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Obviously inspired by Syracuse and UConn, Duquesne and Virginia Tech thought it would be a good idea to play some extra basketball, going to 2 OTs before the Hokies pulled out a 116-108 win in the first round of the NIT.

Aaron Jackson, Duquesne's only senior, poured in 46 for the Dukes, which was the fourth-highest total in school history. 40 of those came in the second half and the overtimes. He also tied the school record with eight three-pointers. His college career is now complete, but he does rank as the #24 senior prospect by DraftExpress, which means he should find work in basketball somewhere, if not in the NBA.

While disappointing, this year represented a quantum leap for the Dukes. They came within a few points of qualifying for the NCAA tournament and they reached the postseason for the first time since 1994. And remember, this comes just three years after previous coach Danny Nee resigned following a 3-24 season and about two and a half years after five players were shot following a dance at the student union.

As Mark Madden recently pointed out, coach Ron Everhart might be doing the best job of all the local pro and college coaches, especially given the hand he was dealt. Mike Tomlin was given a team one season removed from a Super Bowl. Jamie Dixon was given a perennial contender in the Big East. Dan Byslma was given a Stanley Cup runner-up. Ron Everhart was given "3-24" and three years later won the most games a Duquesne coach has won since 1970-71. No, it's not the same as taking over a Super Bowl or Stanley Cup contender, but you have to respect what Everhart's been able to pull off in a relatively short amount of time.

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The Duke from Dukes Court said...

"While disappointing, this year represented a quantum leap for the Dukes."

There was nothing disappointing about Duquesne's season.

The Dukes have one of the youngest rosters in the country and yet they were within a few points of the NCAAs and they made their first apperance in the NIT since 1994.

Big ups to Ron Everhart, his staff, and the Duquesne administration for bringing in RE and Suzie.

mondesishouse said...

Just disappointing from the point of view that they were so close to both an NCAA spot and a postseason win. It was a great season for Duquesne.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Geez Don, how dare you pay someone a compliment and give them a shoutout? A little sensitive up top?

Great season for the Dukes, I am sure next year will be even better for them.