My Expectations for the 2012-13

By Steve DiMiceli

On college basketball practice eve, I thought it would be a good time to look at what I would consider a successful season for the Dukes even in what should be a trying year in terms of wins and losses. I'm looking for small but important moral (and morale) victories to carry this team over to next season and show me that they are on the right track. In the end, I'm hoping for a few things that might not translate to a great record, but to show me that better times are on the horizon.


This is pretty simple. I want the team on the court in March to be better than the one that I saw in November. I want to see players showing me that they understand the system and making fewer mistakes within it. By the end of the season, I hope to see fundmental improvement, better positioning, smarter plays and quicker thinking. I'd like measurable improvement on defense with a decrease in fouling.  I want to see the freshman playing like sophomores, the sophomores playing like juniors and the juniors playing like seniors.

In Game Adjustments

While I think Ron Everhart was very good at preparing for an opponent, I don't always think he made the necessary adjustments when the guy on the other bench countered in game. Ron never seemed to have answer at the right time or, sometimes, ever. As a result, Duquesne under Everhart allowed opponents back into games they had no business being in and the team lost a lot of close games. Everhart often seemed unwilling to call a time out at a crucial moment and seldom drew up the right play at the right time.

Jim Ferry will need to do better. I want his team to show multiple looks on offense and defense so that they can bust a zone, exploit a press or break a trap. I want more than a one dimensional offense and I want more structure and less free lancing. I want Ferry to use his bench to make the team on the floor better not to punish mistakes. If I can go the entire season without out terrifying children in front of me in the stands as I yell for an obvious time out, I'll consider it a small victory.

Presence On the Road

The Dukes have some win-able road games this season against Albany, Appalachian St, Robert Morris,  Louisiana, Penn St. and Fordham. I think if this young team can come away with 4 road wins and a couple of tough losses, I'd be content with that.

A Sophomore Steps Up

While I liked the class on paper coming into last season, the current crop of Duquesne sophomores plus Martins Abele leaves something to be desired. None really had success as freshmen last season and besides Kadeem Pantophlet, and he didn't break out. Mamadou Datt looked very one dimensional and seemed to do little but score on put backs. His defense was poor and overall he looked very raw. There is upside and it wil take some patience. If Ferry sees the same potential I hope Datt just redshirts especially if the rumors of first semester ban are true. Derrick Martin didn't get enough playing time to evaluate as he was relegated to the bench every time he made a mistake. In defense of Everhart, Martin made some very bad gaffs, and he needs to make better basketball decisions. Abele played sparingly during non conference play before being sat down for bad grades. There wasn't a lot of room for PJ Torres to play behind TJ McConnell, Mike Talley, and Eric Evans and Everhart seemed to favor the bulky 6'4'' Hudson Valley product at the point. I could see Jim Ferry using him in a swing role or at the point this season.

This group makes up 40% of the scholarship players eligible to play this year. Barring early departures or a redshirt, every single member of this group will become upperclassmen next season. Their success will help determine whether Duquesne has a veteran presence beginning next season or 3 years from now. This class is like Bank of America, to big to fail. If they do, Duquesne's next taste of the NCAA sanctioned post season probably won't come until 2015.

Be Better than Somebody 

The negativity surrounding this program entering this season is somewhat surprising to me and the repeated last place predictions have begun to rattle even optimistic me. I picked them to finish 12th and in the last spot for the conference tournament, but a lot will need to happen to be part of the party in Brooklyn. Not only am I the only person with a keyboard and an audience to pick them that high, I'm one of three along with fellow Yuku Dukes blogger poll participants Rogabee and Dan Bonsall from Spider Bandwagon who didn't think Duquesne would finish dead last. Now, I'm one of the few prognosticators who has actually seen the freshman class play in person, but the more I look at the rest of the league, the more difficult I realize success in the A-10 will be this year.

I steadfastly stand by my position that the Dukes are at least better than Rhode Island in year one of the Dan Hurley media love fest.  I'm pretty sure they'll do better than Charlotte and/or Fordham. However, the constant negativity has got me questioning my judgement. I've reached a point where I will be happy if they don't finish last. That is a pathetically low bar, but I will be happy just to see the unbudging, and less informed critics of this year's team proved incorrect.


This team is going to lose it's fair share of games, but I want to look at their body language after a loss and tell that it stings. By the end of last season, only BJ Montiero and Sean Johnson visibly seemed to care. McConnell just looked around like he was searching for someone to blame and Talley was already planning his life is Ypsilanti. I'm no sadist, but I want to see it burn the players when they lose. I want to see the fire that tells me they don't want to let this happen again, because I know the fans don't.


Show me heart, show me improvement, show me some poise and for the class of 2011, show me that you exist. I'll be a happy camper if those things happen even if the wins don't come.