night's 92-46 victory over Hawaii Hilo at A.J. Palumbo Center, the Dukes' final preseason scrimmage before Friday's opener.
Dukes coach Jim Ferry was critical of his point guards after Thursday's scrimmage with Carnegie Mellon, when the Dukes had 19 turnovers, likening their ball-handling to “dribbling a football.”
Not so this time.
“It's going to be a process with these guys, they're very young,” Ferry said, “They were bad Thursday night, and today they were better. Hopefully we get more better days than we get bad days.”
The spring transfers of T.J. McConnell (Arizona) and Mike Talley (Eastern Michigan) left the first-year coach to audition two fellow newcomers.
Binney, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, had 13 points, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range. More importantly, the transfer from New Mexico Junior College had six assists and just one turnover.
“It was just first-game jitters,” Binney said of Thursday. “It happens to everybody — all the emotions building up for the first game.”
Colter, a 5-11 freshman, started Sunday's scrimmage and made two 3-pointers within the first 90 seconds to energize the Dukes. Colter had eight points, three assists and one turnover.
Both will have an important role, said Ferry, who at times used them together against Hawaii Hilo, an NCAA Division II program. But those roles are not yet defined entering Friday's opener at Albany.
“We're really trying to figure it out,” Ferry said. “Sometimes it might be better to start Derrick, so he's not coming off the bench with a lot of (other) freshmen. … It could also be dictated on matchups and who's just playing better.”
This was a night for Duquesne's guards to shine. Senior Sean Johnson led with 16 points, and freshman Jeremiah Jones added 13.
The Dukes shot 52 percent, including 15 of 31 from 3-point range. Until the final minutes, the Dukes had attempted and made more 3-pointers than twos. They finished with 18 baskets from inside the 3-point arc.
“We did a very good job of driving and kicking,” Ferry said. “We played very unselfishly. I thought the ball moved; we really made that extra pass tonight.”
Three-point shooting isn't typically the focus of Ferry's offense, but he'll make exceptions.
“When you shoot 48 percent from three, you might as well take 50 of them,” he said.
The Dukes used an early 18-2 first-half run to pull away from Hawaii Hilo, during which the Vulcans went 7 minutes without a field goal.
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.