Spoke with Duquesne 2014 targets Collin and Ryan Luther (Hampton) yesterday, and they said they plan to make their decisions within likely the next two weeks but definitely before the end of October.
Here are a few notes and quotes I came away with:
• Ryan, a 6-foot-8, 205-pound "3 or stretch-4" forward, has a number of more offers than his brother, Collin, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound guard/small forward, but it's down to this: Ryan is considering Duquesne, Pitt, George Washington and Dayton, while Collin is down to Duquesne and George Washington.
• Ryan was named to the Post-Gazette's Fab 5 this spring.
• The 18-year-olds have played football since they were 6 years old but dropped it this year in order to focus on basketball and maintain their health. Collin was a starting linebacker and wide receiver, Ryan was the starting punter and backup quarterback. "It's definitely hard," Ryan said. "I've been playing football longer than I have basketball, so it kind of sucked watching them play the first Friday night game without being out there."
• They share offers from Duquesne and George Washington, but they admit they're not hard-set on attending the same school. "Definitely considering going separate places," Collin said. "[Ryan's] got a lot more offers and options than me. If he chooses to go to one of the two schools I'm looking at, it works out that way it's fine. Either way it's fine." Ryan: "Everyone always asks that question, which is understandable. If it were to work out that way and we both wanted to go somewhere and both felt it was the right place for us, then, sure, it would be cool to play with each other. But if we both like different places, it's not going to stop us from going different places. ... It would definitely be interesting and cool to look back on when we're done and be able to say that we played together. I think it would be a cool opportunity."
[AFTER THE CLICK: DUQUESNE-CENTRIC ZONE]
• Their dad is a Duquesne grad, their uncle, Brian Shanahan, played basketball at Duquesne, and their cousin, Mike Shanahan, was a wide receiver at Pitt. Uncle Brian "wouldn't deny that he'd like us to go there," Ryan said with a laugh, "but it's not like he's pressuring us, telling us we have to go there. He's just helped us through the whole thing, giving us advice."
• Collin on his game: "My strength is probably that I'm unselfish. For a wing, I can handle the ball and I can pass. I've got good basketball IQ and I'm a good teammate and a good leader." Wants to work on being more consistent shooter, touch up on ball-handling.
• Ryan on his game: "I need to get stronger, so as a team we've been in the weight room a lot. Definitely my ball-handling and mid-range game, really all parts of my game are part of my focus."
Duquesne has its eye on this pair to fill its last two slots in the 2014 recruiting class. Here's what the twins had two say about the Dukes:
• Collin on Jim Ferry: "I like Coach Ferry a lot. He comes from a program like LIU where he won a lot and he made that program a winning program. I see the whole staff as just winners, all-around stand-up guys that will be honest with you -- that's what I like the most about them."
... on upgrades at the Palumbo Center: "I've played in [the Palumbo Center] twice and we were down there a couple weekends ago. Coach was telling us about all the new stuff that they put in, offices, redid the practice gyms. He showed us even more plans for the offices and locker room and stuff like that, so it's pretty exciting. It's coming together, and it's a big improvement from where it was."
... on Duquesne's nearby location and commitment to culling a local flavor on the roster: "[Location] is definitely a positive and something that, whenever I look at Duquesne, it's something I see as being helpful. It's not a necessity, but it's definitely a positive. ... My dad went to Duquesne and my uncle played at Duquense, so we've always had a connection there. Ryan and I went to Elite camps there our freshman year. It's definitely a program that we've followed because it's local and because of the family aspect."
• Ryan on Ferry and the staff: "They started recruiting me a long time ago, a couple summers ago. They've recruited me probably the hardest. He's obviously getting the program headed in the right direction. I like Coach a lot. I think he's a good guy and a great coach. He's won everywhere he went, so I'd imagine he'll do the same thing at Duquesne. We have a pretty good relationship."
... on location: "Ever being so close to Duquesne, there are still some parts that I've never been to, so it's nice to see." Hampton played its two WPIAL championship games at the Palumbo Center.
... on local connection: "It's not the most important thing, but it would definitely be cool to be from the area and have guys on the same team that you know. I think it would be cool to play people from the area, guys you played in high school."