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#DUQMBB Heads to Brooklyn for Atlantic 10 Championship

 

 

March 10, 2014


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2014 ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP
#10 DUQUESNE (13-16) vs. #7 RICHMOND (18-13)

Thursday, March 13, 2014 • 6:30 EST • Brooklyn, N.Y. • Barclays Center (17,732)

Television: NBCSN with Mike Carey, Stan Van Gundy & David Kaplan
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)

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Duquesne (13-16, 5-11) is making its first appearance at the Atlantic 10 Championship under second-year head coach Jim Ferry. The No. 10 seed Dukes face No. 7 Richmond (18-13, 8-8) in a first round game on Thursday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. (nationally televised by NBCSN with Mike Carey, Stan Van Gundy & sideline reporter David Kaplan). The winner moves on to face No. 2 seed VCU (24-7, 12-4) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN).

• This is the first A-10 Championship meeting between Duquesne and Richmond.

• This is the first trip to Barclays Center for the Dukes who failed to qualify for the A-10 Championship last season. Of the 14 players on the DU roster, only senior Jerry Jones has participated in an A-10 Championship game and that was at UMass' Mullins center in 2012. No current Duke has ever played in an Atlantic 10 Championship game on a neutral floor.

• DU head coach Jim Ferry, who coached for 10 seasons at LIU Brooklyn, won Northeast Conference championships in his last two post-season appearances with the Blackbirds in 2011 & 2012. The team he left went on to win a third title under former Ferry assistant Jack Perri. It was the first time in NEC history that the same school won three consecutive tournament titles.

• DU associate head coach Brian Nash also has Brooklyn ties. Nash, the son of legendary Brooklyn Bishop Ford head coach Ray Nash, was the head coach at St. Francis, N.Y. for five years from 2005-2010. He was an all-city and all-Brookyn player for his father.

LEAGUE FINISH
Duquesne finished the regular season tied with Rhode Island for 10th in the Atlantic 10 with a 5-11 record. The Dukes secured the No. 10 seed by virtue of their 83-71 regular season win at URI on Feb. 15. DU went 2-6 at home and 3-5 on the road in conference games. Duquesne was one of three schools to have a better winning percentage on the road in A-10 play (Saint Louis and George Mason are the others).



THE SEED
This is the fourth time Duquesne has entered the Championship as a No. 10 seed. In 2001, the No. 10 Dukes lost to No. 7 George Washington, 88-65 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Duquesne was also a 10 seed in 2007 and 2008 in Atlantic City. In 2007, DU went 11-of-23 from the foul line in a 78-77 loss to No. 7 Saint Louis in a game that had nine ties and 10 lead changes and in 2008, No. 7 La Salle rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final six minutes to defeat the Dukes 82-79. There were 11 ties and 12 lead changes in that game.



FIRST ROUND STRUGGLES
Duquesne has won just two first round A-10 Championship games since 1995 (DU did not qualify in 2006 & 2013). The wins came in 2004 (as the W5 seed over E4 seed UMass, 79-76, in Dayton) and 2009 when No. 7 seed DU defeated No. 10 UMass, No. 2 Rhode Island and No. 3 Dayton before falling to No. 4 Temple in the championship game in Atlantic City.

SERIES QUICK NOTES
• This is the 26th meeting in a series that dates to Jan. 12, 1937 ... DU led the series 8-0 when Richmond joined the Atlantic 10 in 2001-02 ... the Spiders promptly reeled off 14 wins in a row before DU ended the streak with an 81-72 win at Palumbo Center in 2012 ... UR defeated the Dukes, 75-58 on Feb. 12 in Pittsburgh to give the Spiders a 16-1 record against Duquesne in A-10 games ... this is the first meeting between the two in Atlantic 10 Championship play.

• Duquesne has topped the 70-point mark once in nine meetings (1-8) against Chris Mooney-coached Richmond teams ... that was in DU's lone win - an 81-72 decision at the Palumbo Center on Feb. 4, 2012 ... in fact, DU has scored 70 or more just two times against Richmond since the Spiders joined the A-10 in 2001-02, the other was in a 72-71 loss at Richmond on Feb. 1, 2005 ... that game was decided when Richmond's Daon Merritt answered a Martin Osimani 3-pointer by racing the length of the court in the final six seconds to hit an acrobatic layup with eight-tenths of a second remaining.

ON THE SPIDERS
• Richmond has gone 2-5 since defeating the Dukes, 75-58 on Feb. 12 ... the Spiders enter post-season play on a four-game losing streak during which they have averaged 50.3 ppg ... UR is 6-9 in games away from Robins Center (1-1 neutral) ... guard Kendall Anthony, who scored 20 in the first game vs. Duquesne leads UR with a 16.0 ppg. scoring average.

