PREVIEW: @DuqMBB at Dayton
Feb. 5, 2018
Duquesne (15-9, 6-5) heads to Ohio to face Dayton (10-12, 4-6) on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised locally by AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh. The Dukes head to UD Arena looking to post back-to-back wins over the Flyers for the first time since 2010 & 2011. DU defeated UD, 70-62, in the A-10 opener for both schools in Pittsburgh on Dec. 30. The Dukes, who are 2-3 on a road, have dropped their past four at Dayton (last win at UD was on Feb. 1, 2012 by a 83-73 score).
• Duquesne ranks 5th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.296). The .296 mark, which leads the A-10, is the best in school history. DU ranked 232nd in 3-point defense last season.
• DU has outrebounded 17 of 24 opponents (tied once). The Dukes were outboarded 19 times in 2017. DU leads the A-10 at 38.0 rpg.
• Duquesne is 11-2 when holding opponents under 70 points and 15-1 when leading with 5:00 left.
• Duquesne is coming off its two best shooting games of the season, .500 at George Washington and a season-high .556 vs. St. Bonaventure.
• Eric Williams Jr., a four-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, is averaging a team-high 15.5 ppg. in conference play. He has four double-doubles in 11 league games.
• Williams Jr.’s 11 double-digit rebound games are tied for most in the A-10. His nine double-doubles rank second in the conference and ninth nationally among Division I freshmen.
• Tydus Verhoeven, the A-10’s leading shot blocker (53, 2.21/g.), rejected a DU freshman record nine shots vs. George Mason on Jan. 20. He is one block shy of tying the DU freshman record of 54 set by Derrick Alston in 1991.
• Tarin Smith, who entered this season with 21 3-pointers in 63 career games, has 28 3-pointers in 24 games this year.
• Graduate student guard Rene Castro-Caneddy, who entered the season with a 5.0 ppg. scoring average, is scoring at a 13.3 ppg. clip. He has scored in double digits eight times, and toaled 20 or more four times in 11 A-10 games.
• DU’s three overtime games in 2017-18 are its most since a school record six in 2009-10.
• This is the 77th meeting in a series that dates to Jan. 5, 1953. Dayton leads the series 52-24, including a 30-10 lead in Atlantic 10 regular season games. In games at Dayton, UD leads 31-6. Dayton has won six of the past seven at UD Arena, including a 76-74 win in 2016, a 64-63 win in 2011 and a 78-72 overtime win in 2010. DU’s last win at Dayton came on Feb. 1, 2012 (83-73, a span of four games).
• Duquesne, which lost 16 in a row to Dayton from 1997 through 2004, is 9-14 against the Flyers in the past 23 games.
• Duquesne snapped a four-game series losing streak with a 70-62 win over the Flyers in Pittsburgh on Dec. 30.
• Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot is 1-4 vs. Dayton, with the four losses coming when the first-year DU coach was at Akron. Three of the four games were single-digit affairs including an 83-81 double overtime loss to the No. 20 (AP) Flyers at UD Arena on Jan. 2, 2008 and a 54-50 home loss on Dec. 6, 2008.
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 15-9 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.
TOP SINGLE-SEASON IMPROVEMENT
YEAR-TO-YEAR -- RECORDS (IMPROVEMENT)
• 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. (14.8, 9.2) is second in the A-10 with a 9.2 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 52 3-pointers and has thrown down a team-high 17 dunks. Williams Jr., who has set DU freshman records for points (34 vs. George Mason) and rebounds (16 vs. Stetson) ranks seventh among Division I freshmen in rebounds per game & ninth in double-doubles (through Feb. 4). 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 53 blocks in 19.1 minutes per game (2.21 bpg.).
• St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams hit a 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left to give the Bonnies the win. The 3-pointer was the eighth of the game for Adams, who set a Palumbo Center opponent record with 40 points.