PREVIEW: St. Francis Brooklyn at @DuqMBB
Nov. 9, 2017
Duquesne opens its 102nd season - and first under head coach Keith Dambrot - vs. St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 5:30 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Network). Dambrot, who was introduced as the program's 17th head coach on March 30, spent the past 13 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).
NOTING THE DUKES
Duquesne has compiled an impressive 84-17 record in season opening games, including a 79-4 record when opening the season at home. The Dukes are 93-8 all-time in the first home game of the season, including a 24-5 mark at the A.J. Palumbo Center. Head coach Keith Dambrot is 14-5 all time in season openers: 2-0 at Tiffin, Ashland and Central Michigan and 8-5 at Akron.
Duquesne returns two starters - 6-1 So. G Mike Lewis II (14.1, 2.3, 63 3-pointers) and 6-2 Jr. G Tarin Smith (8.6, 3.5) from last year's 10-22 (3-15, 14th in Atlantic 10) team. Lewis II, a member of the 2016-17 A-10 All-Rookie Team, was named 2017-18 third team preseason All-A-10 by the league's coaches and media.
DU's other returnees include: 6-2 Gr. G Rene Castro-Caneddy (7.1, 1.5 in 29 games), 6-6, Sr., F Eric James (2.3, 2.2 in 27 games) and 6-8 Gr. C Jordan Robinson (3.7, 2.9 in 18 games). Six-five So., F Kellon Taylor (1.2, 0.5 in 12), is currently doubling as a receiver for DU's FCS football team and will not join the basketball team unitl the football season is concluded. Caleb Davis and Zach Snyder are returning as well.
Only five members of the opening-day roster have started a Division I game. Aside from returning starters Mike Lewis II (32/31 last year) and Tarin Smith (32/32 in `17) the starting experience has been scarce. Rene Castro -Caneddy has started once in 58 career games (last year at Kentucky), Jordan Robinson started the first three games of his DU career (last start Nov. 29, 2014 vs. NJIT) and Eric James has started 22 times, all during his sophomore year (last start Mar. 21, 2016 at Morehead State in the CBI). Injured F/C Chas Brown started all 18 games he played last year at Coppin State.
The Dukes will look toward five newcomers to help replace 52.3 percent of the scoring, 53.6 percent of the minutes and 67.1 percent of the team's rebounds gone from last year's team.
Dambrot added a four-man, April/May-assembled recruiting class consisting of 6-8 Fr. F Nicholas Kratholm (Louisville, Ky.), 6-9 Jr. F Marko Krivacevic (Szombathely, Hungary/Miami Dade College), 6-8 Fr. F Tydus Verhoeven (Manteca, Calif.) and 6-5 Fr. G Eric Williams Jr. (New Haven, Mich.). That class was supplemented by the addition of 6-8, 235-pound grad transfer Chas Brown. Brown averaged 12.6 points and 7.1 rebounds last season in earning team MVP honors at Coppin State. Four of the newcomers are 6-8 or taller. Brown (foot) and Krivacevic (wrist) are currenlty sidelined with injuries.
DU will have five incoming transfers sitting out in 2017-18. The list of transfers includes: 5-8 So. G Tavian Dunn-Martin (Akron), 6-4 So. G Frankie Hughes (Missouri), 6-8 So. C Michael Hughes (Akron), 6-4 Jr. G Craig Randall II (Memphis) and 6-5 So. F Marcus Weathers (Miami, Ohio).
THE SERIES VS. ST. FRANCIS BROOKLYN
NOTING ST. FRANCIS BROOKLYN