By: Andrew Holman | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne Men’s Basketball team made quite the trek this summer when they traveled across the pond to take on some of Ireland’s top-tier talent.
This 2015 venture was the second international trip ever taken by the men’s basketball team. The first came in 2007 when the squad traveled north of the border to Toronto, Canada, making this year’s trip a new experience for everyone involved.
“Our main goal for this trip was to bond as a team,” head coach Jim Ferry said. “We finally have a bunch of guys returning in the program, so it was an opportunity for the guys on our team to step outside themselves, get off campus and bond as a team.”
The Dukes got their tour started off with an impressive 86-51 victory over Galway Select. Senior point guard Derrick Colter led the team with 18 points. In the second matchup for Duquesne, Colter scored 15 in a 100-54 win against Neptune Basketball Club. He was one of five Dukes to score in the double digits that game.
Next, the Dukes traveled to Ireland’s capital, Dublin, for a game against Templeogue in pursuit of their third victory on the international tour. At the end of the first quarter, it seemed that Duquesne was in for quite a challenge as the score was 20-19. However, once the second quarter began, the Dukes never looked back and went on to claim a huge 95-57 win. Sophomores TySean Powell and Eric James provided a boost off the bench with both tallying double figures in scoring.
The Ireland tour wrapped up with a 69-33 victory over KUBS. Colter and sophomore Jordan Robinson each scored 12 points to lead the Red and Blue to their fourth and final win in Ireland.
“I was the most impressed with our unselfishness,” Ferry said. “The guys really bought into each other as a team. You could see it on the court and off the court. The guys had each other’s back. This is a unique group of men from all different places across the United States coming together and bonding as a team.”
On the court, Ferry wanted to use the 10 days of allotted practice time as well as those games to focus on improving the defensive end of the court. The extra practice seemed to pay off with the Red & Blue displaying an inspired defensive performance by holding their international competition to an average of under 50 points per game.
Off the court, the guys got to take in everything that Ireland has to offer.
“We visited a lot of interesting places, such as the Ashford Castle, where many famous people have stayed,” sophomore forward Marshall Macheledt said. “Also, we got the chance to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. But my favorite place was the Cliffs of Moher along the Atlantic Ocean. It is a sight I will never forget.”
This new experience was a chance to build even more camaraderie on a team almost entirely filled with returning players.
“Going to a foreign country is a unique experience,” Ferry said. “The guys need to be with each other and rely on each other and that is what happened. Some leaders really shined through.”
Basketball season will be here in just a few months and the Dukes will be looking to improve on their 12-19 record from last season. A lot of hope surrounds this team as the roster is loaded with returning talent ready to turn some heads during the 2015-2016 campaign. As for the Ireland tour, it was certainly an experience that impacted the team.
“Seeing them coming together as a family and touring the beautiful country of Ireland was fantastic,” Ferry told “The Duke”.