Breaking down the 2012 - 2013 Dukes: Early Edition

By Steve DiMiceli

 At this point, I don't know the new players to try to cobble together a possible starting line up for the 2012-2013 season. Heck, I don't even know Ferry's tendencies except in theory to guess what he might do. However, I can see some hot spots and some wide open position battles that should fuel discussion during the summer league and as we get closer to the season.

I'll begin by looking at the post. Since all these guys are returning you would think the picture underneath would be a little more clear than the rest of the lineup. It's not that simple. There are two factors inside that cloud my crystal ball. First, the returning players will have a dedicated, experienced assistant coach to focus on them. It's impossible at the moment to say who will get the most out of it. The second factor is what Ferry will do with Kadeem Pantholphlet and  Quevyn Winters. I see both as tweeners who could be used as depth in the 2/3 or cover in the 4/5 until players more natural to the position commit.

 I suspect Andre Marhold has the inside track to start this season. His flaws have been well discussed but he appears to be the best man for the job at the moment. Martins Abele has worked very hard in the offseason based on his tweeting. Derrick Martin probably has the best upside out of any of the big men left. He's the only skilled forward in the group who could develop into the kind of big man Ferry covets. If either develop, they could challenge Marhold for minutes. As has been rumored, Mamadou Datt could be on his way out. However, I don't think his skill set makes him a candidate to eat many minutes for Ferry.

The swing  is beginning to look quite crowded and is certainly the deepest pool of talent if the freshman turn out. Like his fellow senior Marhold, Sean Johnson is the only other player on the current roster I would call a probable starter. He is simply too good to ride the pine and I doubt that anyone will overtake for minutes heading into his final year. Many have penciled Jerry Jones into the starting line up for 2012-2013 since his performance against Penn St. However, I don't think he is a lock and he will need to show Ferry that he can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot to stand apart from the freshman and to compliment his off the ball movement and jump shot. If he cannot, there is a chance that Panthophlet, Winters or Jeremiah Jones starts over him. Panthophlet should get prime minutes off the bench if he doesn't end up at 4/5. If Torres misses on minutes at point, he'll find himself very far down the substitution list.

With Mike Talley and TJ McConnell both leaving to transfer and Eric Evans graduating, Jim Ferry was left with a huge void at PG. He filled it with JUCO sophomore Marvin Binney and prep guard Derrick Colter. It's nice to have options and along with Torres, the Dukes should have a three way battle for minutes. As long as one can provide the same output as Mike Talley did his freshman year, I think Duquesne's chances for immediate success under Jim Ferry increase greatly.

In a truly conventional sense, the roster for this season breaks down like this:

Derrick Colter
Marvin Binney
PJ Torres

Sean Johnson
Jerry Jones
Jeremiah Jones
Kadeem Panthophlet
Quevyn Winters
(PJ Torres)

Andre Marhold
Derrick Martin
Martins Abele
(Mamadou Datt)

Looking at the positional splits, too much of the talent is concentrated in the 2/3. Should Ferry chose to play a more traditional big man at both post positions, he would limit playing time for high upside players while maximizing it for players who at the moment still look like projects. He would also be spreading himself very thin in the post with Ovie Soko having to sit out the year. While I won't discuss actual player names and who I think should start, I do think Ferry needs to go with a slightly smaller lineup this year to utilize the depth he has at 2/3. Given the make up of the current roster, I'd like to see one true point and post player on the court at all times along with three swings. While I hope this is not a long term strategy, I think it is the best  short term.

I don't think there are any locks in the starting lineup but I think the seniors have their jobs to lose. Jerry Jones needs to prove more versatile before I would pencil him in and he could get a strong push from Jeremiah Jones, Panthophlet and Winters should Ferry elect a more traditional lineup. If he doesn't, Pathophlet and Winters will have a battle of their own at forward. Point guard is wide open at the moment. Hopefully the competition encourages players to get better rather than sulk when they don't win a spot in the lineup. Breaking the roster down, there could be more talent on it than we probably would have expected a couple of week ago. Now they just need to live up to potential.