GEORGE MASON LEFTOVERS
Leftovers from DU's 81-69 win at George Mason on Saturday: Duquesne took the lead for good on the first of three consecutive 3-pointers by freshman forward L.G. Gill with 4:04 left in the first half ... Duquesne's largest lead was 18 (54-36) with 14:08 remaining ... George Mason's largest lead was four (29-25) with 4:34 left in the first half ... there were 5 ties and 8 lead changes before Gill's 3-pointer ... Derrick Colter hit a career-high five 3-pointers in leading the Dukes with 21 points ... the 21 points were his most since he had 23 in the opener vs. Abilene Christian ... Gill went 4-of-6 from the arc in adding 16 off the bench ... Gill missed his first two shots, before drilling his last five ... Ovie Soko had 18 points and Micah Mason and Dominique McKoy scored 11 and 10 respectively to give the Dukes five double-digit scorers for the third time this season and first since Dec. 21 at UMass Lowell ... DU outrebounded GMU 42-27 ... Duquesne assisted on 21 of 29 field goals ... the Dukes went 11-of-21 from the 3-point arc in shooting .527 for the game ... George Mason shot .397.

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
Based on the 2013-14 Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll, George Washington, Duquesne and St. Bonaventure rank first and tied for second in exceeded expectations. GW, picked to finish 10th in the preseason, finished third for an improvement of seven spots. Duquesne, picked to finish 13th, ended up 10th and the Bonnies, picked 12th finished 9th. DU and SBU showed three spot increases.

TRENDING
Micah Mason averaged 2.75 3-pointers per game in conference play. Mason has scored in double figures in his last three games including a career high 22 at Saint Louis followed by 20 vs. UMass (he had 11 on Saturday at George Mason).

• Duquesne is 36-81 (.444) from 3-point in its past four games. DU has assisted on 73 of its 97 field goals (75.3%) over that span.

• DU's last three conference losses were all decided in the final minute (at St. Bonaventure, vs. Dayton and vs. UMass). DU also led Saint Louis in a final minute defeat on Jan. 22.

• DU has won three of its past four road games.

QUICK NOTES
• Duquesne, in its second season under head coach Jim Ferry, is making its first A-10 Championship appearance under the New York native. Ferry, who came to DU after leading LIU Brooklyn to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (2011 & 2012), is the 16th coach in school history. This is the 98th season for Duquesne basketball.

• The 2013-14 Dukes matched last season's win total (8-22) with their 87-81 Atlantic 10-opening win over Fordham on Jan. 8 and eclipsed the eight-win mark with an 83-81 victory over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 25.

• Four of Duquesne's conference losses came by four or fewer points, including the last three. DU led Saint Louis by two with 51 seconds left on Jan. 22, trailed by two with a chance to tie it at the line with :17 left on Feb. 19 at St. Bonaventure, missed a free throw with a chance to tie it with :18 left vs. Dayton three days later. The Dukes also had three possessions down two in the final 1:43 vs. UMass.

• Through Friday's games, Duquesne was one of only 14 Division I schools with a better winning percentage on the road (.538) than at home (.400).

• Duquesne, Saint Louis and George Mason were the only three Atlantic 10 schools to have a better winning percentage on the road in league play: Duquesne (H: 2-6, R: 3-5), Saint Louis (H: 6-2, R: 7-1) and Mason (H: 1-7, R: 3-5).

• Only three scholarship players are back from last year's 8-22 team: returning starters Derrick Colter and Jeremiah Jones along with senior Jerry Jones. DU also has three first-year players with Division I experience in senior Ovie Soko (88 games for UAB from 2010-12), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (30 games at Rhode Island in 2012) and sophomore Micah Mason (30 games at Drake last year). The 11 active scholarship players on the 2013-14 roster brought a combined total of 10 seasons of Division I experience into the season.

• Four of the Dukes' top five scorers are first year players: UAB transfer Ovie Soko (18.2 ppg.), first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason (11.0), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (9.7) and JC transfer Tra'Vaughn White (7.5).

• Nine players have scored 10 or more and six are averaging at least 6.6 points per game for the Dukes who are averaging 73.7 ppg.

• The Dukes fielded their entire roster for the first time on Dec. 21 at UMass Lowell (the team was 4-5 at the time). Freshman forward Isaiah Watkins, who underwent leg surgery on Jan. 31 in his hometown of Toronto, had additional arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 3 keeping him out of DU's first six games. He returned to action vs. Penn State on Dec. 11. Sophomore guard Micah Mason missed five games with a broken hand suffered Nov. 20 vs. Albany. He made his return with 14 points (4-of-6 from 3-point) at UMass Lowell. Jerry Jones also missed the opener vs. Abilene Christian.

