The Dukes’ Josh Steel was not dressed for Duquesne’s 81-72 loss Wednesday.
When asked about it in his postgame news conference, coach Jim Ferry did not elaborate much on the situation, saying it was a decision by the university.
“It’s an institutional issue, that’s all I got,” Ferry said following Wednesday’s loss
Steel was suspended for the first 5 games of this season for a violation of team rules. Since returning from his suspension, the sophomore from England has been a big contributor off the bench. Steel has averaged 9.5 points including 13 points and 3 threes in 28 minutes in Sunday’s win over Cleveland St.
Last season Steel averaged 2.2 points per game in 29 games including one start.
**Duquesne and Pitt will tangle Friday in the annual City Game at PPG Paints Arena. Over the past 39 meetings dating back to 1982, the Dukes have only won four times. The last was in 2000 when the Dukes edged the Panthers 71-70 at the Mellon Arena.
Prior to Pitt’s dominance over Duquesne in the last 35 years, many remember this rivalry as being one of the more competitive match ups in northeast college basketball. Before 1982, the Dukes actually held the series lead over Pitt 27-19. Currently, the Panthers hold a 53-31 lead in the series.
Though the rivalry was lost some of its luster, it still means something to the players. Grad transfer Emilie Blackman is excited for his first City Game.
“It’s definitely one you get your spirts up for,” Blackman said. “I’ve never played in a game like this so I’m looking forward to it. We’re going to take tomorrow to prepare and try to get a W.”
Based on Pitt’s performance against Maryland in their last game, the Dukes will be a double-digit underdog. Tip off is set for 7 pm.