In February, Pittsburgh Sports Now interviewed the three basketball recruits signed by Duquesne for the Class of 2017. At that time, Lewis Djonkam, John Walker III, and Jamari Wheeler all praised Jim Ferry and the “family environment” he created within the Duquesne men’s basketball program. Following Ferry’s dismissal Monday, that family environment may be in jeopardy. We reached out to the members of Duquesne’s Class of 2017 for their reaction to Coach Ferry’s firing, and will update viewers as each recruit responds.
The first signee to respond to Pittsburgh Sports Now regarding Coach Ferry’s dismissal was 6-foot-1-inch point guard, Jamari Wheeler. I asked the 3-star recruit from Florida for his initial reaction upon hearing today’s announcement. His answer, though short, relayed his surprise.
“Wow, I didn’t see that coming,” Wheeler told Pittsburgh Sports Now.
Jamari signed his Letter of Intent during the early signing period and will have NCAA transfer regulations to consider should he pursue enrollment at another university – unless Duquesne releases him from his Letter of Intent, of course. With this in mind, I asked Jamari how Coach Ferry’s dismissal impacts his commitment to the Dukes.
“It’s big time, but I’m still talking to my family about it,” he said.
Many recruiting classes face this same situation each year, and a qualified hire is always capable of keeping his predecessor’s class intact. While Duquesne’s next head coach may appeal to Jamari, the shock of today’s announcement prevents him from dedicating any thought towards the subject at this time.
“I’m not sure yet,” Jamari said, regarding what he would like to see in Duquesne’s next coach. “I’m still thinking about [Jim Ferry’s] dismissal.”
According to Wheeler, members of Duquesne’s staff contacted him today following Coach Ferry’s firing. Jamari declined comment on the contents of their conversation.
Pittsburgh Sports Now will follow the status of Jamari Wheeler’s commitment as he evaluates the situation at Duquesne in the upcoming weeks.