Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mt. Lebanon's Bluemling Finds Way with Dukes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mt. Lebanon's Bluemling Finds Way with Dukes

Article excerpt

Who was the first local basketball player signed when coach Danny Nee arrived at Duquesne University four years ago?

This recruit's playing time was so limited during his first three seasons in a Dukes uniform, the answer might only be known by real trivia buffs.

Mt. Lebanon grad Tyler Bluemling, known for his accurate touch from 3-point range, was Nee's first recruit at Duquesne in 2001.

A four-year starter at Mt. Lebanon, this 6-foot-2 guard has only been a four-game starter for the Dukes. Each of those starts, however, has occurred during his senior year.

After a stellar career at Mt. Lebanon, where he scored a school- record 1,666 points, Bluemling turned down an opportunity to play at the Naval Academy to come to Duquesne, a once-proud program that has not had much success over the past 25 years.

After logging 356 minutes of action in 28 games as a freshman, Bluemling seldom played for the next two years. His appearances and minutes really dwindled in the second half of last season. At one point, he went nine consecutive games without setting foot on the court and appeared in just 17 games last winter, playing an average of six minutes in each appearance.

This season, Bluemling has seen more minutes (347) than his sophomore and junior years combined. This figure should go up substantially with 10 games left on the regular-season schedule. The Dukes beat St. Bonaventure, 83-70, last Sunday.

Despite languishing on the bench last season, Bluemling never lost hope in getting his opportunity to play.

"I just tried to stay patient and have as much fun as I could," said Bluemling, an elementary education major who expects to graduate next December. "I kept working hard. I put in a lot of time [in the offseason] going to other schools, seeing how they run their programs and I think I got a good understanding. …

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