The deeper we get into October, the busier recruiting will get. Right now, we’re going to hear more about visits than commits but by the 10/25 report, that will all change. Coaching staffs will go into full blown closing mode by that time and names will fly off the board.
Duquesne did have one target commit elsewhere this past week when Rashard Kelly picked Wichita St over George Washington.
Ironically, it’s the second time in the past six months where GW lost a local target to a school in Kansas having previously seen Nigel Johnson flip his commitment to Kansas St.
While Kelly looks like a talented player on paper based on his offer sheet and ultimately where he committed, Jim Ferry and company probably jumped in too late to have much of a chance. The staff offered late in the summer and even at the time, Kelly seemed fairly deep in the process. He probably never amounted to more than a long shot for Duquesne.
On the other hand, Javon Bess felt like a possibility when the Dukes offered in the spring. His recruitment continues to blow up and multiple outlets have reported that he received an offer from Michigan St. I thought he was getting out of reach before but an offer from Tom Izzo almost seals the Dukes fate.
Still, I remain impressed with Ferry’s early evaluations. Robert Johnson has gone to Indiana, and Alec Brennan chose Princeton over a number of quality offers. We’ll likely add Bess’ name to that list While it doesn’t do the Dukes any good if they commit elsewhere, it does show that Ferry and his staff have an eye for talent and putting the Dukes in position to land an early recruiting steal.
On to the actual Duquesne news. A new name jumped onto the top of the list with reports that rising Canadian guard Francis Kiapway visited last week and received an offer from the coaching staff. North Pole Hoops recently rated him as the 8th best Canadian player in the class of 2014. While that doesn’t seem like much, he made a huge jump up the list having floated well off the recruiting radar before they added him. Kiapway comes from CIA Bounce, the AAU program that produced Isaiah Watkins and Jordan Robinson. He’ll attend the same prep school, St Thomas More, as Duane Notice. Kiapway reported on twitter this week that he also has offers from Ball St and Western Kentucky.
According to a blog entry by Mike White, top target Ryan Luther is down to three schools, Dayton, Duquesne and Pitt. GW gets more bad news this week as they now appear out of the picture. They were the only school besides Duquesne to offer both Ryan and his brother Collin still in the running. White speculates Dayton will land Ryan, but qualifies that by saying he has no inside information. Personally, I hadn’t thought much of Archie Miller’s local connection or that the Luthers could know his father. That seems like a powerful advantage. That said, I truly believe it’s a three way race for Ryan and that anything can happen.