Duquesne basketball off and running
College Football Videos
Duquesne headed into the offseason carrying the weight of an uninspired performance in a loss to Princeton in the College Basketball Invitational.
Only time will tell if the extended time off has lightened the load for the Dukes.
"I like our cohesiveness," coach Ron Everhart said Friday. "We had a good first practice. I'm excited about it."
Four starters — all double-figure scorers — from a team that finished 16-16 were back, as Duquesne opened official workouts last night at Palumbo Center with most of its regulars in uniform. Only senior forward David Theis and sophomore guard Sean Johnson, reserves nursing ankle injuries, were missing from the returnees.
Incoming freshman forward Derrick Martin, who averaged 14.0 points and 15.0 rebounds last season at Flora MacDonald Academy in Red Springs, N.C., is awaiting word from the NCAA regarding his eligibility. He is not permitted to practice until a decision is made.
"Derrick was a very productive player on a very good team," Everhart said. "I'm really high on his ability to run the floor and block shots. He can also step out and shoot the 3-pointer. Players who can do that are a rare find."
With or without Martin, Duquesne is loaded with fresh talent to complement its veterans. They're led by returning Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Damian Saunders, who averaged 15.0 points and 11.3 rebounds. He ranked second in Division I in steals at 2.8 per game as a junior.
"You've got to be excited about the first practice," Saunders said. "We're here to get started on something special. We know what we're capable of, and it's time to get down to the business."
While several players transferred — most notably guard/forward Melquan Bolding (11.8 ppg) to Fairleigh Dickinson — Duquesne's newcomers potentially are an exciting bunch.
Guards T.J. McConnell, from Chartiers Valley, and Mike Talley, from Melvindale (Mich.) Academy for Business and Technology, averaged 34.2 and 31.2 points as high school seniors. Forward Joel Wright, a New York native, averaged 23.0 points and 17.0 rebounds at Brittain Academy in Thomasville, N.C.; guard/forward Jerry Jones, from Inkster (Mich.) High School, averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Joining Saunders among the incumbent starters are senior swingman Bill Clark (14.1 ppg), junior swingman B.J. Monteiro (11.1) and junior guard Eric Evans (10.0.).
"With the five new freshmen, I like our youthfulness and energy," Everhart said. "Saunders and Clark have come back looking like the leaders I know they can be, and I like the commitment that B.J. Monteiro has made in the offseason. He came back in great shape and looks like he's ready to be a go-to guy."
Duquesne opens the regular season against Bluefield State, a Division II school, on Nov. 13 at refurbished Palumbo Center.Additional Information:
Duquesne senior Damian Saunders had the most steals of any forward in Division I in the past two seasons. His 160 steals ranked fifth among players in that span. A look at the leaders:
Devan Downey, South Carolina G : 174 steals
Brigham Waginger, Western Carolina G : 171
Aubrey Coleman, Houston G : 168
Kevin Palmer, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi G/F : 163
Damian Saunders, Duquesne F : 160
Marqus Blakely, Vermont F : 152
Note: Saunders is the only returning player.
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.
- Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
- Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
- Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
- Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
- Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
- Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
- Girl, 10, forced to strip in Sewickley Township home invasion
- Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
- Music on way to Westmoreland’s Twin Lakes Park
- Traded after Stanley Cup, Saad not alone in being dealt after title
- Derry man gets 19-year prison sentence for recording sex assaults of girl