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Barnes Arico and Ferry make strides at new programs

St. John's head coach Kim Barnes Arico shouts

St. John's head coach Kim Barnes Arico shouts out instructions to her team during the first half. (March 24, 2012) (Credit: AP)

In the latest “Where Are They Now” segment we’ll focus on a couple of former local area coaches who moved on after last season. Jim Ferry, who led LIU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, is coaching at Duquesne, while Kim Barnes Arico, who built St. John’s into a perennial tournament team, is currently running the show at Michigan.

On Jim Ferry: Off the court, Jim Ferry loved what he saw of Duquesne and its facilities. He knew he could build something at the Pittsburgh school. On the court was a different story. Player defections and graduation took its toll. With few experienced players, Ferry figured it would be a tough season. But the Dukes (3-3) have been a highly competitive bunch so far.

Duquesne has won two straight and three of its last four. The Duke’s three losses have been by a total of 23 points. That includes a 61-55 loss at Georgetown and a 69-66 loss at Albany. This isn’t to say the Dukes will win the Atlantic 10 championship, but they may not be as bad as some people think.

On Kim Barnes Arico: Barnes Arico’s Lady Wolverines (5-2) are off to a strong start. Barnes Arico took over a Michigan program which had made one NCAA Tournament appearance in the previous 11 years. Michigan fell to No. 4 Duke, 71-54, on Wednesday night. But Barnes Arico, who has experience building programs, saw the positives in the loss.

Said Barnes Arico: "I think we showed signs of being a really good team. We just have to get that consistency. We did a bunch of great things. Their pressure really affected us. They are the No. 4 team in the country filled with a team of All-Americans. It was nice to see in the first half, when we did get down, we stayed together and rallied and fought back.”