With the news that Tra’Vaughn White is leaving the program, the Dukes have four total scholarships to fill before classes reconvene in the fall. Two slots are accounted for by the Ohio duo Eric James and Tysean Powell, but the others are wide open in advance of Wednesday’s opening of the spring signing period. The Dukes literally could go in any number of direction having been linked to preps, JUCO’s and transfers over the last few months.
Last spring, the coaching staff engaged in a number of high profile battles for prospects most notably, Daune Notice and Jon Severe. Recruiting media followed both players closely as the two narrowed their lists and made their decisions. This year is much quieter and I think it has some Duquesne fans a little more on edge than normal. However, there are still a few names we’ve seen linked the Dukes who could find themselves in Red and Blue next year.
Originally from Canada, Walker spent his last two years on the JUCO circuit playing for Iowa Western. Stephen Nesbitt reported he recently visited the Bluff following trips to Bradley and St Mary’s. Listed as a point guard, I suspect Walker could feature anywhere 1-3 for the Dukes.
Linked to the Dukes in the rumor mill, Rene Castro was one of Jim Ferry’s main targets last fall. His decision came down to Duquesne, George Washington and the team he ultimately chose, Butler. With coach Brad Stevens jumping ship shortly after Castro enrolled, the Boston area guard elected to transfer after failing to establish himself as a key contributor under the new staff. The media followed Castro’s fall recruitment closely, but hasn’t given him a much attention the second time around.
Figures might have the most upside of any player on the list, but he plays for North Carolina’s often overlooked MACK Academy which produced a Duke in each of Ferry’s first two recruiting classes. A couple of months ago, the Dukes were listed among his final schools, but we haven’t heard much sense. He’s picked up recent interest from Western Kentucky.
A Tennessee high school star, the Duquesne coaches have reportedly visited Barford in the last two months. While his prep exploits have gotten extensive coverage, his college recruiting hasn’t. As a tall point guard and a natural scorer, Barford could play a number of positions for the Dukes like Walker.
That’s the short list of names I’ve seen linked to the Dukes. Not a long list, but I’m sure these aren’t the only kids hearing from the coaching staff. The Dukes have the luxury of taking the best two players available no matter their circumstances, but don’t be surprised if one of the above names gets called.