Bryant University announced three additions to its men’s basketball staff this week, and one of them certainly grabbed attention.
Former Duke guard and nine-year NBA veteran Chris Duhon will join the Bulldogs for the coming season as the program’s director of scouting and video analysis. Duhon has already moved to Smithfield and participated in some preseason training with Bryant, who opens his 2021-22 campaign in a shadow in less than two months.
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“He’s done and seen things that none of us have in our staff,” Bryant coach Jared Grasso said on Tuesday. “It’s unique. I think it’s something special.
Duhon’s role will be to break down the practice and video gameplay from the Bulldogs’ point of view. His self-scouting will ideally help Bryant’s players to improve their own individual skills and the way they are used in certain games. Grasso said his returning assistant coaches – Phil Martelli Jr., Chris Cole and Eamonn Mahar – would largely be assigned to opposition preparation.
“Our training failures, post-game failures – a lot of things for us,” said Grasso. “I will have other guys in the staff to do scouting. Chris will try to improve us.
Grasso’s connection with Duhon comes from his extended time recruiting the New York Base Tour. Duhon’s roommate while playing with the Blue Devils was walk-in guard Andy Borman, who also happens to be the nephew of Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski. Borman is currently executive director of New York Renaissance, an entry into the ranks of the elite Nike EYBL.
“It turned out that we were both looking for the same thing,” Grasso said. “He’s looking to improve and prepare for the next step in his career. I wanted to bring in someone who could help improve our program.
Duhon was a McDonald’s All-American from Louisiana who helped Duke win a national title in 2001 and reach another Final Four in 2004. The 6-foot-1 man was the 38th overall pick in the NBA Draft this spring and played for the Bulls, Knicks, Magic and Lakers from 2004 to 2013. Duhon joined the college coaching ranks after his retirement, working as an assistant at Marshall from 2014 to 2017 and at Illinois State from 2018 to 2019.
“It got to where I wanted to go and where all of these guys want to go,” Grasso said. “It’s not like he’s seven feet tall. When you look at him, he looks like all of our guys.
Duhon participated in the NBA Assistant Coaching Program starting in December. Other alumni include current Suns head coach Monty Williams and current Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse. Grasso said Duhon hopes to land a job on an NBA or college bench for the upcoming 2021-22 season and has found a fit with the Bulldogs.
Duhon has been arrested twice in his three years with the Thundering Herd – once in November 2015 and a second time in January 2017. His first encounter with law enforcement resulted in a guilty plea to a charge reduced from impaired driving, and Duhon received a two-month suspension from college. Duhon resigned following a subsequent arrest for driving with a revoked license.
Bryant also announced the additions of Doug Niblock and Justin Kennedy to his staff. Niblock is a former Division III St. Joseph’s College (NY) goaltender who will serve as the Director of Basketball Innovation Analysis. Kennedy is a former Bulldogs team manager who will report directly to Grasso as a special assistant to the head coach.
On Twitter: @ BillKoch25