nBy Steven DiMiceli
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Late last night, Ron Everhart and the Dukes received their fourth spring commitment from AJ West of CJEOTO Academy in Spring Lake, NJ. West, originally from Brooklyn, was described by ESPN as "a scrappy, and rugged post player" after his senior year in high school, but knocked his ability to score in the low post. From video I've seen including one where he scored 40 points against Impact Basketball, he seems to find holes in the defense, runs the court well to create space for himself and his offensive game appears a bit more polished than it did in video from high school. He seemed to roll off collapsing defenses for an open look and the opposition had no answer. When he found an opening, his teammates found him. He seems to finish strong and go hard to the net on offensive rebounds. While it's just one game where he certainly had something of a size advantage over Impact, he played aggressively and used his height and strength to take advantage of it.
West was named to the New Jersey All - Prep second team by NJ.com last season. CJEOTO has produced 6 Division I athletes for the class of 2011 including Rutgers recruit Kadeem Jack. According to a tweet from Alex Kline of the Recruit Scoop, West had offers from Cal Northridge, Hofstra, Texas Southern, Quinnpiac, and St Peter's. In late April, he visited Rhode Island.
Seems like West should be a good fit. If he can continue to find space for himself, I have no doubt that Duquesne's guards will get him the basketball in good position to score. I suspect he could come in and compete for a starting position. If Everhart still has another scholarship to offer, it will likely be used on another big man meaning Duquesne should still be in the running for Youssou N'Doye of the Lee Academy. West helped us become deeper down low, but we still may not be deep enough.