A week with... the men's basketball team
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 01:11
The Duquesne men’s basketball team has been hitting the court hard since Oct. 8 in preparation for the upcoming season. The team has drastically improved as one unit as the weeks wore on.
Practices are typically three hours and involves drills, group exercises and scrimmages. On Oct. 18 and Oct. 19, the team was asked to “show off” the skills they had been working on for fans during Dukesfest.
The team is divided into two sets that run identical drills with different assistant coaches overlooking them while Ferry rotates and adds his expertise in based on what he is seeing. After working on the drill in groups, the teams begin a scrimmage matchup to further work on these skills. Each team has eight possessions during each scrimmage to show off what they have practiced in the drill.
A moment that sticks out from the time with the men’s basketball team is when players started diving on the balls in these scrimmages. Ferry halted practice and made the players dive after balls. “You want diving practice?” Ferry yelled. “We’ll have diving practice.”
However, instead of being beaten up or discouraged by this “diving practice,” the team clapped for their teammates and patted each other on the backs after finishing the drill. Despite the hardships this team has faced since the end of last season, there’s no denying that they’ve emerged as a more unified group this season.
“These guys are really good guys,” Ferry said. “This is a tight knit group of kids. I don’t think there’s any jealousy. I mean, you know, listen, bottom line is every position’s open. A lot of guys graduated, a lot of guys left, everything is up for competition. That’s healthy. There’s competition in the gym every day, which is great. I have not sensed any animosity amongst the teammates, which I think is great. They’re really working hard, they’re really pushing hard and they’re going to continue to push each other.”
Sophomore transfer Marvin Binney likes the way Ferry’s practices are set up.
“It’s been good [adjusting to Ferry’s style]. It’s actually the style I want to play,” Binney said. “As he teaches and as he demonstrates things, I’m really paying attention because he plays a style I play and a pace that I really want to play at.”
Ferry has been happy with his team’s effort at practice thus far.
“We’re just excited to get the season started,” Ferry said. “We’re excited for the official practices that actually started last week [in mid-October]. There was excitement surrounding it, I thought we had great energy. Guys are playing with great aggressiveness right now. We’re up and down a little bit, probably from day-to-day and even from practice-to-practice as we get started, just trying to implement so much.”
Senior guard Sean Johnson spent his entire three years before this season playing for Everhart and is now adjusting to Ferry.
Binney had a grin on his face as he said one last thing to add about the practices.
“They [practices] have been really intense,” Binney said. “He’s really pushing us to the limits, being picked last [in the Atlantic-10 conference] really has him motivated and us motivated to push ourselves to the max. So, no days off, just push forward.”