BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It is one of the most recognizable names for fans of the Vermont men's basketball program...Duncan.
"Yeah I miss Ernie and Robin a lot," said UVM senior guard Everett Duncan. "I just miss being around those guys because I'm always with them."
The three brothers from Evansville, Indiana have been a staple in Burlington, with at least two Duncans on the roster each of the last five years.
They've shared countless memories together since Ernie first arrived on campus, including becoming the first trio of brothers to ever play for the same team in an NCAA Tournament game...but there's one memory that they'd probably rather forget.
"They were at my apartment the night the NBA got canceled," Ernie Duncan said. "So once the NBA got canceled, we were all looking at each other like, 'Oh no, what's next here.'"
Everett and Robin are just two on a long list of college basketball players who had their seasons cut short as a result of the coronavirus. It hit especially hard for Ev, who had his college career come to an end in a team meeting.
"When we got told it was just like a shocking, not sure what to expect moment," Ev said. "And we obviously just sat there and took it in."
"I got pretty emotional I think," added Robin Duncan, the youngest of the three and a sophomore guard at UVM. "You know and it sucks because Ev was kinda playing the best basketball of his career the last couple games and I definitely wanted to see what he could do in the championship game. He always usually rises to the occasion."
"Obviously I know he was hurt, and I can kind of feel for him," Ernie said. "So I just sent him a text telling him how proud I was of him and how you ended your career playing the best basketball of your life.
As everyone is staying in and hoping to ride out the storm, Robin is taking advantage of the fact that Ernie stuck around after graduating last year.
"Oh yeah, it's definitely nice having Ernie here and definitely nice for Ernie to have me here because he's at the apartment," Robin said. "He'd be pretty lonely without me here and just kind of talking to the wall."
"I really enjoy my time with Robin," Ernie said. "I get to see Everett more during the year, but now it's giving Robin and I a chance to do everything. We cook dinner together...I make him dinner every night. We're playing video games, hanging out, watching TV shows together. Doing a lot of things that I'm really enjoying."
Ev headed down to Rhode Island as soon as UVM went to online classes, thinking he'd stay with his girlfriend for a short time...but that stay was extended with travel restrictions coming into place.
"I came down here not knowing how this would escalate...and obviously it's escalated," Ev said. "So now I'm pretty much gonna hold out here until this thing gets under control."
As we turn the page and look ahead to next year's college basketball season, Robin is the last Duncan standing for the Hoopcats. And the way this season ended should serve as motivation to make up for the missed opportunity.
"The way this season ended, I feel like we're still hungry to finish what we started," Robin said. "You know we didn't really get to finish it. But I think it's definitely gonna be a big driving factor this year."
But though Robin is the only one who will suit up for Vermont again here at Patrick Gym, he's not the only Duncan itching to get back on the court as both Ev and Ernie will explore options to play pro-ball overseas.
"I think the season getting canceled gave me the urge just to stay involved in the game of basketball," Ev said. "Just want to go through the process and at the end decide if I want to play or not, but obviously right now I still want to play."
"I have a new agent so I'm planning to go in the fall," Ernie added. "I've talked to my agent about helping Everett. You know, I want to play basketball and I don't want to regret it when I'm older. But obviously our immediate future is kinda depending on this virus going away so kinda just waiting to see."
Three brothers raring to go...just as soon as they can.