Summer league basketball is the time of year to flaunt it on the court, shut down the thought process and play with instinct.
Derrick Colter, Duquesne's 5-10 incoming freshman point guard from Maryland, did just that in his Pittsburgh debut, setting a promising tone for the Dukes at this summer's Pittsbugh Basketball Club Pro-Am league at the Greentree SportsPlex.
"I love summer league. It's getting up and down and showing your talent to everybody who's watching you play," Colter said. "It's just like pick-up games back home."
Colter scored 103 points in eight games, and had 24 assists for GNC, which lost in overtime to PGT Trucking in the league final Wednesday.
He ran the point with command, drove the rim well and exhibited raw talent.
His performance was notable mostly because it indicated all may not be lost at the point guard position for the Dukes.
A tumultuous spring left the team with a dearth of true point guards following the transfers of former standout T.J. McConnell to Arizona and Mike Talley to Eastern Michigan.
But Colter could be something else.
"I feel like Derrick could be really special," said teammate Ovie Soko, a transfer from UAB who will not be eligible for a year.
"I've seen a lot of point guards, played with a really good one in the past, he does some stuff that has me, I mean, I finally had to step back to respect him for a second. He can be really good."
Soko, a 6-foot-8 forward who appears to have the potential to make his own mark with the Dukes, said Colter plays with the command of a much more experienced player.
"It's just some of the passes he makes. He just does some advanced stuff, that as a freshman you really don't expect," said Soko.
"He plays with a lot of confidence, and that's a huge part of his game."
Point guard Marvin Binney, a sophomore junior college transfer, also had a solid summer league showing but is a very different kind of player than Colter -- more of a pass-first, play it safe point guard.
"Derrick loves summer," Binney said.
"I'm a little bit older, bigger. He's young and has some things to learn, but I think we'll complement each other really well."
Very little defense is played in summer league ball, which could tone down Colter during a regular college season.
But consider a 29-point night in his first game, with three more double-digit performances.
In all, Duquesne had a fairly strong showing this summer from both newcomers and returning players.
"The chemistry is getting better," Binney said. "Everyone has been working hard and getting to know each other."
Andre Marhold, one of just two returning seniors, agreed: "I think everyone is getting better. It's been really good."
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1959. First Published July 23, 2012 4:00 AM