• DU is averaging 24.4 free throw attempts and 16.4 points per game (+3.7 ppg. more than opponents) from the charity stripe. Senior forward Ovie Soko, who is challenging the school record for free throw attempts per game (he is currently at 9.86), has had two games with 20 attempts this year (vs. Pitt & St. Bonaventure).

• Duquesne began the week tied for 30th in NCAA Division I for fewest total turnovers (322, 11.1/g.). The Dukes also ranked 30th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at the start of the week (1.37-to-1).

• Four players posted 40-plus inch running vertical jumps in July testing. The four highest-hopping Dukes are: Jeremiah Jones (42.5"), Derrick Colter (42.5"), Ovie Soko (40.5") and Desmond Ridenour (40.5").

• DU won three in a row on the road for the first time since 2010-11 (five straight) in late December (at Saint Francis, at UMass Lowell and at Texas-Pan American). Duquesne's four non-conference road wins tied the school record set in 2009 and matched in 2011. The 2014 Dukes' .800 winning pct. in road non-conference games (4-1) is the best in school history.

• This is just the fifth time in the past 59 seasons (since 1955) that Duquesne won seven or more road games (1980, 1986, 2009 & 2011 are the others). DU's seven road wins more than tripled last year's total (2-12).

• DU played George Mason (2013 CBI finalist), La Salle (2013 NCAA Sweet 16), Saint Louis (2013 NCAA Third Round) and St. Bonaventure twice in Atlantic 10 play. Mason, La Salle and SLU all won at least 22 games last season. Duquesne and George Washington were the only schools who faced two of the Atlantic 10's three returning 2013 NCAA tournament participants home-and-home. DU, GW and St. Bonaventure were the only schools with three 2013 post-season participants in their four-team pod.

PLAYER QUICK NOTES

0 • Ovie Soko
• Leads Duquesne and (18.2) the A-10 in scoring (0.2 ppg. ahead of Fordham's Branden Frazier) in his bid to become DU's seventh all-time A-10 scoring leader
• Scored 564 points in three seasons (88 g.) at UAB. Has 528 points in one season (29 g.) at Duquesne
• Is the only Atlantic 10 player ranked in the Top 10 in scoring and rebounding
• Ranks second nationally in total free throw attempts with 286 in 29 g.
• His 9.86 FTAs/g. are on school record pace
• Has had two games with 20 attempts this year (11-20 vs. Pitt & 13-20 vs. St. Bonaventure). The 20 FTAs are the most by a Duke in 20 years
• Is the only forward ranked among the league's top 12 scorers
• Has topped the 20-point mark a team-high 12 times
• Has led the team in scoring 18 times (team high) and in rebounding on 13 occasions (tied for team high)
• Also leads the Dukes in rebounding (7.8)
• Is the fifth Duke in the past 20 years to top the 500-point mark in a season (528). The other most recent 500-point scorers are Bill Clark (520 in 2011), Aaron Jackson (657 in 2009), Bryant McAllister (513 in 2006) and Mike James (526 in 1998
• Saw a streak of five consecutive 20-point games - including a career-high 29 in the A-10 opener vs. Fordham - snapped on Jan. 12 vs. La Salle (12 points). He was the first Duke to string together five consecutive 20-point games since Bryant McAllister did it in his final five games as a Duke in 2006. McAllister, who topped the 20-point mark 13 times in 26 games in 2005-06, led the A-10 in scoring in all games (19.7 ppg.) and conference-only games (20.7 ppg.) on his way to earning second team All-Atlantic 10 honors that season. McAllister is the last Duke to lead the A-10 in scoring
• Has posted seven double-doubles: 17-13 vs. Abilene Christian, 19-12 at WVU, 23-13 vs. Albany, 23-12 at Saint Francis, 13-11 at George Washington, 19-12 at Rhode Island and 18-13 vs. UMass
• 36 percent of his points have come from the foul line where he is 193-of-286 (.675)
• Has set new school records for single-season free throws made and attempted (previous records of 180 made and 258 attempted were set by Sihugo Green in 1956)
• Has a team-high 37 dunks



