Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Duquesne’s resurrection

Duquesne Dukes first-year head coach Ron Everhart (Va. Tech ‘85) has built a reputation for resurrecting moribund basketball programs, having done so as at McNeese State and Northeastern. Last year the Dukes went 3-24, which was their 12th consecutive losing season.

Yes, resurrection sounded like a good plan, but this year Everhart has his work cut out for him, like never before, stemming from a shooting incident following an on-campus party. Five of Everhart’s players suffered bullet wounds. Basketball fans already know about this story.

Now Everhart’s Dukes have played their first game of the 2006-07 season. AP picks up the story here:

“Most nights, this would be a score hardly noticed by anyone other than alumni and fans of the two schools: Duquesne 81, Youngstown State 75.

“This was different. This was a special, worthy-of-attention night when a team that has had one winning season in 20 years, and little chance of having one this season, decided violence, tradition and an arguably stronger opponent wouldn't keep it from winning a game it probably should have lost.

“Scott Grote scored 23 points in his college debut and Duquesne, relying mostly on six underclassmen after having five key players shot earlier this fall, rallied down the stretch to surprise Youngstown State on Monday night in its first game since the shootings ravaged their roster."

Closer to home, VCU opened its season Monday night with a win: VCU 75, Longwood 63. For more on local college hoops click here to read, The Bounce, my sports column at Richmond.com.

No comments: