Addie Smith | Sports Editor
Do you ever just get tired watching Duquesne basketball?
Obviously, not in a yawning uncontrollably, it’s 2:30 a.m. and you stayed up too late watching Netflix, way, but in a “haven’t we seen this game before?” way. Call it deja vu, call it annoying, call it anything, but Duquesne basketball has gotten oddly repetitive in the past couple of games.
The Dukes will struggle with free-throws, they’ll struggle with rebounds. Hell, they’ll struggle with it all at some points. The Red & Blue will have one guy, sometimes two, who takes on the heroics for the team and it will be hard to focus on any other player but him.
Wednesday night in the Dukes’ 68-59 loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions, all eyes were on Ovie Soko. Soko scored 19 points total, 14 of which came in the first half. The 14 were more than half of what Duquesne managed to score in the first, 26 points.
At what point do Duquesne fans actually fall asleep and stop attending games? Wednesday night’s student section wasn’t as strong as previous games. At certain points, they seemed to have fallen asleep as the Dukes trudged on and remembered the Dunkin’ Donuts or Pizza Hut inside Consol Energy Center. The 20 or so students who attended from Penn State seemed to drown out any efforts made by the Red & Blue Crew to get students riled up.
Yes, there are glimmers of hope within the program in the young guns coach Jim Ferry brought in. Yes, Jim Ferry himself is a bright light in a sometimes dull basketball program. We can continue to form these “well at least we have…” opinions or we can start to accept that this year isn’t Duquesne’s year.
In the beginning of the season, there was a false sense of hope that even I fell into after Duquesne defeated Albeline Christian in their first game of the season. There was something different about these Dukes, there was aggression and grit and well, Ovie Soko. For one game, students were impressed. Hell, I will admit that I was impressed.
Ferry had gotten a solid group of guys in his recruiting class and had instilled some sense of team unity that hadn’t been seen in the days of Sean Johnson, Andre Marhold and T.J. McConnell. These boys this season you can tell care about each other and the team as a whole. When someone is knocked down, as seen in the Dukes’ first game against Albeline Christian, two or three members of the team will help him up.
Will the Dukes win any games in the Atlantic 10 this year? Yes. Will they make an improbable run in Brooklyn? No. Like I said, this year isn’t their year, but at some point in the future, it will be theirs.