Dukes Sign Pair of Guards

PITTSBURGH - Duquesne University head men's basketball coach Ron Everhart has announced the signing of a pair of guards - both of whom are coaches sons - to National Letters of Intent.

Guard T.J. McConnell (Oakdale, Pa./Chartiers Valley), who verbally committed to Duquesne prior to his sophomore season, and Detroit area native guard Michael Talley (Melvindale, Mich./Academy for Business and Technology) both signed on Wednesday, the first day of the fall early-signing period.

"T.J. and Mike have a great future with the Duquesne basketball program," said Everhart, who is entering his fourth season. "They are both high-character guys, with a great work ethic. They have that rare ability to make the players around them better. They were both coached by their fathers, which tells me they really know how to play the game."

The 6-0, 165-pound McConnell averaged 22.1 points, 5.7 assists, 5.9 steals and 3.6 rebounds for Class AAA Chartiers Valley as a junior. One of the most prolific 3-point shooters in Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League history, McConnell enters his senior season needing 64 3-pointers to break the WPIAL career record. McConnell went 93-of-173 (.538) from the 3-point arc as a junior. His 2,022 career points are 678 shy of the CV school record.

"In my 16 years as a head coach, I don't know if I've ever seen a young player with a better understanding of the game," said Everhart of McConnell. "That is a credit to his father, Tim, who has taught T.J. to play the game at a very high level. I've followed T.J. since his freshman year and I think he'll be able to make a real impact. He does everthing well. He's a tremendous passer with excellent hands and his shooting ability speaks for itself."

Talley, the son of former Michigan guard Mike Talley Jr. (Michigan Mr. Basketball in 1989-90, letterman at Michigan from 1990-93), is a two-time Associated Press Class C Player of the Year. The 5-11 guard averaged 25.0 points, 9.0 assists and 6.0 steals per game as a junior in leading his father's Melvindale ABT team to a state title. A three-year starter, Talley averaged 24.5 ppg. as a freshman and 24.0 ppg. as a sophomore.

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