PREVIEW: Cornell at @DuqMBB
Nov. 25, 2017
Duquesne, off to a 2-1 start under first-year head coach Keith Dambrot, welcomes Cornell (2-3) to the Palumbo Center on Monday, Nov. 27 at 7:00 p.m. (A-10 Network). The Dukes have been idle since facing Robert Morris on Sunday, Nov. 19.
• Castro-Caneddy (7), Lewis II (5) and Smith (5) have combined for 17 of DU’s 24 steals. The trio has also accounted for 15 of the Dukes’ 22 assists.
• Rene Castro-Caneddy, who had never played more than 30 minutes in a game entering the season, is averaging 18.0 points in 36.3 minutes/g.
• Eric Williams Jr., who became the first freshman in school history to post a double-double in a season opener (17-12 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn) had nine rebounds in his first career start vs. VMI and followed that with 18 points and eight rebounds vs. Robert Morris. Williams Jr. was named Atlantic 10 co-Rookie of the Week (Nov. 13) following the St. Francis Brooklyn game.
• Freshman Tydus Verhoeven has blocked 12 shots in 62 total minutes. His seven rejections vs. Robert Morris tied the DU freshman record. He finished the RMU game with 12 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks and three assists.
• DU has made 19 more free throws than their opponents have attempted (Duquesne is 71-101 from the line, opponents are 31-52).
• The Dukes, who had just 18 turnovers in their first two games, turned it over 20 times vs. Robert Morris.
• The seven days between the Robert Morris and Cornell games mark the largest gap in the schedule this season. Following the Cornell game, the Dukes will play four times in the span of nine days (Dec. 1 vs. Pitt, Dec. 4 vs. UMES, Dec. 6 vs. Stetson and Dec. 9 vs. Delaware State).
• This is the third meeting in the series which Duquesne leads 2-0. DU took the first game, 77-59, on Dec. 29, 1952 in the first round of the Steel Bowl at Fitzgerald Field House. The Dukes also won the most-recent meeting by a 70-69 count at Palumbo Center on Dec. 31, 2003.
• Duquesne is 10-7 all-time against the schools that comprise the Ivy League, including a 5-1 mark at home.
• Junior guard Matt Morgan (22.4 ppg.) has led the Ivy League in scoring in each of the past two seasons. The 6-2 North Carolina native, who is the first Cornell player to top 1,000 career points as a sophomore, scored 20 or more 11 times last season. He has led the Big Red in scoring in all five games this season. He has scored 26, 23, 25 & 24 in Cornell’s past four games.
• Freshman forward Jimmy Boeheim (3.6 ppg.), who is the 18th Cornell freshman to start a season opener, is the son of Syracuse Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim. Jimmy had 11 points and five rebounds against his father’s team in the opener vs. Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
• Cornell is in its second season under head coach Brian Earl. Earl came to Cornell after nine seasons as an assistant/associate head coach at Princeton. Earl’s brother, Dan, brought his VMI team to the Palumbo Center on Nov. 14 (a 77-61 Duquesne win).
• Cornell was one of 17 teams (and one of five with a losing record) with more Division I road wins (4) than home wins (3) last season.
• The Big Red are coming off an 80-77 home win over Toledo on Nov. 24. Cornell saw a 21-point second half lead cut to one in the final minute, before Matt Morgan hit a pair of free throws, fouled the Rockets before they could get off a game-tying attempt, then rebounded a missed free throw to run out the clock. Morgan scored 24 points and Stone Gettings hit a career high five 3-pointers in adding 21 points for Cornell.
NOTING THE DUKES
• Duquesne 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).
• Duquesne returns two starters - 6-1 So. G Mike Lewis II and 6-2 Jr. G Tarin Smith 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, 6-6, Sr., F Eric James and 6-8 Gr. C Jordan Robinson. Six-five So., F Kellon Taylor was a receiver for DU’s FCS football team (7-4) prior rejoining the basketball team on Nov. 19 (football season ended on Nov. 18). Caleb Davis and Zach Snyder are back as well.
• Only six members of the current 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 made his second start in 59 career games in the opener. Jordan Robinson started for the first time since Nov. 29, 2014 and Eric James made his first start since Mar. 21, 2016 when they took the floor vs. St. Francis Brooklyn. Injured F/C Chas Brown started all 18 games he played last year at Coppin State.
• 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 currently 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).