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Sunday column: Much more on City Game

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Sunday column off the 82nd City Game eyes the future of Duquesne basketball in the hands of Jim Ferry.

Not everyone will agree with the topic choice, given that the Dukes lost to Pitt, 84-67, and haven’t won in 13 years. But I went this way mostly because the City Game is the one day a year they make their biggest public impression. And anyway, the plan is to follow up immediately with a Monday column on the undefeated Panthers.

Here’s some of what Ferry had to say afterward …

And here are Pitt’s James Robinson, Lamar Patterson and Cam Wright

The game story focuses on Wright, by our Duquesne beat man Chris Harlan.

Random randomness from the scene: Interesting that Jamie Dixon expressed surprise that it was his team, rather than Duquesne, that came out hard. Pitt had just one day of practice between Brooklyn and this game, while the Dukes had 10 free days. “They probably spent a lot of that time getting pumped up for it, too,” Dixon said. … Before long, the Dukes’ relentless running of the court — seriously, they just charge the basket en masse — began to wear the Panthers down and draw fouls. Trouble was, Duquesne was 7 of 14 from the stripe in the first half, 18 of 35 overall. “We’d been a 71 percent free-throw team all season,” Ferry lamented. … Don’t tell anyone, but a scout for the Cavaliers — that’s Cleveland’s NBA team — sat to my right and seemed genuinely impressed with Desmond Ridenour, one of two Duquesne youngsters cited in the column. Kid’s good. … Pitt’s Durand Johnson continues to make me wrong for doubting his ability to put the ball on the floor. He’s doing it more often and more efficiently. We’ll see if that holds against ACC competition, but it’s encouraging. … This is worth recording somewhere, but Duquesne’s 44-41 lead that I celebrate in the column’s opening marked the first time this Pitt team has trailed anyone in the second half. … Didn’t last long. The Panthers went on runs of 12-0 and 15-1, mostly fueled by Wright. … Caught the Dukes doing this wild pregame ritual outside their locker room door where they … I don’t know, jump up and down and chant and … whatever. Had to be there. … The attendance of 11,161 was higher than organizers feared it would be, given that students from both schools are gone for the holiday. What a ridiculous time to schedule this game. Here’s hoping the schools are smarter about it next year.

Here’s our Pitt page.

Here’s our Duquesne page.

Here’s our photo gallery of the City Game by Chaz Palla, including this shot of the Dukes’ Ovie Soko stuffing Pitt’s Michael Young


Missing the usual Sunday subject matter?

I’d also call your attention this morning to a Joe Starkey column on the Steelers’ Jason Worilds, LaMarr Woodley and the situation at outside linebacker. It’s quality stuff.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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