Mark it down, it’s the first day of basketball season today, the first full practice of the Jim Ferry era at Duquesne.
Practice starts at 5 p.m.
At best this is expected to be an up-and-down year for a team that went through some serious tumult last spring but could be strong in the future.
At worst, the Dukes could struggle significantly in the new and improved Atlantic 10. They were chosen to finish dead last by their peers in the preseason poll and the league is tough this year with the additions of VCU and Butler.What can we expect from this team?
They’re young, will be adjusting to a new system, a new coaching staff, and each other. That usually adds up to a rebuilding year even though nobody likes to say it.
Ferry was able to nab some strong ball handlers to replace the team’s departed point guards, and while there were some impressive moments during summer league a few months ago, it will be interesting to see how these guys look when it gets real.
PG Derrick Colter in particular had some electrifying moments, but how strong is he defensively? Hard to tell just yet.
How many new players will be in the lineup?
Several. While Ferry has certainly not listed his starters yet, I think it’s safe to say there are two, maybe three new guys in the lineup by the time the first game comes around and several more who see significant minutes.
I see Colter and Quevyn Winters in the starting lineup, and perhaps Marvin Binney.
But the returning players – particularly Sean Johnson and Andre Marhold – will need to be on board and buying in and have solid seasons.
Best case scenario?
The best thing that can happen is significant improvement as a team in the non-conference schedule so they’ll have a fighting chance by the time the A-10 schedule kicks in.
If this group can be competitive - not finish dead last - and show promise for the future, they will likely garner some key fan support.