By Steve DiMiceli
One week further down the recruiting trail and not much more clarity. There is some news on two Duquesne targets. One is visiting a bigger programs, the other committed to a one smaller.
Looking at the 2014 recruiting list, two players who Jim Ferry and Co. showed early interest in have already moved onto bigger fish. Troy Holston’s recruitment seemed to blow up overnight while Robert Johnson attracted big offers since the beginning of his recruitment. Both players moved on from Duquesne weeks ago. Another early target, Javon Bess, might slip out of reach as well. While he has not formally eliminated the Dukes or anyone from his list, there is a pack of five that is recruiting him hard and have the look of frontrunners. He’s visiting Xavier unofficially late this week and will likely look at Kansas St, Texas Tech, Dayton and Toledo.
Earlier in the week, New York power forward and Duquesne prospect Kevin Degnan surprisingly committed to Fairfield but held offers from James Madison, Iona, and Rhode Island. The Duquesne Dukes were not in his final five which included Quinnipiac, Fordham and Siena and Vermont in addition to Fairfield.
If the Dukes miss on either of these two guys, I would assume its not a huge wrench in the works for the coaching staff. At least five other schools are recruiting Bess hard and Ferry hung in with stiffer competition last fall to think he would give up just because Tubby Smith or Chris Mack is in the room. Degnan may have picked 5 schools close to home, but two higher profile schools closer than Vermont were eliminated. If Ferry were highly interested in these players, I suspect he would have gone after them harder.
One interesting thing about 2014 recruiting is that it feels like players are committing at a high rate for the end of August. I feel like I’m hearing about a few names off the board everyday. Normally that kind of action doesn’t pick up until the middle to end of September. Isaiah Watkins was the first to commit to Duquesne last year on 9/27. The Dukes may get their first commitment around that time, but they certainly don’t feel any closer after this past week.
UPDATE: The Murphy’s Law of basketball blogging states that when you talk about something not happening it will happen later that day. Naturally, we found out about our first offer in a while hours after I posted this. According to a tweet, the Dukes are after 6’9” F Zane Waterman. Rated as a two or three star depending where you look, the skilled North Carolinian has offers from Charlotte, St Joe’s, Manhattan and Southern Miss among others.