I am now covering Duquesne Basketball full time at Rivals.com, I appreciate the support of all of my loyal readers.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 2:00 PM
Friday, April 11, 2008
Ron Everhart announced that sophomore guard/forward Stephen Wood has received his release from Duquesne University, clearing the way for his transfer to another school. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to the Duquesne faithful, Wood barely played this year and almost always seemed to be in Everhart's doghouse. Wood was a wasted scholarship last season and Everhart should be able to turn that scholarship into a quality prospect. The only potential negative from all of this is that Wood was a very popular member of the team and I am sure he will be missed by the players next year.
"I really want to thank Greg for his effort as an assistant coach," said Everhart. "I was lucky enough to be able to recruit Greg as a player when I was at Tulane and I've closely followed his progress as a coach. He has a tremendous work ethic, is an outstanding teacher and has a great understanding of the game. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be highly successful at Centenary."
Gary, 38, who was recruited as a player to Tulane by Everhart in the early 1990s, was part of the Duquesne staff for one year, during which he helped the Dukes post their first winning season since 1993-94. He has also coached at his alma mater in addition to McNeese State (under Everhart), Miami, Fla. and South Florida.
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 4:59 PM
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Shawn James has declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft, but he won't sign with an agent so he will retain the option to return to Duquesne for his senior season. Things don't look good for James' NBA prospects according to two major NBA Draft websites. Draft Express.com does not have James listed on their mock draft board for either the 1st or 2nd rounds, and neither does NBA Draft.net. A lot can change between now and the NBA Draft on June 26th but things don't look good for James as of April 9th.
James has until June 16th to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to Duquesne.
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 9:32 AM
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
What a weird year for NCAA brackets. I feel weird giving someone praise for picking 4 #1 seeds in their bracket, but that is how it all worked out this year. Kudos to Clark Kellog for picking all of the #1 seeds, getting a ton of crap about it, and then being right in the end. In BigSlacker's defense, he only picked 3 #1 seeds to make it to the Final Four, and he did pick Kansas to win it all. Actually his bracket had all #1 and #2 seeds facing off in the Elite 8 with the exception of him predicting a Pitt upset victory over Memphis. Basically he picked the favorite in almost every game, and the one upset he picked was wrong, yet he still won, like I said, a weird year for NCAA brackets.
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 2:46 PM
Friday, April 4, 2008
April is a wonderful time to be a sports fan.
- The Pens are gearing up for a long playoff run
- Baseball season started (this is a good thing for those of us who are masochistic Pirates fans like myself)
- The Final Four is a day away
- The NFL Draft is April 26th
- April 16th is the beginning of the NCAA Basketball signing period which runs through May 21st, which means we should expect to see Ron Everhart announce the names of some new recruits very soon.
- The NBA playoffs are later this month, and did I mention I am in first place (by two small points) in my Yahoo NBA fantasy winners league?
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 9:56 AM
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Next year's roster is still very much in flux with the future of the 2008 recruiting class up in the air as well as Shawn James' status with the team. Duquesne still has scholarships to give for next season and Ron Everhart and his staff have been traveling the country looking at potential recruits. So far the recruiting class consists of:
There have been rumors that Djim may go to prep school next year to help improve his game before coming to Duquesne. There have also been rumors that Johnny Higgins will not be coming to Duquesne. I can't say anything about the validity of the Higgins rumor, he seems to have a strong relationship with Everhart and Duquesne assistant coach Bill Barton, if I had to bet, I would bet that Higgins will be in a Duquesne uniform next year.
Shawn James has declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft but has yet to hire an agent. If James doesn't like his NBA prospects he can return to Duquesne for his last year of eligibility. Duquesne fans simply won't know James' status until he makes some sort of formal announcement.
James' status isn't the only one that is up in the air for next year, rumors have been flying about the status of Stephen Wood. Wood played significant minutes as a freshman during the 06-07 season, but he only saw minutes in 07-08 during garbage time. The knock on Wood has been that he doesn't play defense, and Everhart has plenty of other options at the guard position. Don't be shocked if Wood transfers, opening up yet another scholarship for Everhart.
This much we can say for sure: Kieron Achara, Gary Tucker, and Reggie Jackson have all exhausted their NCAA eligibilty and will not be apart of the 08-09 Duquesne squad. Achara, Tucker, and Jackson were significant contributors during the 07-08 season and they will be difficult to replace next year.
I have been covering Duquesne's recruiting efforts at my Rivals.com web page, OnTheBluff.com, and if I can say one thing for sure it is that Everhart and his staff have been keeping tabs on a large number of talented high school and JC prospects.
The 08-09 Duquesne basketball team could look a lot like last year's team if Shawn James and Stephen Wood return, but if James goes pro and Wood transfers the Dukes will feature a large number of new players. Everhart has had no trouble bringing talented players to the Duquesne program and I doubt this off season recruiting period will be any different. We will all just have to wait and see what happens.
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 12:36 PM
Thursday, March 27, 2008
What does this mean for Duquesne?
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 6:52 AM
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Now that the 07-08 season is over for the Dukes the focus is on recruiting and other issues for the program. As the Duquesne coaching staff recruits potential prospects they have to sell Duquesne University and the basketball program, and one of the biggest negatives about coming to Duquesne is the A.J. Palumbo Center. The Palumbo is old, (it was built in 1988), small (has a capacity of 5,358), and lacks the amenities of newer arenas in Pittsburgh and at other Atlantic 10 schools. When a recruit has been to Temple's beautiful 10,000 seat Liacouras Center or Pitt's 12,000 seat Petersen Events Center (pictured below) that features five courtside luxury suites, six club suites, six loge suites, 193 supersuite seats, and five building levels the A.J. Palumbo Center looks like a dump. More than half of the seating at the Palumbo Center is still bleacher seating after all.
An artists rendering of the planned Penguins Arena
- The Pens arena will be a brand new arena used primarily by a pro team with all of the accompanying amenities and luxuries.
- The Pens arena is extremely close to Duquesne's campus making it easy for students to travel from campus to the facility.
- The Pens arena will be sold out for every Pens game and tickets to Pens games are extremely expensive. By playing some or all of Duquesne's games at the new arena it will allow sports fans in Pittsburgh an opportunity to see the new facility while also exposing them to Duquesne's basketball program which is on the upswing.
- The Pens arena has an 18,500 seat capacity. Duquesne can't fill their own 5,300 seat facility, more than 3/4 of the Pens arena would be empty if Duquesne played there.
- Two years ago Duquesne invested 2 million dollars into renovating the AJ Palumbo Center, why would the University want to move the arena's main attraction, (the basketball team), out of the facility?
This is a difficult spot for Duquesne. I'd love for the Dukes to play at least one home game a season at the Pens new arena, preferably a against a big time opponent. Duquesne needs to make a decision, either make a major commitment to renovating and updating the Palumbo Center or start fund raising and planning for a brand new state of the art facility.
Posted by The Duke from Dukes Court at 8:26 AM