1 • Derrick Colter
• Has started every game in his Duquesne career (59 and counting)
• Leads the Dukes with 99 assists (3.4/g., 1.94-to-1 assist/turnover ratio)
• Needs one assist to become the fifth player in school history to reach 100 assists in each of his first two seasons (he had 156 as a freshman)
• Second on the team with 47 3-pointers
• Has never gone more than two games without a 3-pointer
• Has topped the 20-point mark three times with 23 against Abilene Christian, 20 vs. UMBC and 21 in the regular season finale at George Mason
• Hit a career-high five 3-pointers (5-of-8) and added a career-best 8 rebounds at George Mason
• Had eight assists at Texas-Pan American and seven vs. UMBC
• Finished the UMBC game with 20 points, 7 assists and a career high-tying 4 steals
• Was just the fifth player - and first underclassman - to lead the Dukes in scoring and assists when he averaged 13.4 ppg. and 5.3 apg. last season
• Has scored in double digits 14 times, including nine in Atlantic 10 play
• Has hit at least one 3-pointer in 24 of 29 games
• His coast-to-coast running 3-pointer at the horn gave the Dukes an 83-81 A-10 win over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 25.
• Followed the SBU game-winner by scoring all 11 of his points in the final 4:50 of DU's come-from-behind win at NJIT. The Dukes, who trailed by 10 with 9:32 left, took the lead for good on the second of back-to-back Colter 3-pointers with 3:58 left



2 • Tra'Vaughn White
• Has scored in double digits 11 times, including six times off the bench
• Started eight of the first nine games ... has come off the bench in the last 20
• Reached double digits nine times in DU's first 12 games, has scored 10 or more twice in the past 17
• Has topped the 20-point mark twice with 20 agianst Abilene Christian and 22 against UMBC
• Has had five assists in a game twice
• Grabbed a season-high six rebounds against Appalachian State
• Scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to help the Dukes rally from a 10-point halftime deficit to post a win at Saint Francis, Pa.
• Followed the SFU game with 15 points (4-of-4 from 3-point) at UMass Lowell
• Had 20 points in his first six A-10 games before scoring all of his 13 pts in 13 second-half minutes at La Salle
• Has scored 22 points in his past nine games
• Averaged 3.4 ppg. with two double-digit scoring games in A-10 play
• Duquesne is 7-4 when he scores 10 or more



3 • Dominique McKoy
• Is having the best shooting season by a Duquense player in 23 years
• His .597 FG pct ranks second in A-10 and is the fifth-best single-season mark in school history
• Missed just seven shots in the month of December (24-of-31, 10.7 ppg. in six Dec. games)
• Second on team in rebounding at 7.2 rpg.
• A model of consistency, has had at least six rebounds in 24 of 29 games
• Has led the team in rebounding 13 times (tied with Ovie Soko for team lead)
• Leads team with 35 blocks including a career-high five at La Salle
• Has scored in double digits 17 times
• Posted his first career double-double (12-10) vs. Penn State and followed that with a career-high 16 points and 10 more boards vs. Robert Morris. Added back-to back double-doubles in his first two A-10 games: 10-10 in the opener vs. Fordham and 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds vs. La Salle
• Led DU in rebounding in nine A-10 games
• Has scored in double digits in 11 of his past 18 g.



5 • Jerry Jones
• Has come off the bench in 27 games
• Has scored in double digits four times: 14 vs. UMBC, 10 vs. Robert Morris, 14 at Saint Joe's & 19 at Saint Louis
• Came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points in 20 minutes - including 16 in the final 12:15 - to spark the Dukes to a 71-64 win at No. 10 (AP) Saint Louis
• Went 8-of-10 from the the field (3-of-4 from 3-point) against the Billikens
• Had 14 points in 20 minutes in the win over UMBC and two games later added 10 points and a career-high six assists in 23 turnover-free minutes vs. Robert Morris
• Tied his career high with four 3-pointers - including three in the last :59 - in scoring 14 at Saint Joseph's
• Has 39 assists and 16 turnovers on the season



13 • Isaiah Watkins
• Underwent leg surgery in his hometown of Toronto on Jan. 31
• Had additional arthoscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 3 keeping him out of DU's first six games
• Made his first appearance on Dec. 11 against Penn State where he grabbed a season-high five rebounds
• Has played in 16 games all off the bench
• Has scored a season high four points four times (at George Washington last)
• Posted three steals in back-to-back games vs. La Salle and at Saint Joseph's
• Has played a season-high 12 minutes three times (vs. Penn State, at Saint Joseph's & at George Washington)



