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Taking Flight

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It’s the Duquesne Dukes 100th season for basketball this year and the pressure to do well is on the line.

This is head coach Jim Ferry’s fourth season but the first time he has a group of four-year seniors.

Senior guards Derrick Colter (13.2 ppg), Micah Mason (12.8 ppg) and forward Jeremiah Jones (7.3 ppg) will hold the concrete foundation for the team this year.  Mason is the leader for 3-pointers and steals while Colter holds the lead for points and assists.

The three seniors have played in a combined 268 games and started 238 times for the Dukes. Mason transferred from Drake after his freshman season but enters his senior year as the second most-accurate 3-point shooter in NCAA history (.492). Colter and Jones were a part of Ferry’s first recruiting class and have played every game in their careers at Duquesne. Colter will enter this year with 1,086 points.

“We were able to stabilize the program in our first three years – and we had to do a lot of rebuilding,” says Ferry. “We now have a team built on upperclassmen, rather than five, six, or seven new guys every year, which is huge.”

In addition to the three seniors, Duquesne returns four other lettermen, all front court players.

Duquesne received two transfers last year that will now be eligible to play: 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Rene Castro from Butler and 6-foot-5 freshman guard Mar’Qywell Jackson from UTEP.  

In addition, Ferry added three more recruits to his roster: 6-foot-8 Freshman forward Nakye Sanders from Staten Island, N.Y., 6-foot-4 guard Josh Steel from Hawlow, England, and University of Nebraska transfer, 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Tarin Smith from Ocean Township, N.J. Smith played in all 31 games for the Cornhuskers last season but will sit out this season due to NCAA rules.

In August, Ferry took the team to Ireland for a nine-day, three-game trip tournament. In addition to providing valuable practice time, he tour gave Castro and Jackson the chance get some chemistry with their new teammates.

Ferry is looking to on the Dukes' 12-19 season which saw the team struggle mightily on the road. Duquesne was outscored by 10.7 points in road games.

“Part of it was youth, part of it was inexperience and part of it is playing really good teams,” said Ferry. “A big part of any success we’ll have this season will revolve around how much this group has learned and how much they’ll improve.”

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