Dukes' revamped roster embraces up-tempo style
College Football Videos
Duquesne has a message for opponents: “Catch us if you can.”
With a revamped roster that promises to be faster and more athletic than last season's, the Dukes should be much better at the transition offense second-year coach Jim Ferry favors.
“We're really fast and not just at a couple positions — at every position,” said Ferry, whose Dukes start their season at 2 p.m., Saturday when Abilene Christian visits Palumbo Center “We want to play fast, we want to play aggressively.”
Nine players are gone from last season's roster, including seven who had eligibility left. Ferry replaced them with recruits who can run the floor.
That includes junior college transfer Tra'Vaughn White, a junior guard who was the nation's leading scorer at Independence Community College. His ability with the ball will benefit sophomore point guard Derrick Colter, who shouldered much of last season's up-court push.
But two other newcomers, senior forward Ovie Soko (6-8, 225) and junior forward Dominique McKoy (6-8, 215), are more mobile than last season's front court.
Combined, this lineup can run, which led Ferry to offer the “catch us if you can” challenge.
“We have a lot of versatility at each position,” said sophomore small forward Jeremiah Jones, one of three holdovers from last season. “Last year, (the offense) was get the rebound, give it to D.C. and push it. This year, if Ovie or Domo gets the rebound, they could dribble it out. That definitely speeds us up.”
Duquesne will have seven new scholarship players in the lineup Saturday, including sophomore Micah Mason, who was made eligible Thursday by the NCAA.
When Soko left UAB before last season, he wanted somewhere he could run.
“It's a fun way to play,” Soko said, “and a way to catch other teams on their heels. There are not a lot of teams in the country that do a good job defensively in transition.”
When Ferry coached LIU Brooklyn to the NCAA Tournament, those up-tempo Blackbirds lineups often scored 80 points and occasionally broke 100.
That's Ferry's goal at Duquesne, but it could take time. The Dukes scored 103 in their exhibition last weekend against overmatched Clarion, a Division II program.
But against Atlantic 10 opponents last season, the Dukes reached 80 only twice and scored in the 70s in two other contests. In their other 12 conference games, they scored in the 50s or 60s, along with a season-low 49 against Butler.
“There are not many teams that can (score 80),” Ferry said. “I'm not sure we're ready to do that yet on a consistent basis, but we've got to get to 70 or 75 points a game.”
vs. Abilene Christian
Radio: 104.7 FM
Breakdown: Abilene Christian returns just one player from last season's roster as it transitions from NCAA Division II to the Division I Southland Conference. Duquesne returns three.
Player Ht. Yr. PPG
G Parker Wentz 5-9 So. 8.3
G LaDarrien Williams 5-10 Jr. —
G Harrison Hawkins 6-0 Jr. —
F Riley Payne 6-5 Fr. —
F Austin Cooke 6-7 So. —
G Derrick Colter 5-11 So. 13.5
G Tra'Vaughn White 5-10 Jr. —
F Jeremiah Jones 6-3 So. 7.7
F Dominique McKoy 6-8 Jr. —
F Ovie Soko 6-8 Sr. —
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.
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Cancer didn’t stop mother from living for her son
- Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
- No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57
- DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
- U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation
- Steelers notebook: Defense tasked with stopping Graham
- Suspect in Route 28 death has long history of ignoring vehicle registration, license laws, records show
- Fall fly-by: Blue Angels stop in Unity to discuss 2015 show