22 • Micah Mason
• Leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (65-114, .570)
• His 3-point percentage, in addition to being the best in Duquesne history, is the best by a D-I player in 22 years
• Is in the midst of the seventh-best 3-point shooting season in NCAA history
* Is shooting .544 from 3-point for his career (105-of-193).
• Was the top 3-point shooter in the Missouri Valley Conference last season (40-of-79, .506)
• Has a 5.4-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (70-13)
• Was granted a waiver by the NCAA on Nov. 8 - the day before the season opener against Abilene Christian - and responded by drilling a 3-pointer on his first touch in a Dukes uniform, 28 seconds after entering the ACU game
• Had his breakout game with 18 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting at West Virginia, before breaking a bone in his right hand in the first half of DU's 70-59 win over Albany three days later. The injury sidelined him for five games
• Hit four "3"s in his return at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21 and added four more in the Dec. 29 win at UTPA
• Has had three games with five 3-pointers this season: 5-7 at WVU, 5-7 vs. Saint Louis & 5-6 vs. St. Bona.
• Had two of his top 3-point shooting days against Saint Louis' nation's-best 3-point defense. Was 5-of-7 from the arc in scoring 15 points vs. the Billikens on Jan. 22 and added a career-high 22 (4-of-5 from 3-point) in DU's 71-64 win at SLU on Feb. 27, making him 9-of-12 from the arc in two games vs. Saint Louis
• Went 6-of-8 from the field (4-of-5 from 3-point) in scoring a career-high 22 points in a win at #10 (AP) Saint Louis
• Has shot 50 percent or better from the 3-point arc in 19 of 24 games. The only exceptions were the season-opener against Abilene Christian (1-of-4), at VCU (0-of-4), at George Washington (3-of-8), vs. Richmond (3-of-7) & vs. Dayton (2-7)
• Was named A-10 co-Player of the Week following the SLU game which marked DU's first road win over at Top 10 team since 1962
• Grabbed a career-high seven rebounds at NJIT
• Handed out a career-best seven assists vs. Fordham
• Has had five or more assists in a game seven times
• Has 14 zero turnover games
• Has hit at least one 3-pointer in 23 of the 24 games he's played and has hit four or more in a game nine times
• Nearly 75 percent of his career field goal attempts have come from beyond the 3-point arc
• Is 20-of-24 (.833) from the foul line
• Has the highest offensive efficiency rating in the nation (all players) according to KenPom.com



23 • Jeremiah Jones
• Has played in every game in his Duquesne career (59 and counting with 51 starts)
• Has started 40 consecutive times
• Has established himself as one of the Dukes' top defenders
• Has 47 assists and 30 turnovers this season after having 28 and 28 last year
• Has scored in double figures nine times with a high of 13 vs. Pitt
• Scored in double digits eight times in DU's first 13 games and once in the past 16
• His last double-digit g. was Jan. 18 at VCU (10 pts.)
• Pulled down a career-high nine rebounds at UTPA and posted a career-best six assists at UMass Lowell



32 • Desmond Ridenour
• Has played in all 29 games off the bench
• Third on the team with 58 assists
• Leads team with 25 steals
• Scored all nine of his points in 14 first-half minutes against Pitt
• Scored a season-high 11 points at Saint Francis
• Added eight points and a season-high six assists all in 13 second-half minutes at Saint Joseph's
• Had eight pts and a season-best four steals at VCU
• Had his fourth eight-point game (4-5 from field) at Rhode Island



33 • L.G. Gill
• Has played in 28 of 29 games with a season-high 20 minutes at Rhode Island
• Came off the bench to score a career-high 19 at Rhode Island on Feb. 15
• Was 10-of-45 from 3-point before drilling 5-of-6 from beyond the arc at URI
• Hit three 3's in a span of 2:03 of the first half to break open what became an 81-69 win at George Mason
• Ended up with 16 points (4-of-6 from 3pt) at George Mason. Missed his first two shots before finishing 5-of-7 from the field
• Has scored seven points four times: vs. UMBC, at UMass Lowell, at VCU and vs. George Mason
• Grabbed a season-high seven rebounds to go with his seven points in the first meeting with George Mason
• Made a highlight reel play with a block of 7-0 St. Bonaventure center Youssou Ndoye's dunk attempt in an 83-81 DU win
• Is 12-of-24 (.500) from 3-point in his past eight games. Was 8-of- 39 (.205) in his first 20
• Owns two of the top bench point games of the season



54 • Darius Lewis
• Has played in 10 games off the bench
• Logged a season-high 10 minutes against Pitt and at Saint Joseph's
• Had a season-best four rebounds at Saint Joe's
• Also had three rebounds in a game twice: vs. Abilene Christian and Pitt
• Saw his last action on Jan. 25 vs. St. Bonaventure
• Scored his last basket on Jan. 2 vs. Appalachian State








 

 

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