First Impressions: Desmond Ridenour

By Steve DiMiceli

When Desmond Ridenour committed in the spring, I can't say I was expecting it. We knew he was visiting, but the Dukes appeared to be in pretty strong position for higher profile combo guards, Duane Notice and Jon Severe. Throughout his recruitment during his senior and postgrad years, Ridenour flew well below the radar, but that didn't stop him from verbally committing to Dayton before ultimately ending up at Duquesne. Ridenour became more productive as the Pro-Am went along and showed flashes of why two Atlantic 10 schools believed he could play at their level.

Athleticism/Physical Makeup

Ridenour is very quick with an nice first step and excellent overall speed. He is surprisingly springy in the sense that he has a great vertical that he only flashes once or twice a game. Ridenour has a wirey build and could stand to add a few pounds to his frame.


While he's been billed as more of a two since his commitment, he played point guard over the summer. In general, he elected to distribute before taking the shot himself. He looked very comfortable as a ball handler even in traffic.

Effort to Output

He played like a cat in the sense that when he saw an opportunity to make a play he would pounce especially on defense. It was almost as if he played the game hoping his opponent would forget he was there for just a second before making them pay. He definitely has another gear.

Decision Making

He pushed a couple of threes early in the season that he didn't need to take. Nothing uncommon for the summer league. When he did take risks defensively, he almost always seemed to convert.

Player Comparison

I initially thought Gary Tucker, but I think Ridenour is as good as a freshman as Tucker was as a junior. Ridenour has much more upside.

After seeing his defensive performance against Josh Newkirk in the Pro-Am playoffs, I finally settled on Dee Davis of Xavier. I'm not convinced Ridenour will shoot the ball as well as Davis long term, but both are gifted athletes and ball handlers who have the potential to be excellent defenders.

First Year Outlook

At the moment, Ridenour could serve as the back up at one and two as I think he's capable of playing both positions. However, if Micah Mason is available, I'm would think he'd be ahead of Ridenour on the depth chart. Ridenour would then become a redshirt candidate to get stronger and improve his jump shot.