New coach Joyce, Duquesne ‘just beginning’

PITTSBURGH– Coaching is essentially baked into Dru Joyce III’s DNA. His father is a basketball coach. His sibling, too.When Duquesne

coach Keith Dambrot called Joyce in the spring of 2022 and asked his former point guard to assist him turn around a program more than 40 years removed from its last NCAA competition appearance, Joyce comprehended the project.

“I could have ranged from the situation,” Joyce stated. “He was coming off the worst year of his profession. I understood he just had a couple more years left … I knew it was a threat, however worth the threat.”

One that settled handsomely. For Duquesne. For Dambrot. And for the male now delegated to ensure the Dukes’ electrical run to an Atlantic 10 title and the second round of the NCAA tournament last month wasn’t a one-off.

Battling back tears Monday while speaking about the satisfaction of a long-lasting journey, Joyce– worked with last Thursday to replace the now-retired Dambrot– worried he is prepared to pick up where his longtime mentor and buddy ended.

“This is going to be difficult to repeat … [but] we’re going to raise the trophy again,” Joyce said. “We’re just starting.”

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Joyce, 39, invested the past two years as an associate head coach under Dambrot, who decided last summertime that the 2023-24 season would be his last. And while he didn’t have a main say in the decision, Dambrot made it really clear to athletic director Dave Harper and everyone else at Duquesne that Joyce was primed for the job.Even if Joyce wasn’t quite so sure.”You never actually understand if you

‘re all set,” Joyce said.Maybe, however Joyce thinks he prepared himself anyhow. Asked if he dealt with last season as an audition of sorts– it wasn’t uncommon for Joyce to run practices this year while Dambrot helped wife Donna in her fight versus breast cancer– and Joyce nodded.”You’re always in an interview-type process as an assistant coach … since

you want to put your best foot forward if you desire be a head coach,”Joyce said.”You don’t need to do that blatantly, you just do it naturally by being who you are. “What the Dukes, who ended up 25-12 and earned the program’s very first NCAA tournament victory considering that 1969, see in Joyce is a younger variation of the relentlessly energetic Dambrot.” They’re the very same,”sophomore guard Kareem Rozier said. “He’s still got that fire lit under him and we see it every day.

When Coach D wasn’t screaming or doing what he [does], [Joyce] made certain to take the torch and do it. “While Duquesne president Ken Gormley said the school did a”thorough nationwide search,”eventually the option wasn’t hard to make.”

There’s no concern in our mind that Dru was the very best individual, the best person to continue the upward trajectory,”Gormley said.Joyce’s individual trajectory has been pointing up for the better part of 30 years. He and long-lasting friend LeBron James ended up being close while in grade school, a bond they kept during their high school career betting Dambrot at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Akron, Ohio and have actually continued to preserve well into adulthood.It was James who formally broke the news of Joyce’s promo recently, though Joyce laughed when asked if there’s a chance James– who at 40 has made it clear he does not expect to play much longer

— will work as the program’s authorities” expert.””I think he’s got other things to do,”Joyce stated with a smile.So does Joyce, though it’s the something others informed him he can long back, maybe even before Joyce understood it himself.”I heard numerous people tell me from a young age,’You’re going to be a head coach one day

,'” Joyce said.”I’m here, and it feels as if I made them fortune tellers. I had a possibility to make them ideal and I take pride in that.”

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