Moving on

By Steve DiMiceli

This Tuesday, a number of Duquesne fans will get a reminder of what bench Ron Everhart currently sits on when he returns to Pittsburgh as an assistant for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a lot of talk about what Ron would be doing this year with his recruits lamenting what could have been rather than focusing on what is. In theory, the team could be better. In reality, it doesn't matter. He's not the coach anymore and he won't be the coach again.

A good number of people who were Everhart supporters are having a very difficult time getting behind Jim Ferry or at least that's my perception. For me, I don't root for a coach, I root for the team and for the program. I'm firmly behind Ferry hoping for him to succeed just like I would if Everhart were still coach or if Dino Gaudio were coach or if some complete scumbag were coach.

To steal from Coach Ferry, you should control what you can control. As fans, we don't control personnel decisions, but  we can control how we respond to them and what we decide is important. I don't go to the Palumbo Center to watch the guy calling the shots. I go for the guys he puts on the court to play the games and for my school. If Ferry were fired tomorrow, I'd get behind the the next coach and his players. If that guy got canned, I'd get behind his guys too. I wouldn't agree with the decision, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I think. While  the coach is certainly responsible for the success of the program, their players will always have my support.

There is a lot to be excited about as a Duquesne fan under Ferry and we can control whether or not we overlook the positive. Jeremiah Jones, Derrick Colter and Quevyn Winters may make the best single class trifecta since BJ Montiero, Melquan Bolding and Eric Evans. In fact, I think their upside could exceed the class of 2008. All of those players have the potential to win league awards down the road. We're also seeing better fundamental basketball from the Dukes with the big guys blocking out and rebounding the ball better. As I've said before, it's remarkable when you consider these are the same guys for the most part who were among the worst in the nation last year. They're also standing their ground defensively without fouling.

The point is that its time to move on whether you like it or not. Ron is gone and will be the enemy for the first time Tuesday. It won't be the last time either. I respect everything that he's done and I'm so grateful that he was able to put the program back on the map. He achieved a level of consistency not many middling programs can. The yo-yo effect for teams outside of the top 40-50 in the country can be dramatic, but he managed to hover around 110 in the RPI. The stability was comfortable. However, the comfort is gone and for better or worse, the athletic director and president decided crack some eggs to make an improved omelet ideally.  That's a decision they will either be praised or have to answer for in the future. Whether you actually decide to move on is up to you. That's not something I can control. Of course,  should this team succeed under Ferry and Greg Amodio, it'll be a lot more fun to be on board than it will be to stay bitter.