So, the NCAA announced Monday night it will move seven championship events out of North Carolina because of the state's HB2 law that many see as discriminatory against the LGBT community. Most notable are the first and second-round games for this season's NCAA basketball tournament, and with Consol Energy Center already being a two-time host with a third year planned for 2018, might March Madness return to Pittsburgh earlier than expected? Don't count on it. Not only is Consol hosting the men's basketball Atlantic 10 Tournament the previous week, but the Penguins also play at home Friday, Mar. 17, and Sunday, Mar. 19 — the same two days the NCAA tournament is now looking for a first-weekend home.
But hey, 2018 is right around the corner, and Consol/Pittsburgh will once again be a veritable cornucopia of college basketball action.
This past weekend was a pretty good one for Duquesne men's hoops. The coaching staff got started on its 2017 recruiting class with a point guard commit, Florida's Jamari Wheeler. I did a little news item on it Sunday when Wheeler tweeted it himself, and I can tell you the Dukes really wanted to get him on board. I think the coaches like him a lot as a player, of course -- here's some last season video of Wheeler, the guy in black wearing No. 5 with the sweet eyewear, battling ESPN Top 100 guard and Oklahoma State commit Zack Dawson -- but also as a person. The word on Wheeler from recruiting analysts who have seen him in-person an infinite amount of times more than me is that he's a vocal floor general who loves to attack.
That seems like a guy who should fit what Jim Ferry likes to do, although if all of Duquesne's current guards stick around, I suppose it would be a pretty crowded backcourt next year. Tarin Smith, Rene Castro, Mike Lewis II are all guys I consider point guards, and Wheeler would be a fourth added to the mix. But that's a long way away, and we'll cross that bridge if we ever get to it. For now, it's just a very solid three-star recruit for a staff that hadn't secured one (a high school one, anyway) since Isiaha Mike last September.
Obviously, this is a slow time for college basketball (at least on the surface), Duquesne included, but as always, feel free to drop me a line at either of the spots below if you have a question, comment or, heaven forbid, a concern.