Sophomore guard also earns spot on the conference All-Defensive Team
Eighth and ninth seeds battle for right to face Temple in Atlantic City
B.J. Monteiro scores 14 in a losing effort
Dukes and Billikens to meet at Noon on Saturday
B.J. Monteiro paces Dukes with 21 points
Saint Louis 75, Duquesne 60
Duuqesne - 77 Fordham - 67
Duquesne - 68, LaSalle - 71
Duquesne 80, Massachusetts 69
Duquesne 82 - Saint Joseph's - 84
From 10 wins in 2007 to the school's first winning season in 14 years in 2008 to consecutive postseason appearances in 2009, 2010 & 2011, Ron Everhart clearly has the Duquesne men's basketball program headed in the right direction.
In five seasons defined by steady progress, he has taken a floundering program - one that won just three games in 2005-06 - to one that finished six points shy of an NCAA tournament bid in 2008-09 and was tied for first in the Atlantic 10 and receiving votes in the AP Top 25 at the midpoint of the 2010-11 season.
After ending a streak of 13 consecutive losing seasons with a 17-13 record in 2007-08, Everhart's Dukes posted a 21-13 mark in earning an NIT appearance in 2009. In 2010, Duquesne won 16 games in earning a College Basketball Invitational bid. In 2011, DU reeled off 11 wins in a row - including the first eight in Atlantic 10 play - and received votes in the Associated Press Top 25 for three consecutive weeks before finishing 19-13 and earning a second consecutive CBI bid. Everhart was named NABC District 4 Coach of the Year for his effort.
Everhart and Red Manning, who went 247-138 (.642) in 16 seasons as head coach of the Dukes (1959-74), are the only two DU coaches to be honored as an NABC District Coach of the Year since the district coach awards were established in 1970.
DU's 73 wins over the past four seasons are the most over a four-year period since 1970-73.
The Duquesne turnaround is nothing new for the man who reversed the fortunes of the men's basketball programs at both McNeese State and Northeastern prior to returning "home" to take the reins at Duquesne in March of 2006.
The Fairmont, West Virginia native's rebuilding effort took a great leap forward in 2008-09 as the Dukes finished 21-13 and made a National Invitation Tournament appearance. The 21 wins were the most since 1970-71 and the NIT bid marked Duquesne's first postseason appearance since 1993-94. The 2008-09 season ended with a run to the Atlantic 10 Championship title game where the Dukes, who were picked to finish 12th in a preseason poll of league coaches, dropped a 69-64 decision to Temple.
The finish was more surprising considering the Dukes began the season as one of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I with eight scholarship freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman on the opening day roster.
Along the way, the Dukes defeated four NCAA tournament teams and posted a winning record in Atlantic 10 play (9-7) for just the fourth time in 32 seasons as a conference member.
The `09 Dukes ended a 24-game losing streak against ranked teams with a 72-68 win over No. 9 (AP) Xavier during the regular season. It was DU's first win over a ranked team since 1997 and first over a top 10 team since 1992. The ninth-ranked Musketeers were also the highest ranked team to fall to Duquesne since 1974.
Last year, DU jumped into the upper echelon of the Atlantic 10 in earning one of four opening round byes at the A-10 Championship in Atlantic City. The '11 Dukes, who led the nation in assists (17.8), steals (9.9) and turnover margin (+6.7) went on to post the school's first post season win since the 1994 with a CBI first round win at Montana. Duquesne was the only team in the tournament to win a road game.
Four years ago Everhart led the Dukes to the school's first winning record in 14 seasons with a 17-13 mark.
The `08 Dukes ranked in the top 10 nationally in blocked shots (7.3, 3rd), assists (18.1, 3rd), scoring (82.3, 5th) and steals (9.4, 9th) in setting school single-season records for blocks (220), assists (539) and steals (283).
The `08 Dukes put together winning streaks of six and five games, marking the first time since 1961-62 that a Duquesne team had two streaks of five or more wins in the same year. DU, which opened the season with six-straight wins for the school's best start since 1979-80, went 11-4 at home. It was just the second time in the past 27 years that a Duquesne team won 11 or more at home.
Six players from that 2007-08 team played professionally overseas in 2010 (Kieron Achara - Italy, Aaron Jackson - Turkey, Reggie Jackson - Great Britain, Shawn James - Israel, Kojo Mensah - Uruguay and Gary Tucker - Germany).
Everhart was rewarded with a contract extension (through 2013-14) in the summer of 2008.
Everhart, who inherited a program coming off a school record-worst 3-24 season (308 RPI) in 2005-06, started from the ground up, totally retooling the roster in his first six weeks on the job. The nine first-year scholarship players Everhart brought to Pittsburgh were just getting acquainted when the program was dealt an unprecedented blow as five players were injured in a shooting less than a month before the opening of practice.
Under Everhart's leadership, the Dukes picked up the pieces and used some unconventional methods to post 10 wins, tie a 26-year-old school record for consecutive Atlantic 10 victories (five) and rank 21st nationally in scoring offense at 78.3 points per game.
Playing the majority of the season with just one player taller than 6-6, Everhart adopted a frenetic "10 men for 40 minutes" style of play in late January that saw all 10 players on the roster sub in-and-out of games in two- and three-minute intervals. The full court, chaotic style of play took hold as the Dukes reeled off consecutive conference wins over Dayton, Temple, Xavier, St. Bonaventure and La Salle and went on to play competitive basketball the remainder of the season.
