Since taking over as head coach in late March, Keith Dambrot has worked at a feverish pace rebuilding the Duquesne basketball program. Though he has shown interest in players from across the country, the former Akron coach was yet to extend any offers to any WPIAL players.
That was until yesterday when Dambrot offer two local products from the Class of 2020 in Butler guard Ethan Morton and forward Tre Mitchell, who will be transferring to Woodstock Academy in Connecticut after playing at Elizabeth Forward.
Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting young men on the path to a better future.
Excited to have received an offer from The University of Duquesne pic.twitter.com/BqoqsnvU3u
— Ethan Morton (@EthanMorton_24) June 20, 2017
Thankful to have received my 3rd offer from Duquesne???????????????? pic.twitter.com/JeMTZhUlqB
— Tre ¯_(ツ)_/¯™???? (@tre_mitch33) June 20, 2017
Prior to being offered by Duquesne, Morton already had offers from Miami (OH), Cleveland State and Pitt, who offered the sophomore following a camp last Friday. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 13.2 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in his freshmen season at Butler, where he plays under former major league pitcher Matt Clement.
Morton had nothing but great things to say about Duquesne, especially Coach Dambrot.
“Duquesne is a very good school with great facilities and a great new coaching staff,” Morton said. “Coach Dambrot has lots of knowledge about the game and is a great guy in general. All of his staff is very energetic and excited and confident about what they are going to do.”
Though Duquesne could back a push for the athletically gifted guard, Coach Kevin Stallings and the Panthers have had their eye on Morton for quiet some time. The Butler product was even invited to a football game last fall even before he played his first high school game.
In his times meeting with Pitt’s coaching staff, Morton came away very impressed, mainly with Coach Stallings straightforwardness.
“Love the whole staff, Coach Stallings is a great guy who is going to always be honest with you,” Morton said. The rest of the assistants are great guys who I loved talking to for the little time I was there. I think the program is going in a great direction and they have a great plan for it.”
Mitchell held previous offers from Mount St. Mary’s and Manhattan before Duquesne’s came in Monday night. Though he would be a junior if he was returning to Elizabeth Forward, the 6-foot-8 forward will reclassify to the Class of 2020 at Woodstock Academy making him a sophomore again. With the extra year, Mitchell hopes to receive more interest from other schools, which he already says are pouring in.
“Myself along with my mother and coaches ave received a plethora of phone calls from schools all over the country,” Mitchell said.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in December, Mitchell’s former coach at Elizabeth Forward Sam Kosanovich described the forward as a kid who just loves playing basketball.
“Any chance, any opportunity he can, he’s playing,” Kosanovich said. “I always say that somewhere along the line he’s going to be a guard. He brings the ball down the floor sometimes. He can post. He can drive and shoot. He has all the tools. He’s willing to work and do whatever it takes.”