It's hard to imagine a college basketball going through a bigger
change than Duquesne.
First year head coach Ron Everhart has brought in 10 new
players, and just two Dukes remain from last year's 3-24 team.
Change has been good to Everhart though, as he's helped turn
around the McNeese State and most recently Northeastern
I know it's hard to answer many questions with so much change,
but what should we expect to be the strengths and weaknesses of
this year’s team?
RE: We are going to have pretty much a brand new roster
this seasons. Sort of like a fresh start. I know this team
will have a good attitude and work ethic. The challenge will be
in blending so many new guys together and establishing team
CHN: What have the two returning players been up to?
RE: I can say that the two players who are returning -
Kieron Achara and Aaron Jackson - have done everything we've
asked of them. It has been unusual to have just two players
here, but they have worked very hard on their conditioning.
CHN: You obviously will have a whole bunch of new faces
coming in. Who do you think will make the biggest impact?
RE: As far as
immediate impact goes Stuard Baldonado should be able to step in
and help. As a junior college player he brings a lot of
experience to the program. Physically, at 6-7, 225 pounds he is
ready for the rigors of Atlantic 10 play. With our younger
players it will almost be a coin flip. We have guys like Destin
Damachoua and Stephen Wood among others who have the talent to
develop into real solid players. I just don't know at this time
how much impact they'll have right away."
CHN: What other coaches really helped you reach the level of
success you’re at now? How does their advice and teachings
still help you to this day?
RE: Coaches I've been around on every level have
had an influence on me. I had a chance to play under Coach
Wootten at DeMatha. From him I learned the importance of game
preparation. We always simulated game situations in practice.
We could be down two with three seconds left and as players we
always knew we had a chance to win because we were so well
prepared. Chances are we'd already worked on something for that
situation in practice. I also admire his demeanor on the
bench. He was always calm in the face of adversity. He never
lost his composure. I would love to emulate that. My college
coach, Charles Moir at Virginia Tech, was a great offensive
tactical coach. We ran the triangle offense back then. I also
liked the philosophy of attacking the defense after a made
basket. He had some great offensive sets. I've also learned
from current coaches like Bob Huggins, Rick Pitino and Tim
CHN: Realistically, discuss what your goals
and hopes are for this season despite so many unknowns.
RE: My hope is to always compete for a
championship. Anything less would be disappointing to me and
I'm sure to our team.
Thanks for your time Ron.