The Duquesne story of perseverance was acknowledged by the United States Basketball Writers Association, which honored the 2006-07 Dukes with its Most Courageous Award presented annually to honor "a player, coach, official or administrator who has demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor on the sport of amateur basketball."
In five seasons under Everhart, the Dukes have led the Atlantic 10 in scoring three times. Only eight other NCAA Division I schools have averaged more than Duquesne's 77.5 points per game over that span.
Everhart's impact on the program can also be measured in the number of Atlantic 10 honorees he has produced. In five seasons under Everhart, DU has had 12 A-10 players of the week and 19 rookies of the week (31 total). In the 12 seasons prior to Everhart's arrival, Duquesne earned a total of 19 weekly honors.
Everhart, 49, has compiled a 238-233 (.505) record in 16 seasons as a head coach with two other dramatic turnarounds to his credit.
At Northeastern, he inherited a program that averaged fewer than nine wins in the six seasons prior to his arrival and produced 19, 21 and 19 victories in his final three years. In his five seasons at the Boston, Mass. school, the Huskies averaged 16.4 wins.
His 2004-05 team, which finished second in the America East Conference with a 15-3 record (21-10 overall), advanced to the postseason conference tournament championship game where it lost to NCAA Tournament Cinderella Vermont. The `05 Huskies went on to earn an NIT bid - marking Northeastern's first postseason appearance in 14 years.
In 2005-06, he led the Huskies to a 19-11 record and 12-6 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. His starting point guard, Jose Juan Barea, was named CAA Player of the Year and forward Shawn James earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.
At McNeese State, Everhart ended a streak of six consecutive sub-.500 seasons by leading the Cowboys to a 15-12 mark in 1995-96 - his second season at the Lake Charles, La. school. His seven-year stay culminated with a 22-9 record and Southland Conference regular-season title in 2000-01. The 2000-01 Cowboys, who won 19 of their last 20 games before losing the Southland Conference championship game by a point, earned the school's first postseason bid in 12 years when they accepted an invitation to the NIT.
A proponent of up-tempo basketball, Everhart saw his McNeese State teams lead the Southland Conference in scoring twice and field goal percentage three times. At Northeastern, his Huskies led the America East Conference in scoring for three consecutive seasons from 2002-03 through 2004-05. He continued that stretch as his 2005-06 Huskies led the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring with a 75.2 points per game average. Not to be outdone, Everhart's 2006-07 Duquesne Dukes averaged an Atlantic 10-best 78.3 points per game, including an 82.9 ppg. average in 16 conference games. In 2007-08, Duquesne finished the year ranked fifth nationally with an 82.3 ppg. scoring average. The 82.3 points per game were the most by a DU team since 1974-75.
Everhart, who was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2000-01 and America East Coach of the Year in 2004-05, has produced at least one first team all-conference player in 11 of his 17 seasons as a head coach.
Aaron Jackson, who flourished under Everhart, was the first Duquesne player in 11 years to earn first team All-Atlantic 10 honors when he was named in 2009. Damian Saunders earned first team honors in 2010 making it the first time since 1980 (B.B. Flenory) and 1981 (Bruce Atkins) that Duquesne has had first team All-A-10 players in back-to-back seasons.
Everhart, a top evaluator of talent, had at least one all-rookie team player in four of five seasons at Northeastern and has coached four in his five seasons at Duquesne (A-10 Rookie of the Year Robert Mitchell in 2007, Damian Saunders in 2008, Melquan Bolding in 2009 and A-10 Rookie of the Year T.J. McConnell in 2011). In addition, DU has had four A-10 all-defense team picks (Kieron Achara in 2007, Shawn James in 2008 and Damian Saunders Defensive Player of the Year in both 2010 & 2011) and had at least one all-academic team honoree (Kieron Achara in 2008 & 2008 and Jason Duty in 2009 & 2010) in four of the past five seasons.
Prior to accepting the head coaching job at McNeese State, Everhart spent six seasons as an assistant under Perry Clark at Tulane.
At Tulane, Everhart played a major role in resurrecting a Green Wave program that had disbanded from 1985-86 through 1988-89. He recruited three-straight Metro Conference Freshman of the Year award-winners and accompanied the Green Wave to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
A 1985 graduate of Virginia Tech, Everhart got his start as a college coach as a graduate assistant for Bobby Cremins' 1985-86 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Georgia Tech team. He then moved on to Virginia Military Institute for two seasons (1986-87 and 1987-88) before arriving at Tulane.
Everhart played his final season of high school basketball for the legendary Morgan Wootten at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. where he earned first team Catholic Prep All-America honors. Prior to attending DeMatha, Everhart was a basketball and baseball letterman at his hometown Fairmont West High.
Everhart was a four-year letterman at Virginia Tech and served as captain of the Hokies 1984-85 NCAA Tournament team.
Everhart and his wife, Mirchana, who was born and raised in Grafton, West Virginia, are the parents of twins Ronnie and Gianna.
THE RON EVERHART FILE
AS A HEAD COACH
COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
NABC DISTRICT COACH OF THE YEAR
COLLEGE COACHING EXPERIENCE
POSTSEASON APPEARANCES AS A HEAD COACH
2011 CBI at Duquesne
2010 CBI at Duquesne
2009 NIT at Duquesne
2001 NIT at McNeese State
2005 NIT at Northeastern