Jan 18, 2014; Richmond, VA, USA; Duquesne Dukes head coach Jim Ferry talks to his team during the first half at Stuart C. Siegel Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Why I Favor a Grad Transfer To A JUCO

The Duquesne recruiting conversation was relatively dead until the past two weeks, but with word  of guard Jordan Stevens visiting later in the week, interest in Giovanni McClean and a Dinjiyl Walker trip to Pittsburgh in the books, it appears the coaching staff have elected to go hard for immediate help in the backcourt from the JUCO ranks. I like the boast it could immediately provide to the team, but I think they could do better to seeking out a grad transfer.

My primary issue is class balance. Assuming Rene Castro doesn’t get a miracle waiver to play immediately, the Dukes’ class breakdown will look a little bit like this:

2015 – 1

2016 – 3

2017 – 4

2018 – 4

I just can’t say I like the idea of one new incoming player next year especially with high profile players like AJ Turner, Desure Bure, Elijiah Cain and Dillon Brooks Duquesne has already targeted. Not that I’m suggesting Jim Ferry will land one or any of them, but I feel like 2015 could be a strong one for the coaching staff given a clear path to playing time at the one, two or three by a prospects sophomore season. Add a grad transfer and suddenly there are two available slots for two ambitious players.

I know this is getting ahead of myself, but I also see the above as a formula for a major rebuild after 2017-18.  It would leave the same bottom heavy class structure we saw last season for this year and create a situation for it to happen again down the road.

While a JUCO would provide a help this year, it would cloud the Dukes situation at guard next season. The Dukes already have Derrick Colter, Jeremiah Jones, Micah Mason, Desmond Ridenour, Eric James with Castro thrown into the mix after sitting a year. That’s already six players including four upperclassmen for three positions and I’m not even including the possibility of LG Gill at the three. Mix in a JUCO and it’s the recipe for a transfer not to mention a four man senior class at the same position.

I can live with the class balance issues if  the Dukes add an interior JUCO. I still see it as a position of need and if the Dukes have four juniors this year, at least they’d all play different roles. In the end, I think a grad transfer at any position makes the most sense. It provides the immediate boost the coaching are after and the balance to the classes that will benefit the Dukes long term. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never complain about the program improving, but I think there are better options out there.

 

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