Duquesne's depth uncertain with new season on horizon
College Football Videos
Along with workouts at Palumbo Center, Duquesne basketball coach Jim Ferry has added some less traditional team activities — like cookouts at his house.
When you've got nine new scholarship players, why not bond over barbecue?
“I think that's the most important part when you're bringing in a lot of new guys,” Ferry said Monday at the Dukes' media day. “Is everybody really getting to know each other?”
Only three scholarship players return from last season's roster that finished 1-15 in the Atlantic 10 (8-22 overall). Sophomore point guard Derrick Colter (13.8 ppg), sophomore forward Jeremiah Jones (7.9) and senior forward Jerry Jones (6.2) are the only holdovers.
Joining them are eight newcomers and senior forward Ovie Soko, who sat out last season after transferring from UAB.
“The biggest thing is really blending together to be an unselfish group,” said Ferry, who starts his second season at Duquesne. “That's something we've probably talked about more than putting the ball in the basket.”
The incoming players address a couple key weaknesses: ball-handling and front-court scoring. But with two newcomers injured (Tra'Vaughn White, Isaiah Watkins) and two others awaiting eligibility (Micah Mason, Jordan Robinson), the Dukes have been somewhat shorthanded. The team used only six players when it scrimmaged.
The Duquesne coaches like this incoming class, so they're eager to see the recruits on the court together.
Watkins, a highly touted 6-7 freshman forward, has been sidelined since summer leg surgery.
The injury, just above the knee, required another surgery this month. White, who led junior college scorers last season, has a high-ankle sprain.
“It's been a little frustrating,” Ferry said. “About a month ago (we're) saying, Where are we going to find minutes for everybody? Now it's like, Where are we going to find guys to play minutes?”
The team hosts Clarion in an exhibition at 1 p.m. Saturday. The season starts Nov. 9 against Abilene Christian at Palumbo Center.
Duquesne has requested an NCAA eligibility waiver for Mason, a Drake transfer who graduated from Highlands. Mason, a sophomore guard, was diagnosed in high school with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. After his freshman season at Drake, the condition led Mason to move closer to home.
“To me, especially seeing all these other kids get these waivers, it looks pretty simple,” Ferry said. “This is a significant illness that he has and it's a significant hardship for him.”
The team also is awaiting an NCAA decision on Robinson, a 6-8 freshman forward from Toronto. Robinson, who attended Quality Education Academy in North Carolina, has not yet been made eligible.
“If we can get everybody healthy and everybody cleared, we'll have some depth this year that we lacked,” Ferry said, “(and) we are significantly more talented.”
Show commenting policy
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.
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Biertempfel: Pittsburgh native faced quick learning curve as Marlins GM
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- Exclusive to the Trib: Lift the oil export ban? Think again