It didn’t take long for Keith Dambrot to receive a commitment from someone with the same skillset and character as Pedro Castro, who de-committed in order to stay closer to his family in Texas.
The Dukes receive a commitment Wednesday night from Mercer guard Leon Ayers III, who recently entered the transfer portal. Last season, Ayers (6-foot-six, 180-lbs.) played in 29 games and averaged 23.6 minutes, 12.2 points and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 52.1% from the field and 39% from 3-point range.
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Few clips from the season 😅😅 pic.twitter.com/R9xzxPDwmZ
— Leon Ayers (@lee_ayers1) March 26, 2021
Before committing to Duquesne, Ayers was hearing from Iona, Western Michigan, James Madison, Miami (OH), Bowling Green, Niagara, La Tech, Indiana State, Western Michigan and Murray State.
Although he entered the transfer portal less than two weeks ago, Ayers was impressed with the tenacity that Dambrot and Duquesne came after him.
“I’ve probably been talking with Coach Dambrot, Coach Carl and Coach Charles for about a week now but they were very persistent with my Zoom Calls and were very professional with the way they were handling me,” Ayers tells Pittsburgh Sports Now. “We had a Zoom Call with my family and were very good with us and answering all of our questions and took away any doubts or concerns that we had. They were just very professional and you could tell how close they were, which made me and my family very comfortable.”
“I’m a big relationship guy, when it comes to basketball. So the relationship was something I had a big question about. But Coach Dambrot himself was reaching out to me and calling me, texting me and showing me that he wanted to be more than a head coach with me. This was bigger than basketball and that was something I wanted to know and it was important to me. I was looking for a place that was invested in me as a person on and off the court and that’s Duquesne.”
Who can hit three's while 𝙛𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙣?
— Mercer Men's Basketball (@MercerMBB) December 14, 2020
On the court, Ayers is a Dambrot type player, meaning he’s versatile, team-oriented and cares about the most important thing: winning.
“I’m going to bring a lot of buckets to Duquesne,” said Ayers. “I’m more about points though, I just want to help the team win. I’m a winner and will do whatever it takes for us to win. If it’s not my night and someone else has the hot hand, I have no problem playing off that player. I have no problem feeding someone else the ball and believe that I’m a very easy player to play with because I can play so many positions. I’m not a selfish player and really just want to play with good players and be a part of a good team.”
Ayers tells PSN that he’s able to play multiple positions and played the shooting guard and small forward the most last season with Mercer.
Ayers will have two seasons of athletic eligibility remaining with Duquesne.