Earlier this week, Ohio 2018 forward Austin Rotroff (6-foot-9, 205 pounds) gave Keith Dambrot and the Duquesne basketball program a verbal commitment.
The 3-star forward became the third commitment in Duquesne’s Class of 2018, joining Indiana forward Gavin Bizeau (6-foot-11, 205 pounds) and Ohio forward Dylan Swingle (6-foot-11, 305 pounds). This trio of forwards gives the Dukes some much-needed size in their future front court.
Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting young men on the path to a better future.
Tonight, PSN talked with Rotroff about his reasons for joining the Dukes and about his future in the program.
“They came in relatively late in my recruiting process in July or the spring so it hasn’t been that long. They reached out to me after one of my tournaments and have been in steady communication with me since,” said Rotroff.
“The Duquesne coaching staff has been in touch with me more than any team recruiting me. My AAU coach spoke very highly of Coach Dambrot from his days at Akron so I was interested from the start.”
Being a Ohio native, I asked him what he knew and heard about his future head coach.
“My AAU coaches said that going to Duquesne with Coach Dambrot would be a great opportunity for me because of his reputation of developing players especially post players.
“I also know that Coach Dambrot brings a winning culture and reputation. I came in with good impressions of him and then after I had a chance to meet him it just confirmed everything,” said Rotroff.
Rotroff is a true post player and I asked him what skill set he’d bring to Duquesne.
“I’m mainly a back to the basket down low scorer. I’m looking to expand my game. I can shoot a bit and handle the ball. I also can stretch the floor a bit and can take my game outside.”
Aside from the coaches, another thing that sold Rotroff on Duquesne was his visit to the campus and the city of Pittsburgh.
“At first, I was skeptical about Pittsburgh because I’m from a small town and I like the small town atmosphere. But I when I got to Pittsburgh, I was really surprised and loved it. I love the feel of it, you’re around everything and there’s something to do all the time. Plus, all the professional sports teams are a stones throw from campus. I loved the campus atmosphere at Duquesne.”
Rotroff has one more year of high school left but is excited about the challenge of turning the Duquesne basketball program into a winning one.
“Coach Dambrot had a very detailed plan. He took me through my development plan and how he sees me contributing to the program when I get there. I think the Duquesne situation is a unique and one where I can help out right away. Having the challenge of trying to rebuild the program and being a focal point of that, I thought that was pretty cool.”