Duquesne fans have known about Micah Mason all along, and not just this season.
That knowledge wasn’t hard to come by. Since he grew up nearby, his exploits in the WPIAL were well known. Even so, there were skeptics, those who wondered how his game would translate to the college level. Ultimately, Pittsburgh area college coaching staffs may have been similarly skeptical, and so Micah left for Des Moines, Iowa and Drake University. He put together a solid freshman year but was hampered by health issues.
And of course, that circumstance forced Micah to find a new collegiate home. That home is and was Duquesne, and it has been on the Bluff that his dominance from the three point line has become so well established. There were whispers all year about how far ahead he was in three point shooting percentage, so many points above the next guy. There was never quite a lot of hype behind it, though, because Duquesne hasn’t been at the forefront of anyone’s minds.
That all changed on Thursday night, with Mason’s dominant performance against #10 Saint Louis as the Dukes upset the Billikens.
Mason was 80% from behind the arc, finishing with 22 points and three steals in a game televised nationally on NBC Sports Network. Everyone who had the chance to watch tonight saw the emergence of a new star for the Duquesne Dukes. It’s not that he wasn’t already playing well, it’s that he had been doing it under the radar. Now, the secret is out – Mason means business, and he has the means and the desire to do that business on a big stage.
It’s not just the three point clinics that are exciting about Mason, it’s also those steals. He has the ability to make some outstanding heads-up plays, whether he’s anticipating where the ball is going to go or simply refuses to be fooled by a fake. This wasn’t the first night that he’s shown this talent, but it’s the first time he’s had the opportunity to do it on a national level.
Not only is this big for the on-court success of Duquesne, it’s important off-court as well. Micah is a local guy, and there’s nothing that Pittsburgh loves more than a local guy doing great things for a hometown team – think Ryan Malone or Neil Walker.
I’m not trying to push Mason into those professional ranks, not at all. I only mean that when a local guy does well, Pittsburgh pays attention.
So: hey Pittsburgh – pay attention to the best three point shooter in the country. Duquesne may be down, but they’re far from out. With Micah Mason on the job, some special things could be happening the next couple of years. I, myself, can’t wait to see them.