Feb. 6, 2014
Game 22: GEORGE MASON (7-15, 0-8) at DUQUESNE (10-11, 2-6)
Wednesday, February 8, 2014 • 2:00 EST • Pittsburgh, Pa. • A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406)
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)
The Last Meeting
December 21, 2011
Atlantic 10 Digital Network
Duquesne, which fell at George Washington on Wednesday (71-57) in the third of three consecutive road games, returns home for the first time since Jan. 25 to take on first-year Atlantic 10 member George Mason at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 (WPGB-FM 104.7). The game will be Duquesne’s annual Chuck Cooper Classic. Cooper (1947-50), an all-time DU great, was the first African-American drafted by an NBA team.
HONORING CHUCK COOPER
“I don’t give a damn if he’s striped or plaid or polka-dot, Boston takes Charles Cooper of Duquesne!” were the history-making words of Boston Celtics owner Walter Brown when he made Duquesne’s Chuck Cooper the first African-American player drafted by a National Basketball Association team on April 25, 1950.
Cooper’s legacy is being honored this afternoon by the Athletic Department with the fifth Chuck Cooper Classic.
As a senior at Pittsburgh’s Westinghouse High School, Cooper averaged over 13 points per game and earned all-city honors in leading Westinghouse to a City League championship. Like many talented young African-American players, Cooper headed for historically black West Virginia State College, whose program also produced fellow NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd. Cooper played a promising semester there before leaving to enter the military in the winter of 1944-45. After a tour of duty on the West Coast, Cooper was drawn back home to Pittsburgh and enrolled at Duquesne University.
Cooper led the Dukes to a 78-19 record and two NIT appearances in his four-year career. He captained a 1949-50 squad - the first Duquesne team to be ranked for an entire season by the Associated Press - to a 23-6 record and No. 6 national ranking. He was a consensus second team All-American in 1950.
Cooper played in the NBA for six seasons.
Cooper’s life after basketball was notable for his commitment to social activism. He enrolled in social work classes at the University of Minnesota and earned a master’s degree in 1961.
He returned to Pittsburgh where he worked for and eventually rose to the position of director in several neighborhood anti-poverty organizations. He was named head of the city’s parks and recreation department in 1970, becoming Pittsburgh’s first black department director. Later he moved into an urban affairs post at Pittsburgh National Bank, where he spearheaded development and affirmative action programs. Pittsburgh residents of the 1970s and 1980s knew Chuck Cooper mostly as a member of numerous high-profile boards and civic organizations.
Cooper was inducted into the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame in 1969 and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1974.
He passed away from liver cancer on May 2, 1984, in Pittsburgh.
SERIES QUICK NOTES
• This is the 7th meeting in a relatively new series that dates to New Year’s Eve of 2001 ... Mason leads the series 4-2 ... this is the first meeting between the two as members of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
• George Mason has won two of three meetings in Pittsburgh, including an 85-79 double overtime win in the last Palumbo Center meeting on Dec. 22, 2010 ... Jerry Jones in the only current member of the DU roster who appeared in that game which featured 16 ties and 17 lead changes.
ON THE PATRIOTS
• George Mason, picked to finish 8th in the A-10 preseason poll, is 0-8 in conference play ... the Patriots are 1-7 on the road with the lone win coming in the road opener at Lamar on Nov. 12 ... Mason has knocked on the door on the road, losing three close ones in their last three road games: 71-69 in overtime at Rhode Island on Jan. 18, 76-70 at Fordham on Jan. 22 and 87-81 in overtime at nationally ranked Saint Louis on Feb. 1.
• The Patriots dropped their ninth in a row on Wednesday by an 84-67 score at home to Dayton ... Sherrod Wright led three Patriots in double figures with 18 points ... Bryon Allen had 16 and Corey Edwards added 10 off the bench ... GMU, which fell behind 40-25 at the half, was outscored 38-22 in the paint and 26-11 off turnovers ... Dayton, whose largest lead was 27, shot .549 ... Mason went 6-of-12 from the 3-point arc, but just .400 for the game.
• Six-seven, 238-pound freshman F Jalen Jenkins has been a bright spot for GMU. Jenkins, who earned A-10 Rookie of the Week honors in three consecutive weeks in January, is averaging 7.0 pts. and 6.3 rebs. per game. He is shooting .505 from the field. Allen (15.1 ppg.), a 6-3 senior guard, and Wright (13.9 pgg.), a 6-4 guard, are George Mason’s leading scorers.
Leftovers from DU’s 71-57 loss at George Washington on Wednesday: Duquesne fell behind by 19 (30-11) before closing the first half with a 19-6 run to cut the GW lead to 36-30 ... the Dukes pulled to within five with 13:27 left, but could get no closer as 0-of-13 second-half 3-point shooting took its toll ... Dominique McKoy led DU with 14 points ... Ovie Soko, who saw a streak of consecutive 20-point games snapped at three, posted a 13-11 double-double and Micah Mason added 11 for the Dukes ... Mason, who went 3-of-8 from 3-point, scored 11 in the final 6:07 of the first half to fuel the DU run ... Duquesne was outshot .464 to .339 in scoring its second-lowest point total of the season ... DU finished 4-of-23 from 3-point with Mason going 3-of-8 and the rest of the team 1-of-15 ... the Dukes finished with 12 assists and 15 turnovers ... it was just the fifth time in 21 games that the Dukes had more turnovers than assists ... it was just the third time Duquesne was held under 60 points this season.
• Micah Mason leads the nation in 3-point shooting pct. at .567 (42-72). In 46 career games he is shooting .543 (82-151).
• Ovie Soko is the only A-10 player ranked in the Top 10 in scoring (18.1) and rebounding (7.7). He is the only non-guard among the conference’s Top 11 scorers.
• Dominique McKoy’s 14 points at GW were two shy of his career high. McKoy has scored in double digits in seven of DU’s past 10 games.
• DU has held its past two opponents (La Salle & GW) to a combined .283 (13-46) from 3-point.
• Duquesne, which fell at George Washington on Wednesday (71-57) in the third of three consecutive road games, returns home for the first time since Jan. 25 to take on first-year Atlantic 10 member George Mason at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 (WPGB-FM 104.7). The game will be Duquesne’s annual Chuck Cooper Classic. Cooper (1947-50), an all-time DU great, was the first African-American drafted by an NBA team.
• Duquesne is 6-5 at home, while George Mason is looking to end both an eight-game losing streak and seven-game road losing skid. Mason is 0-8 in Atlantic 10 play with overtime road losses at Rhode Island and Saint Louis.
• Saturday’s men’s game will be part of a split doubleheader with the women’s team which hosts Dayton at 7:00 p.m.
• Senior forward Ovie Soko enters Saturday’s game with 945 career points (564 at UAB and 381 at Duquesne).
• Duquesne ranks second in the A-10 in assists/g (14.9 apg.) and third is scoring (75.2 ppg.). DU, which has had more assists than turnovers in 16 of 21 games, has posted 20 or more assists three times. DU leads the A-10 with a +1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Dukes have been in a bit of a scoring drought as of late with a total of 120 points in their past two games. The 120 points are DU’s lowest back-to-back game total of the season.
UP NEXT: Duquesne hosts Richmond on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m.