Duquesne Men Return to Action Sunday at La Salle
Feb. 19, 2009
DUQUESNE (15-9, 6-5) at LA SALLE (14-11, 5-6)
DUQUESNE RADIO: KQV-AM (1410) with Ray Goss & George Von Benko
DUKES BACK IN ACTION AT LA SALLE: Duquesne (15-9, 6-5), which has been idle since last Sunday's 78-73 home loss to Temple, hits the road to face La Salle (14-11, 5-6) on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2:00 p.m. La Salle, which will be playing its third consecutive game in Philadelphia, saw a two-game win streak snapped in a 62-53 loss to Richmond on Wednesday. The Explorers are 8-5 at Tom Gola Arena with losses to Villanova (by 11), Florida State (by four), Temple (by seven) Dayton (by two) & Richmond. The balanced Explorers have seven players averaging over 20 minutes and four players averaging over 10 points per game led by 6-5 junior guard Rodney Green (16.8 ppg.). Duquesne enters the La Salle game needing one victory to clinch its second consecutive winning season - a feat that hasn't occurred on the Bluff since 1979-80 & 1980-81. The Dukes, who are 6-5 on the road with two OT losses, are also looking for their seventh road win which would be the most by a DU team since 1970-71. DU senior guard Aaron Jackson, who leads the Dukes in scoring at 17.8 ppg., has a 18.7. point, 6.3 rebound 3.7 assist average in three career games at Tom Gola Arena where he has shot .552 from the field (16-of-29), .571 from the 3-point arc (4-of-7) and .909 from the foul line (20-of-22). DU is 2-0 with a 106.0 ppg. scoring average in two games at Tom Gola Arena under Ron Everhart.
DUQUESNE LATELY: Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with seven scholarship freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman on the current 12-man roster, is one win shy of clinching its second consecutive winning season ... the last time that happened was in 1979-80 & 1980-81 ... senior PG Aaron Jackson (17.8 ppg.) has been named A-10 Player of the Week three times (Dec. 14, Jan. 4 & Feb. 8) ... Jackson joins Mark Stevenson (1990) as the only other player in DU history to win POW honors three times in a season ... Jackson ranks in the Top 5 in seven different A-10 categories (through Wed.): ast/TO ratio (t2nd), FT% (3rd), assists (3rd), scoring (4th), FG% (4th), minutes (4th) & steals (t5th) ... 6-7 soph. F Damian Saunders, leads the A-10 in steals per game (2.17) ... junior Jason Duty (.414) and soph. Bill Clark (.412) are ranked fourth and fifth in the conference in 3-point pct. ... Clark is averaging 15.8 ppg. and shooting .538 in A-10 play ...Duquesne's five conference losses have all been by single digits ... the three road A-10 losses have come by a total of nine points, with two in overtime ... only two other A-10 schools - Rhode Island and Temple - have yet to be beaten by 10 or more in conference play.
THE SERIES: La Salle leads the overall series 36-27, including a 22-8 advantage in games played at Philadelphia ... in Atlantic 10 regular-season play, the Explorers lead 16-10 ... the two teams met three times last year with Duquesne winning 101-84 at Tom Gola Arena, La Salle winning 75-72 at Palumbo Center and the Explorers taking the rubber match, 82-79, in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at Atlantic City, N.J. ... La Salle holds a 6-4 advantage in the past 10 meetings, but the Dukes have won three of the past four at Tom Gola Arena - including the last two in a row ... four years ago, Danny Nee's Dukes snapped a six-game La Salle series win streak and 12-game losing streak at La Salle with a 72-67 victory ... the win was DU's first at La Salle since Jan. 20, 1979 ... the victory also ended a streak of 26 consecutive losses for Duquesne in the City of Brotherly Love dating back to 1995 (included games at La Salle, Temple, Saint Joseph's and the Atlantic 10 Tournament) ... three years ago, La Salle won at home 84-61 ...two years ago, Duquesne scored a series-high 111 points in a 111-105 win at Philadelphia and last year DU topped 100 again in the 101-84 victory ... prior to the 2007 game, neither team had ever topped 100 points in the series ... Ron Everhart's Duquesne teams have topped the 100-point mark five times, with two coming at La Salle.
A victory at La Salle would:
MOVIN' ON UP: Aaron Jackson (1,198 points, 443 assists and 153 steals in 110 games) enters the La Salle game needing 16 points to pass Tony Petrarca (1,213 from 1987-91) and become Duquesne's 20th all-time leading scorer. Jackson ranks third on DU's all-time assist list. He is seven steals shy of passing Bryant McAllister (159 from 2003-06) and taking over the 6th spot on that list.
TEMPLE LEFTOVERS: Notes from the Feb. 15 78-73 loss to Temple ... Duquesne's largest lead was nine with 6:31 to go in the first half ... Temple took the lead for good with 7:24 left ... the Dukes, who led 40-39 at the half, have led at the half in each of their past four games ... DU is 11-4 when leading at the half and 12-1 when leading with 5:00 left this season ... Aaron Jackson finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes ... Jackson has averaged 39.0 minutes in DU's past five games ... he has scored in double digits Duquesne's past 15 games ... the Dukes went 5-of-26 from the 3-point arc ... they are 11-of-48 (.229) from 3-point in their past two games ... DU has not forced more than 14 turnovers in a game (13.0/g. over the past four) since forcing 31 in the Jan. 31 win over St. Bonaventure.
WISE GUY: Junior guard Jason Duty was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 2 Basketball Team released on Feb. 5. Duty, who has a 3.75 GPA as an accounting major, will have his name placed on the national ballotwith 39 other Division I players. The 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Basketball Team will be released on Wednesday, Feb. 25.
KING OF THE "AND ONE": Senior guard Aaron Jackson has made the most of his "hoop and the harm" opportunities in his Duquesne career. A 77.4% career free throw shooter, Jackson has converted all 15 of his conventional three-point play opportunities this season. To take it further, he was 5-of-5 on three-point plays last year. You have to go all the way back to the second game of his sophomore year (Nov. 18, 2006) to find the last time he failed to convert a three-point play (the 11:16 mark of the first half vs. UNC-Asheville to be exact). Jackson went on to convert 3-of-3 over the rest of the season. That's 23 of his past 23 if you're counting.
LIFE WITH FRESHMEN: Duquesne, which began the season as one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen, has seen the ups-and-downs that come with a young roster. On Jan. 14, freshmen Melquan Bolding (26 points), Eric Evans (13 points) and B.J. Monteiro (7 points) combined for 46 points in an 88-83 win over George Washington. Three days later, the same threesome went 3-of-20 from the field in combining for nine in a 78-69 loss to Dayton. Said head coach Ron Everhart earlier this season when asked if he knows what to expect from his freshmen for each game: "Each game, I don't know what I'm going to get for each practice." DU is 7-0 when the freshman class combines for 30 or more points and 1-3 when they produce fewer than 10 points in a game.