The time that Keith Dambrot will get to work with his team this summer will be more valuable than it is to most programs.
The 2018-19 Duquesne Dukes will have 12 players that didn’t participate on last year’s team. Mike Lewis, Kellon Taylor and Eric Williams are the only returning players from Dambrot’s first season as Duquesne’s head coach.
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Trying to get that many new faces on the same page and acclimated to the system will be a challenge, but the good news is that this is a roster full of talent. Dambrot will have the luxury of looking down the bench and calling on a new face if he doesn’t like what’s going on.
If you’re going to get playing time for the 2018
Dukes, it will be because you’ve earned it.
So what are Dambrot’s early impression of some of the new faces after watching a few weeks of summer workouts?
First time on the court for the freshmen: ✅???? pic.twitter.com/WPCZ7CJ9qY
— Duquesne Basketball (@DuqMBB) June 11, 2018
Pittsburgh Sports Now had a chance to talk with Dambrot and asked him about his large and talented freshman class.
Brandon Wade (6-2, 190), PG: “He’s really smart. He’s a big body. He’s about 190 pounds, which surprised us a little bit. Very good decision maker. Very business like, mature and smart. You can tell his dad played college basketball (Toledo).”
Gavin Bizeau (6-11, 215), F: “He’s a 6-11 perimeter player really, a lot like the Europeans. Very skilled player, can really shoot and handle the ball. He’s up to 215 pounds compared to 180 pounds when we signed him. As he continues to get stronger and we can slow him down a bit, he’s a really good talent.”
Lamar Norman (6-3, 175), G: “Super athletic. Very skilled and has the ability to really score. He has to get a little stronger and acclimated to college. Most of them have to do that really.”
Amari Kelly (6-9, 225), F: “Big, strong and long. He’s had really good coaching having played under Stackhouse in the AAU and had some good high school coaches. We need to continue to develop him on the perimeter, but he’s good around the rim. He’s going to be a good player.”
Dylan Swingle (6-11, 325), C: “He’s the biggest human being that I’ve had since we had “Big Dog Johnson” at Akron. He’s 325 pounds, so if you’re not at least 280 pounds, he’s a load. He just has to get in better condition. He comes from a very small town so he has to get acclimated to the speed of the game. He doesn’t realize yet how good of a player he can be and how big and strong he really is.”
Sin Carry (6-1, 175), PG: “Strong, tough player with a good basketball IQ, can shoot and pass.”
Austin Rotroff (6-10, 230), F: “He’s 230 pounds as a freshman. He’s got long arms and has really good touch.”
James Ellis (6-11, 230), F: “He’s going to be a really good player. He’ll have to sit this year but James Ellis is very talented and is going to be really good. Both Rotroff and Ellis have a chance to be really good players.”
“Most of our players will be in a fight for their lives because we really don’t have any bad players. Everyone will have to fight for their playing time,” said Dambrot. “We have good skill, we have good size, we have good basketball I.Q., we’re just dealing with low mileage. I really don’t think that should be a factor, we just have to teach them and get them acclimated. That’s not going to be an excuse. We just have to get some mileage on them quickly.”
Practice makes perfect ???? pic.twitter.com/RlIPNFomFf
— Duquesne Basketball (@DuqMBB) June 13, 2018