Jim Ferry refuses to rush.
Tasked with replacing two key point guards that transferred and two signed recruits that left Duquesne, Ferry said patience and an eye toward the big picture have to guide recruiting efforts this spring.
Ferry was hired April 10 to take the program "to the next level" and has spent the past month recruiting for next year as well as the 2013 and '14 classes.
"What we're really trying to do is establish this program. It's not about a quick fix," Ferry said. "It's more about being patient and being smart than rushing. We're trying to build it brick by brick."
Duquesne is expected to announce the signing of two point guards soon, according to a source with knowledge.
One is Derrick Colter, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Largo High School in Largo, Md., who was described by his high school coach as having "great floor savvy."
"I wouldn't get in front of him. I wouldn't reach for it," coach Lewis Howard said. "He's got the ball on the string. He's tough-nosed, can get to the basket. He has great vision, and great, great floor savvy."
Ferry, who is not permitted to speak about recruits until they have signed a national letter of intent and been approved by the school's clearinghouse, said he and his staff fanned out during the recruiting period selling Duquesne to prospects for next season and the two recruiting classes to follow.
He stressed there is no set number of players he plans to bring in for next fall.
"What you don't want to do at this point is make mistakes because everybody feels it's late," Ferry said.
"I could tell you we're going to take three and take four. Tell you we're going to take five and take two."
Athletic director Greg Amodio had the same message.
"Our guys are out there trying to be smart. As we add pieces, they will be smart additions and not just trying to fill out a roster," he said.
Several players are expected to be on campus this week.
Ferry said the staff will consider signing a transfer or two for next year and alluded to the possibility of signing a transfer with as little as one year of eligibility left.
Ferry was hired after the firing of Ron Everhart March 23, the same week star point guard T.J. McConnell and another guard, Mike Talley, announced they would be transferring. McConnell transferred to Arizona; Talley to Eastern Michigan.
The two signed recruits then asked for and were granted releases. The more notable of the two was 6-foot-9 Donovon Jack, who, because of his size, would have filled the team's need for a big man.
Jack, from Reading, committed to Penn State last week despite meeting with Ferry just days after he was hired.
"The meeting went great, but it's probably a better question for their family to answer," Ferry said.
"They felt very comfortable where he fit in. His dad had mentioned, they were pretty much out the door before they met with us. Basically, it came down to Duquesne, Penn State and Clemson in the end.
"I think Penn State was a place he felt like he wanted to go to. We recruited him aggressively, but was something that ended out of our control at that point."
Willie Moore, a 6-3 guard from Cincinnati, Ohio, was granted a release and recently committed to Oregon.
"There's time. No one's freaking out," Ferry said.
"It's about getting it right. That's part of building the program. Not looking for a quick fix."
NOTES -- Former Duquesne players B.J. Monteiro and Eric Evans graduated Saturday. Evans has to take a Spanish course to complete his requirements but walked in the ceremony. ... Martins Abele (7-1) is expected to be academically eligible after getting nearly a 3.0 grade-point average this past semester. Abele was declared ineligible Dec. 23. ... Ferry and his staff have moved into Duquesne dorms temporarily after staying in a Downtown hotel while they make the transition to the area. "We're in here really early in the morning and eat dinner at 11:30 at night," Ferry said. "It's a place to sleep, shower and get back in here working."
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org and 412-263-1959. First Published May 9, 2012 11:15 AM