PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – After his team's 30-plus hour ordeal stuck in the snow on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Duquesne men's basketball head coach Jim Ferry joined "The Fan Morning Show" to field questions from a very-curious Colin Dunlap, Josh Miller, and Jim Colony about the experience.
Ferry said it was nice to have the bonding experience, but he could think of some better ones.
"I enjoyed our trip better in August when we went to Ireland for ten days," Ferry said with a laugh. "I'd prefer to do that."
He said the whole thing was a lot easier coming off a win against George Mason than it would have been coming off a loss.
"Hey, it was certainly better that we won, to get a little bit more relaxed," Ferry said. "My little son, Leo, who's 9 years old, said, 'You know dad, when you guys lose, you don't let the guys talk on the way back. Would you not have let them talk the whole time?' And I said, 'Nah, I think we would have made an exception for that one.'"
Jim Colony asked Ferry if he saw the tweets from the Temple women's gymnastics team indicating that they too were stuck on the Turnpike. Ferry didn't, and he thinks that may have been for the best.
"Hey, thank God I didn't see that," Ferry said. "I would have locked the bus."
Ferry also discussed when he and his staff realized it was time to look for help getting food and water.
"We were down to about four Gatorades and no food," Ferry said. "So, now we're starting to think this could get serious, because God knows how long we're going to be here. We started talking about, okay, save the water bottles, and start filling them up with snow, and we'll put them on the defroster of the bus, so hopefully they'll defrost, and we can have some water. And then one of my assistants was like, you know what coach, screw this, I'm going."
This is obviously some good off-the-court publicity for Ferry's team, but he feels that there are already plenty of reasons to feel good about the guys on his squad.
"We see the good stuff they do all the time," Ferry said. "This just obviously got nationally recognized because of the tough situation…sometimes I think these athletes get these bad labels because they will make a mistake, and that stuff will get highlighted, compared to all the other stuff that they do that doesn't get documented. Like, we had a great win against Penn State a couple months ago. Well, the next day, I got the whole team up early in the morning to do a turkey drive. We were helping out people in the Hill District, making sure they had turkeys. That stuff doesn't get documented."
Ferry was already proud of his team's resiliency before this weekend.
"These guys truly understand," Ferry said. "It's been well-documented, about what we've been through as a team, as a program, as a family, with [assistant coach] John Rhodes battling cancer and surviving, and our point guard Derrick Colter having cancer and surviving. So, with this group, we've had our fair share of adversity. Sitting on a bus for 30 hours wasn't as bad as what these guys have experienced over the past two years."
"To see these guys handle themselves and act the way they did, it makes you proud," Ferry said. "It makes you see that they really do get the message."
But, what Colin Dunlap really wanted to know was this - did Ferry dare venture into the bathroom at the back of the bus?
"I tried not to go back there for as long as I could, Ferry said. "Let's just say it was what it was."
The interview can be heard here:
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