Busting Brackets

Dru Joyce's Duquesne Dukes are among potential suitors for former five-star Bronny James

USC v Stanford
USC v Stanford / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

One of the most captivating developments of all the transfer portal havoc is surrounding the current state of the Duquesne Dukes and the possibility that new head coach Dru Joyce III and his program are among the potential suitors to land former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American, Bronny James. 

With that being said, there's more to this story that makes it so compelling. Duquesne is coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1977, and its first tournament win since 1969. The Dukes managed to knock off BYU in an impressive first-round upset. Although their run ended in the Round of 32 against Illinois. However, it was an astounding way for head coach Keith Dambrot to go out in his final season before retiring and handing the job to his former assistant, Dru Joyce III. 

Now, many may be asking why a former five-star like Bronny, who just played at USC, with his fame and status, would want to transfer to the Atlantic 10 and go to Duquesne. Well, here’s a little backstory if you aren't familiar with former head coach Dambrot and new head coach Joyce. 

Bronny James' dad, LeBron James, attended St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in the early 2000s, playing for one of the greatest high school teams we’ve ever seen. Now, James was the catalyst for that team, but who was the head coach? None other than Keith Dambrot. Also, the success James had at the school wasn't done alone. Who was a key contributor and the starting point guard for that team? Dru Joyce III was.

Joyce and James graduated together and won multiple state championships during their time at the school. Joyce went on to play college basketball at the University of Akron, while LeBron, as we all know, went straight to the NBA. Joyce had a 12-year playing career in Germany and went down as the all-time assists leader in Germany's Basketball Bundesliga (since eclipsed).

With Duquesne coming off recent success, Joyce taking the head coaching job with some ties to the James family, and knowing that Bronny, being the combo guard he is, could have full range to manage that unit and be “the guy,"  it starts to add up and make sense. 

James still put his name in the NBA Draft, so he will have to go through that process before deciding whether to return to college or not, but some executives believe he will return to the NCAA for another season. Although, James could also forgo the rest of his college eligibility and test the NBA waters.

Another team to keep an eye on that may draw Bronny James attention is Ohio State, where LeBron James has expressed his fandom for in the past being from the State of Ohio. The Buckeyes are expected to pursue James in the transfer portal if he returns to college. James reportedly seriously considered Ohio State before committing to the USC Trojans coming out of Sierra Canyon. 

Next. Top options to consider for USC transfer Bronny James. Top options to consider for USC transfer Bronny James. dark

Regardless of what James decides to do, he and his family will make the best decision possible for him to succeed wherever he decides to continue playing basketball. Whether that is the NBA, G-League, or the NCAA.