Pro-Am 6/26 Another Duke Breaks out, Colter Hangs with Pitt Stars

By Steve DiMiceli

Week 2 has been refreshing at the Pro-Am for Duquesne fans. Between Monday's break out performances from Ovie Soko and Quevyn Winters to Soko stealing the show tonight, Derrick Colter hanging with the Pitt stars and Jeremiah Jones flashing his talent for the first time, I feel very good about the direction the Dukes are heading in.

Game 2

Ovie Soko 19 pts (8-9, 1-2, 2-3) 14 rbs, 2 assists
Jeremiah Jones 12 pts (4-9,2-5,2-4) 3 rbs, 1 assists
Marvin Binney 2 (1-4, 0-0,0-0) 3 assists

Let me preface this summary by saying the with or without Dante Taylor, Steel City Tickets is probably the worst summer league team I've ever seen. Without Taylor in the lineup, they've gotten absolutely destroyed by in both games this week. While I'm excited about the Duquesne breakouts I saw in this one, I have some reservation getting overly excited due to Tickets struggles. This is no disrespect to the players either, but they don't have any real post players without Taylor and Pat Forsythe of West Virginia and there isn't a lot of guard play past Caron Williams. It's a poorly composed team more than it is one that lacks talent.

That being said, Soko was the player people were talking about by the end of this one. He had  several dunks in the second topped off by a coast to coast jam where he maneuvered around two Tickets defenders. He dominated the glass and was credited with 14 rebounds to go along with 19 points for the first Duquesne double- double in a while at the Pro-Am. Jeremiah Jones was more consistent in this one. He got hot shortly after entering the game racking up 7 quick points. He added 5 more in the second and did a better job sharing the ball. Marvin Binney got to the rack at will but got a little unlucky with the finishing. When he runs the point, the Peppers are a much more team oriented group and it's noticeable when he's not on the floor. Of course part of that is because Jones is a black hole most of the time and often replaces Binney.

With Boston to Morgantown transfer Matt Humphrey playing regularly for the Peppers and Soko heating up, the Peppers could be a team to watch in the second half of the league.

Game 3


Martins Abele 2 pts (0-4, 0-0, 2-4) 8 rbs
Derrick Colter 21 pts (7-15, 4-8, 3-4) 4 rbs, 6 assists

In what could be a preview of the Pro-Am final, GNC set itself up as the team to beat. This is particularly surprising since Velton Jones who seemed like the team's cornerstone when the rosters were released has yet to play. He hasn't been missed him with Derrick Colter turning out yet another all league performance. At this point, I'm comfortable penciling him in as the starting point. He only scored 5 first half points, but looked in control of the game even if the shots were not falling. He matched up with Pitt's promising recruit James Robinson. Let's just say they're both polished finishers but the defensive side of their game needs work. It will be fun to watch these two battle over the next few years.

Martins Abele matched up well against Pitt's other hotshot recruit Steve Adams. Quick  note about Adams, he is a much better player than Birch right now and I don't anticipate another freshman year flame out. I also don't anticipate a one and done. While I didn't stay for the second half, Adams did not score with Abele on the floor in the first and could have had at most two field goals in the entire game against him. Abele is emerging as a player who could matchup well against strong, physical centers. While he won't score much against anybody, he could help cancel the oppositions big out. He closed with 8 rebounds and had a few very nice passes to set up shots.