First Impressions: Darius Lewis

By Steve DiMiceli

When Darius Lewis verballed, I don't think anyone was truly expecting it. I was in the car when I read the tweet that said he committed (you shouldn't drive and tweet)  and I had to google his name (you shouldn't drive and google). Problem is, I didn't find much. That evening after work, I went on an internet quest searching for info and still didn't find much. He was really big and went to IMG with a bunch of other really big guys. That was about the extent of what I knew about him. Since he committed, I was looking forward to seeing the complete Lewis at the Pro-Am and finally getting to know a little bit about him as a player.

Athleticism/Physical Makeup

Lewis will lean more on his size than his athletism as a college basketball player. That's not to say that he's not athletic, but no one is going to mistake him for explosive either. He runs the floor better than a lot of guys his size. His hands, footwork and balance need to improve. He had trouble controlling balls below his waist and with few exceptions, struggled to win possession of balls on the floor. He appears to be pretty strong but he can certainly get stronger. He has a frame that could add twenty pounds and he'd be an absolute beast at 260.


Lewis isn't as timid as some other Duquesne freshman big men I've seen in the summer league. He stays in the paint on offense, but was able to defend bigs on the perimeter. He seemed to slash to rebounds as he was often a step late to get into position.

Effort to Output

Lewis fought very hard for positioning on offense and really wanted the ball. 

Decision Making

When Lewis did grab a defensive rebound, he would often telegraph an outlet resulting in a turnover. He also forced some shots here and there but nothing out of the ordinary. He draws contact very well on offense but often leaves his feet too early on defense.

Player Comparison

In spite of how raw Lewis is, I think he has a lot more upside than many of the other raw Duquesne post players who preceded him. He was more active and involved than Andre Marhold and Martins Abele when they first arrived and was more post oriented than Derrick Martin and Rodrigo Peggau.

I don't have a recent in house player to compare him with, but there is a comparable who played just up the road, Gary McGhee. McGhee was never a force offensively but added value defensively and on the glass that Pitt has yet to replace.  Lewis' scoring and ball control are very raw and that part of his game may never develop like his defense and rebounding can. If he can defend the post, rebound, take care of the ball and show enough on offense that opposing defenses will still need to account for him, Lewis can be an under the radar contributor the same way McGhee was. On a plus side, Lewis is already a better F/T shooter than McGhee.

First Year Outlook

I hope these first impressions didn't seem overly critical. What Lewis is now doesn't matter much and a lot of his short comings can be alleviated with experience and coaching. For the first time in a long time, Duquesne will have five post players with upside and the luxory to redshirt one. The story of Darius Lewis doesn't begin in year one and it might not in year 2 or 3 either. However, if he continues to work and gets stronger, he'll be a very good role player who has the potential to develop into a strong defender even if he never develops into a top 20 scorer.