By Steve DiMiceli
This program isn't dead but I feel like there are a number of Dukes fans, myself included, moping around, morning its passing of the program today because Donovon Jack asked for his release. Pile that on to TJ and Talley leaving and they might as well read the will and chisel a tomb stone. We're not dead. We're transitioning. If I'm going to continue making life event references, what's occurring on the bluff is more like getting a new job or moving to a new city. Sure the transition can be a difficult and requires sacrifice, but change for the better is not always convenient. Sometimes, the short term hurdles make change seem daunting. However, we will survive the transition only to be stronger on the other side. Honestly, sometimes the transition is not even as bad as we think it will be.
This program's not dead, it's not even on life support in my opinion now that I've had some time to clear my head. We've all heard that this years class was Ron Everhart's best. I think last year's will be pretty darn good too. A lot of talking heads have framed the story in a way that the star player and redeeming coach is gone so clearly it's just the same old Duquesne. Stop believing the nonsense. They don't know what else Duquesne has and there is talent returning. We bring back our second leading scorer and three players who I saw prime for a break out even before the meltdown on the bluff. On top of that we have a promising new coaching staff. At this point, it seems like the team might stumble, because big chunks of the team are missing. I can't say whether or not they will meet expectations for next season because I don't know enough about the team next year to even set the bar. The reason is simple, we're dealing with incomplete information. We have no idea who will make up 40% of the roster.
While prep talent is picked over at this point, it would not be out of the question to find some strong players. There are a number of late bloomers, soon to be disappointed BCS reachers, JUCOs and guys who are moving on after being released from previous commitments for Ferry to work on. There are a massive amount of talented transfers to complement the players we already have beyond this season. They may not always be plugged in or are creating buzz on twitter, but I'm certain the staff is working hard behind the scenes.
However, I feel like there is now this creeping assumption that with Jack requesting his release that Jim Ferry may not be able to recruit or that this class cannot be saved. I know we don't believe it, but we think it. The best way to combat irrational thought is with a dose of reality. I told myself it's been 9 days and that helped. The coach only had one weekend to visit Pittsburgh. When were the recruits going to come and visit? Optimistically, I think the earliest we should expect a commitment is Wednesday, but it could still be another two or three weeks. This would not be a negative reflection on Jim Ferry but a reflection on how long it takes players to make the biggest decision of their lives.
The difficult part of this transition to Jim Ferry may simply be the part between where he gets hired and the roster actually begins to take shape. We don't have a point guard right now, but we will have a point guard. We don't have much down low, but they will have time to develop with a new coaching staff. We're so focused on what we don't have that we're over looking what we do. Honestly, the base is not that bad. Give the coach the time he needs to assemble a roster before you cancel your plans for Brooklyn. It also might be nice to show some respect and faith in the men still here working their tails off to get better too. Really, we've been in the dark for a month if you include to coaching search and in an age where 24 hour media can't keep up with twitter and the blog - o - sphere, being in the dark is pretty awful. The worst part could be the waiting. However, the near 9 day recruiting black out and the release of Donovon Jack does not point to incompetence or an increased likelihood of long term failure, it points to us being completely and utterly impatient. Still, I don't expect anyone to have a cold one and enjoy the wait.