Jim Ferry completed his staff Monday by naming Dominic Lombardi his new director of player development. Lombardi is the son of former Pitt assistant and current IUP head coach Joe Lombardi. Dominic Lombardi spent the past two seasons at South Florida as video coordinator, and was assistant video coordinator at Kentucky the two years before that. He also played for his father at IUP for three seasons and now takes the position at Duquesne left vacant when Brian Baudinet was promoted to assistant coach last month to replace Brian Nash, who departed for IMG Academy.
“I’m extremely excited to have Dominic join our staff,” Ferry said in a statement. “He is a local guy from a basketball family who has gained high-level experience under both John Calipari at Kentucky and Orlando Antigua at South Florida. I’m very happy to welcome him home.”
So that means Ferry has Rich Glesmann, Danny Lawson and Baudinet as his three assistants, John Rhodes as director of basketball operations, Lombardi as director of player development and David Steckel as a grad assistant. Lombardi is a young guy who already seems to have plenty of connections at the highest level of college hoops, having worked under John Calipari at Kentucky, then following former Pitt/Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua to USF and now landing at Duquesne. And of course, there's no closer connection to him than his father, who has made IUP one of the best teams each year in the PSAC. Lombardi has another son, Dante, who plays for him at IUP and this past season was named freshman of the year in the PSAC West.
In other Dukes news lately, in case you missed it:
• Micah Mason, last year's leading scorer and the best 3-point shooter in school history, signed professionally to play with The Port of Antwerp Giants in the Belgium League. Good for Mason, who's a perfect example of the age-old basketball adage "Have blicky, will travel" (OK, I just made up that mantra myself, but there's always a spot for a knock-down shooter on any team).
• The Atlantic 10 released its conference pairings for next season, and the Dukes' home-and-away opponents (read: the teams they place twice) are: Fordham, Dayton, George Washington, Saint Louis and St. Bonaventure. That's the same two-time opponents as last season, other than Fordham replacing Davidson.
My early take on those pairings is that Dayton might be the top team in the league again, George Washington always seems to be tough and St. Bonaventure has the arrow pointing up recently. Fordham and Saint Louis? I see those as four games Duquesne should win.
And by the way, just as a refresher, this makes Duquesne's home opponents next season as such:
And the road trips...
• Lastly, Ferry has a full house now with every player on the 2016-17 roster on campus. I believe Niagara transfer Emile Blackman was the last on board, arriving Sunday. The @DuqMBB twitter feed has posted some clips and updates here and there from summer workouts, including freshman Isiaha Mike dunking, Tarin Smith jumping and, my personal favorite, assorted players beating each other up with large pads.
By the way, big shouts to Duquesne grad, North Catholic alum and Shaler native Len Komoroski, CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Very cool moment Sunday night for someone who's truly one of the good guys, and neat to watch for those he grew up with in the area. Congrats to him and the Cavs.
(Len Komorski/Cleveland Cavaliers)