City Game shows how far Duquesne has to go
This type of setting fits what Duquesne's freshmen envision for the Dukes' future. Crowded arenas. Powerful opponents. Maybe someday with a conference title in the balance.
Just not quite yet.
“It definitely helps down the road,” freshman Quevyn Winters said Wednesday night after Duquesne's 66-45 loss to Pitt at Consol Energy Center in the annual City Game. “It gives us more experience and makes us more mature. ... When we get back in the gym, we know what we need to work on.”
This performance showed the young, talented Dukes have room to grow. For many on Duquesne's roster, this was their first City Game experience, including the three freshmen who have helped jump-start first-year coach Jim Ferry's rebuilding effort.
Derrick Colter and Jeremiah Jones each played a team-high 28 minutes, and Winters clocked 26. But the trio made just 9 of 24 shots, including 2 of 13 from 3-point range, and combined for 17 points. The event might not have overwhelmed them, but Pitt's defense certainly did.
“I don't think it had anything to do with the stage,” Ferry said. “It had to do with Pitt's defense. We could have played this game in a parking lot somewhere. It's not the stage.”
Senior guard Sean Johnson led the Dukes with 13 points in his fourth City Game. Jones led the freshmen with seven points, Winters had six and Colter had four. Colter drew the attention of Pitt coach Jaime Dixon, who praised Ferry's rebuilding effort that is just eight games old.
“They've got a good start with a very good point guard,” Dixon said.
The loss was Duquesne's 12th consecutive against its rival, a lopsided series since around when Pitt joined the Big East in 1982. But Pitt senior Tray Woodall saw something different in this Duquesne team than years past.
“This team was more under control,” Woodall said. “They did a good job of having patience.”
Colter, Jones and Winters earlier this season played at Georgetown, but this was different.
“It was crazy,” Winters said of the atmosphere. “I didn't know it was this serious.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.