The Duquesne Dukes have added a big piece to their 2019-20 roster.
Utah Valley University grad transfer center Baylee Steele (6-foot-11, 245 pounds) gave Keith Dambrot a verbal commitment Tuesday afternoon.
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Last season, Steele averaged 8.5 points and 7.2 rebounds and will provide an immediate presence in the middle for Duquesne.
Minutes after letting Dambrot know he was committing, Steele talked to Pittsburgh Sports Now about his new basketball home.
What led Steele to making a decision two days after making his official visit.
“The coaching staff there is so smart and they all know what they’re doing”, Steele told PSN. “They’re all such a family and they have such a history of player development, it’s insane. They had a need and want for me and I had a need and want for them.”
”The situation that I was looking for when I entered the transfer portal was exactly what Duquesne had to offer me. Plus, when I was there, everything felt so real and so right.”
— Baylee Steele (@Im_Baylee) January 9, 2019
The other huge factor for Steele was the reputation of Dambrot.
”He has such a long history of developing big men,” said Steele. “I think by being around coach, I’m going to think about the game so much better and my basketball IQ and skill level will sky rocket. I really believe that we’re going to be beneficial to each other. Coach really believes in my abilities, what I can accomplish and says I have so much more room for growth. He’s going to put the time in with me and I’ll give him everything I have.”
The other thing that played a part in Steele’s decision is that everyone around the Duquesne program believes they’re close to something special.
”Coach is turning this program around quick and we’re headed in the right direction. He believes with the right pieces we can have not just a good team but a great team. The sky is really the limit next year.”
Steele said that he’s heading for a family trip overseas to Bosnia and will then arrive at Duquesne in mid-June.