Duquesne’s week started out terribly blowing what looked like a sure win at the halftime to Dayton before picking up a verbal from Tysean Powell and upsetting #10 St Louis on the road last night. All three events had major implications for the recruiting.
While the Dukes flopped against Dayton, it ended up a strong night for recruiting. Three prospects took in the game. I still don’t have the identity of one, but the other two were verbal commit Eric James and soon to be verbal commit Tysean Powell. I have to give Jim Ferry loads of credit for finding a way to close with Powell after the kid watched that game first hand. Evidently, the coaching staff made their mark and the Dukes got their man.
Now, given that the Dukes just sealed the deal with a four year post player, this tweet surprised me:
Along with RMU, Duquesne assistant John Rhodes took in the Lincoln Park game today including 2014 forwards Elijah Minnie and Ryan Skovranko
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) February 26, 2014
I haven’t seen either Minnie or Skovranko play in person, but local scouts rave about both of them. On top of that, they’ve each gotten interest from some elite programs. I’m not surprised Duquesne had interest, but I’m surprised they still do.
While I haven’t seen it tweeted anywhere, Rivals and Verbal Commits reported a Duquesne offer for JUCO SF Twymond Howard. A former top 150 prospect, Howard committed to and spent his freshman year at UTEP. He elected to transfer after receiving limited playing time and found his way to Southwest Mississippi Community College where he leads the team in scoring as a sophomore with 15.7 while accumulating nearly ten rebounds a game. His shooting numbers leave something to be desired, but you can’t find his kind of upside walking down the street.
Of course, the best recruiting news of the week may have come from upset against St Louis. Why? Because Ferry and the coaching staff now have tangible evidence to sell to recruits that they have the program headed down the right path. Before, he had “Trust us, we won three more games and we’re getting better,” but now, he can boldly announce “Of course we’ re getting better. How many teams beat St Louis at the Chaifetz? How many beat top ten opponents in their own building? We couldn’t have done that in December or my first year.” Ferry didn’t have much of a record at Duquesne to recruit on before last night. He had eight wins last year and only eleven against a glaringly weaker schedule this season. Sure, there were some odds and ends like the Temple and West Virginia wins last year and the two appearances on Sports Center’s Top 10. However, you had to use your imagination a little to look past the losing record and see the positive upside. Now he has a statement win and something to back up his selling points.
Eric James Update
Wednesday night, Eric James and Westerville Central defeated Westerville North 65 – 55 in the OHSAA District Playoffs. James had fifteen points with seven coming from the charity stripe.