PREVIEW: @DuqMBB at George Washington
Jan. 29, 2018
Duquesne (14-8, 5-4), plays the second of back-to-back road games when it heads to Washington D.C. to face George Washington (9-12, 2-6) on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Digital Network). The Dukes, who are coming off a 61-58 defeat at Atlantic 10-leading Rhode Island, are 1-3 on the road. GW, which has dropped six of its last seven, is 8-3 at home with A-10 wins over Saint Joseph’s and George Mason. This is the second of two meetings between the two. DU defeated the Colonials, 69-52, in Pittsburgh on Jan. 3.
• DU has outrebounded 16 of 22 opponents (tied once). The Dukes were outboarded 19 times in 2017. Duquesne outrebounded Rhode Island by 12 on Saturday. DU leads the A-10 in rebounds per game (38.7), rebound margin (+3.4) and blocks/g. (5.0).
• Duquesne is 11-2 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, is averaging a team-high 16.6 ppg. in conference play. He has four double-doubles in nine league games and is shooting .482 from 3-point in A-10 play (27-56).
• The 6-5 Williams Jr., ranks fifth among D-I freshmen in rebounds/g. The four ahead of him, Deandre Ayton of Arizona, Marvin Bagley of Duke, Mo Bamba of Texas and Brandon McCoy of UNLV, were all ESPN.com 5-star recruits - and are all 6-11 or taller.
• Williams Jr.’s 11 double-digit rebound games are tied for most in the A-10 as is his 9.7 rpg. average. His nine double-doubles rank second in the conference and tied for seventh nationally among Division I freshmen.
• Tydus Verhoeven, the A-10’s leading shot blocker (51, 2.32/g.), rejected a DU freshman record nine shots vs. George Mason on Jan. 20. He is three blocks shy of tying the DU freshman record of 54 set by Derrick Alston in 1991.
• DU is 12-6 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 10-3 when Brown logs 15 or more minutes.
• Tarin Smith, who entered this season with 21 3-pointers (63 g.), has 25 3-pointers in 22 games this year.
• Graduate student guard Rene Castro-Caneddy, who entered this season with a 5.0 ppg. scoring average, is scoring at a 13.2 ppg. clip. He has scored in double digits in seven of nine A-10 games.
• Jordan Robinson is averaging 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds on .590 shooting (23-of-39) in 19.7 min/g. in conference play.
• The Dukeshave gone to triple overtime (W over La Salle), double overtime (W over George Mason) and single overtime (L to Richmond) in three of their past five games. Saturday’s loss at URI was decided on a Rams’ 3-pointer at the final horn.
• Duquesne’s three overtime games played in 2017-18 are the most since the Dukes played a school record six in 2009-10.
• This is the 81st meeting in a series that dates to Jan. 21, 1932 ... GW leads the series 51-29 (44-24 lead in Atlantic 10 regular season) ... in games played in Washington D.C., GW leads 28-7 ... GW has won the past four at Smith Center ... DU’s last D.C. win was on Feb. 6, 2010 (70-63).
• Duquesne snapped a five-game series losing streak with a 69-52 win in Pittsburgh on Jan. 3 ... Eric Williams Jr. paced the Dukes with 21 points and 12 rbounds ... GW’s 52 points were its fewest in the series since December of 1981.
• Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot is 1-1 all-time against George Washington, with the loss coming when he was head coach at Central Michigan (87-66 on Dec. 4, 1992 at the Hatter Classic in DeLand, Fla.).
• GW, in its second season under head coach Maurice Joseph, is coming off a 70-52 loss at St. Bonaventure on Sunday ... the Colonials are 8-3 at home with wins over Saint Joseph’s and George Mason ... GW is led by preseason Second Team All- A-10 pick, 6-8, guard Yuta Watanabe (14.6, 6.3) ... Watanabe had a team-high 13 points and six rebounds in the loss at SBU.
Defensive Category -- in 2017 (improvement)
• DU has three wins when shooting under 40%. To put that in perspective, Duquesne won just three times in the previous five seasons (45 games) when shooting under 40%.
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 14-8 start is the best by a DU first-year coach since Dudey Moore went 17-5 in 1948-49 (22-game season). 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.
NCAA FIRST-YEAR COACHES AT NEW SCHOOL
Coach -- W/L -- Last Year
• Duquesne eclipsed last year’s win total (10-22) in its 15th game - a 69-22 win over GW. The Dukes, who were 3-15 in conference play last year, opened A-10 play 4-1.
• 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 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. (15.1, 9.7) is tied for the A-10 lead with a 9.7 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 50 3-pointers and has thrown down a team-high 16 dunks. Williams Jr., who has set DU freshman records for points (34 vs. George Mason) and rebounds (16 vs. Stetson) ranks fifth among Division I freshmen in rebounds per game & tied for seventh in double-doubles (through Jan. 28). 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 51 blocks in 20 minutes per game (2.32 bpg.).
• URI’s Stanford Robinson hit 3-pointer from the corner at the final horn to give Rhody the win in front of a sellout crowd at Ryan Center.