Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dukes get 3 signed National Letters of Intent


3 more pieces added to the puzzle for the 2008-09 season.

Duquesne and head coach Ron Everhart received NLI from:

5-11 180-pound guard Eric Evans (Detroit, Mich./Northwestern) - (pictured right)

6-7 180-pound forward Shawntez Patterson (Detroit, Mich./Northwestern)

6-8, 225-pound forward Ali Djim (Chad, Central Africa/Hampton (Va.) Bethel Christian School)

They join 6-1, 185-pound Johnny Higgins (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep) who had already signed and submitted his NLI weeks ago.

Eric Evans is generally considered a 2 or 3 star recruit by all of the major scouting services. I would assume that Evans will be groomed to take over the PG duties after Kojo Mensah graduates following the 08-09 season. Evan is considered one of the top players coming out of Michigan this year. Evans is also being considered as a candidate for Michigan's Mr. Basketball. Evans' teammate Shawntez Patterson also committed to the Dukes.

Patterson is an athlete with a lot of potential. Patterson is rated as a two star recruit by most major recruiting services. An athletic 6'7 player would be an ideal swingman for the Dukes.


Ali Djim (pictured above) has project written all over him, he isn't rated on any of the recruiting services, and there just isn't much information out there about him. Even coach Everhart's comment about him spells project "He's the type of wide-bodied player we feel we need in our program." Djim is a native of Chad, Central Africa. Things didn't work out too well with Duquesne's last African big man Simplice Njoya (pictured right in a Memphis uniform where he transferred after several lackluster seasons with the Dukes.) I am hoping for a better future for Ali Djim in a Dukes uniform. Djim will have big shoes to fill in the paint after Kieron Achara and Shawn James graduate.

We still don't know what's going on with Schenley High School senior guard Deandre Kane. Kane gave Duquesne a verbal commitment this summer, but there has been no word of him submitting a National Letter of Intent. We are still in a wait and see mode with Kane.

My overall evaluation of the Dukes class:

I love it when we add teammates, it adds instant chemistry to the team, and it doesn't hurt that both Evans and Patterson are rated as solid athletic players. The Dukes need a PG to replace Kojo, and Evans seems to fit that bill, and what team doesn't need an athletic 6'7 forward? I have read a lot of good things about Higgins which I have discussed previously on the blog. I may have sounded harsh about Djim, but it can't hurt to bring in one big man project every other season, I wish he was bigger than 6'8, but let's hope for the best with this kid.


---
props to CLK from the Duquesne Dukes Basketball Fans Message Board for the Ali Djim picture

2 comments:

Scoville said...

realize this is an older post - but let's hope we can recruit someone with some size. I like all the guys we have committed, and how we'll have waves of guards, but we're going to need some front court help next year too.

Also - I wouldn't mind seeing a more intense weight program over the summer. Maybe have Thies hit the stacks the hardest, as he's having a hard time getting off the bench now. Having some muscle to mix it up would have been helpful the past two games...

The Duke said...

Djim is being reported at 6'8 or 6'9, so he has some size. Brandon Harris is redshirting this year, he is 6'9. So it looks like Everhart will be grooming them to take over for James and Achara.

Theis is listed at 6'8, but he is really only 6'7 and in my mind will always be a slow SF, he simply isn't big enough to play PF, and he doesnt play like a PF. Theis is also coming off of a major knee injury, which is a big part of why he doesn't get many minutes, on top of the fact that there are players who are simply better than him right now at the SF position.

You make a great point about the Dukes' strength or lack there of. Duquesne has notoriously been a weak team and if we ever expect to compete with the big dogs in the A-10 we need to get a lot stronger, especially the interior guys.