PREVIEW: Richmond at @DuqMBB
Jan. 22, 2018
Duquesne (14-6, 5-2), drops the curtain on a two-game homestand when it hosts red hot Richmond (6-13, 4-3) on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh with Dave Armstrong and Rich Zvosec on the call. The Dukes, who have already eclipsed last season’s win total (10-22) and conference victory mark (3-15) in their first-year under head coach Keith Dambrot, are off to their best start since the 2010-11 CBI team (19-13) opened 16-5. DU is looking to extend its 10-game home win streak, which is the second-longest in the 30-year history of Palumbo Center. Richmond, which opened the season 3-13, has rallied to win three in a row, including a road victory at city rival VCU. Duquesne, which has tied the Palumbo Center record for home wins (12-2 with five home games remaining), is looking to become the first DU team to win 13 at home since the 1980-81 NIT team went 14-2 at Pittsburgh Civic Arena.
• The Dukes, who are 12-2 at home, have tied the Palumbo Center record for wins (12-3 set in 1993-94). DU is looking to become the first Dukes team to post 13 home wins since 1981 (14-2).
• Duquesne ranks 3rd nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.282). The .282 mark is the best in school history. DU ranked 232nd in 3point defense last season.
• DU has outrebounded 14 of 20 opponents (tied once). The Dukes were outboarded 19 times in 2017.
• Duquesne is 11-1 when holding opponents under 70 points and 14-0 when leading with 5:00 left.
• Eric Williams Jr., a four-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, ranks fourth among D-I freshmen in rebounds/g (9.8). The three ahead of him, Deandre Ayton of Arizona, Marvin Bagley of Duke, Mo Bamba of Texas, were all ESPN.com 5-star recruits - and are all 6-11 or taller.
• Williams Jr. leads the A-10 lead in rebounding at 9.8 rpg. His nine double-doubles are tied for first in the conference and fifth nationally among Division I freshmen. He has posted double-doubles in DU’s past three games.
• Williams Jr. is coming off a DU freshman record 34-point outing vs. George Mason. Williams Jr. hit a school-record nine 3-pointers (9-15) against the Patriots.
• Tydus Verhoeven, the A-10’s leading shot blocker (49, 2.45/g.), rejected a DU freshman record nine shots vs. George Mason. He is five blocks shy of tying the DU freshman record of 54 set by Derrick Alston in 1991.
• DU is 12-4 since grad transfer Chas Brown made his debut on Dec. 1 with five minutes played vs. Pitt. Brown, Coppin State’s MVP last season, missed the first four games with a foot injury. DU is 10-1 when Brown logs 15 or more minutes.
• Tarin Smith, who entered this season with 21 3-pointers (63 g.), has 25 3-pointers in 20 games this year.
• Jordan Robinson is averaging 6.0 ppg. on .607 shooting (17-of-28) in conference play.
MOST FRESHMAN DOUBLE-DOUBLES
15 -- Marvin Bagley III, Duke (6-11, F)
NOTING THE DUKES
• DU is in its first season under head coach Keith Dambrot. Dambrot came to the Bluff after 13 highly-successful seasons at Akron, where he led the Zips to a 305-139 record (23.5 wins per season) including 10 postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 5 NIT, 1 CBI & 1 CIT). Dambrot’s 14-6 start is the best by a DU first-year coach since Dudey Moore went 16-4 in his first 20 games in 1948-49. Moore coached Keith’s father, Sid, from 1952-54 during his highly-successful 10 seasons on the Bluff. There were 10 coaches between Moore and Dambrot.
• Duquesne, which eclipsed last year’s win total (10-22) in its 15th game - a 69-22 win over GW, is off to its best start since the 2010-11 CBI team (19-13) opened 16-5. The 2011 team started A-10 play 8-0.
• This is the third time in 41 A-10 seasons that the Dukes opened conference play 3-0 or better. Duquesne finished no worse than tied for fifth on the other two occasions: a school-record 8-0 start resulted in a tie for 4th at 10-6 in 2011 and a 3-0 start in 2009 produced a t5th finish at 9-7. Duquesne’s 5-2 conference start is the best since the 2011 team opened with the eight consecutive wins.
• Duquesne had its full roster for the first time this season on Dec. 9 vs. Delaware State (DU was 4-3 at the time). JC transfer Marko Krivacevic missed seven games with a broken bone in his wrist. Grad transfer Chas Brown missed the first four games with a foot injury and senior forward Eric James (knee) missed the Cornell game. Sophomore forward Kellon Taylor, who spent the fall as a receiver for DU’s FCS football team, joined the team just prior to Thanksgiving (he was not in uniform for the first two games).
• Duquesne has received significant contributions from a pair of freshmen. Six-five swingman Eric Williams Jr. (15.0, 9.8) leads the A-10 with a 9.8 rpg. average - the highest by a Duke since Damian Saunders averaged 11.3 rpg. in 2010. The versatile G/F, who has nine double-doubles, is second on the team with 44 3-pointers and has thrown down a team-high 15 dunks. Williams Jr., who has set DU freshman records for points (34 vs. George Mason) and rebounds (16 vs. Stetson) ranks fourth among Division I freshmen in rebounds per game & fifth in double-doubles (through Jan. 21). Six-nine forward Tydus Verhoeven set a DU freshman record with nine blocks vs. George Mason on Jan. 20. The 6-8 Verhoeven, who has blocked five or more in a game three times, leads the A-10 with 49 blocks in 20.7 minutes per game (2.45 bpg.).
• DU’s 16 3-pointers (16-37) were its second-most in a game this season.