Duquesne Spring Recruiting is Encouraging

By Steve DiMiceli

After weeks of silence surrounding the program, Duquesne began receiving some positive newsthis past week. Since Monday, Coach Jim Ferry recieved his first signed letter of intent for Derrick Colter before getting two verbal from fairly high profile swingmen Jeremiah Jones and Quevyn Winters. All three have the potential to be impact players in the A-10 and they may all see substantial playing time their freshman season. Talent aside, there are a few reason to feel excited about these three young men.
 High Level Late Spring Talent 

On paper, I'd have been happy about these three players had they committed in the fall. Given that they're late spring signings after the coach has been on the job for a month, I'm encouraged and pretty pumped to see these guys take the court for the Dukes. My expectations for this class were low and they got even lower when Willie Moore and Donovon Jack decommitted.  I would have been happy with a serviceable stop gap JUCO point guard to go along with some projects. I was not expecting polish. With Jones and Winters, Ferry found two talented players with a post graduate experience. If the Dukes were as thin at the 2/3 as they were elsewhere, Jones would stand a good chance of playing early and often. Winters has good length and rebounding skills. He may slot into the 4/5 from day one. Aside from PG, I was not expecting to pick up any players who would start or have impact talent. I think Ferry found 3 guys loaded with upside and I think there is something to be said about it this time of year.

Closing the Deal on Known Commodities

Each of the 3 players committed had significant BCS interest at some point in their recruitment. Same goes for Trey Dickerson who by last account had the Dukes as his top choice. Colter was hearing from Pitt and Texas A & M following a strong run in the Maryland State Championships. Winter was committed to Baylor at one point and Jones caught the eye of two soon to be A-10 coaches in Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens. We know little about Jones and Winter's 2012 recruitment, but hopefully we'll find more out after the two post grad players sign letters of intent.

Not only did Ferry swim with the big fish this spring, he successfully out recruited some good schools for quality players only a month after joining the party. Imagine what he'll be able to do in 2013 when he can recruit kids over the long haul.

Recruiting Outside of Normal Territories 

When Jim Ferry was hired as head coach, we heard a lot about connections in Canada, Texas and the Big Apple. So far, the commitments have come from the Chicago area, greater DC, Milwaukee and North Carolina. Winters clouds the picture since he's been in so many places. However, it's nice to see the new connections at work and I'm wondering if some of it has to do with the new assistant coaches. I find the wider recruiting footprint is encouraging, because Ferry will need to recruit nationally to have success at Duquesne.

High Character Recruits

While these kids aren't perfect, it seems that Ferry is also making good on his commitment to recruit smart high character kids to Duquesne. Described as a fiery competitor and a leader, Colter is driven to succeed by his brother JJ with cerebral palsy. Jones skipped a grade and took a prep year to get himself in better physical shape in spite of being well qualified for college. Winters has been without incident since a suspension his junior year after he bumped a referee. He's described a solid teammate.


Following the frustration of a quiet recruitment from Jim Ferry during his first few weeks, it seems our patience was rewarded with the foundations of a strong class of 2012. Should coach Ferry decide to use all the open scholarships, we're only about half way there. If his momentum continues, we could finish with a completed class on par with the much celebrated group Ron Everhart expected to bring in. I'm encouraged and based on the response by a number of you, I know you're encouraged as well. The recruits look good on paper and I'm really looking foward to seeing them at the summer league.