PREVIEW: The City Game
Nov. 30, 2017


  THE 86TH CITY GAME
 Game 5 Pitt (3-4) vs. Duquesne (2-2)
 Date | Time Friday, December 1, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. ET
 Location PPG Paints Arena (flex seating up to 19,100) | Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Game Notes Duquesne Game Notes
 WatchStadium/Facebook
 Listen WJAS 1320 AM / iHeartRadio
 Live Statistics Gametracker
 Live Statistics StatBroadcast
 Social Media @ DuqMBB  
 Tickets Ticketmaster

Duquesne, off to a 2-2 start under first-year head coach Keith Dambrot, makes the one-block trek to PPG Paints Arena to face Pitt (3-4) in the 86th version of the City Game on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. (Facebook). The Dukes, who snapped a 15-game series losing streak against the Panthers with a 64-55 win last season, will be looking to win two in a row in the series for the first time since 1980 when Mike Rice’s Dukes (18-10) defeated Tim Grgurich’s Panthers (17-12) twice in less than a month (67-66 on Feb. 10 in an Eastern 8 game at the Civic Arena and 65-63 in a March 6 first round NIT game also at the Arena). The March 6 game was Grgurich’s last at Pitt. This is Dambrot’s second game vs. Pitt. On Nov. 21, 2008, Dambrot’s Akron Zips dropped an 86-67 decision to No. 6 (AP) Pitt in the Legends Classic at Petersen Events Center. Dambrot’s ‘09 Akron team went on to finish 23-13 and earn an NCAA Tournament appearance.

TRENDING
• Seven of the eight players who have seen action for the Dukes have started at least once. Head coach Keith Dambrot has used three different starting lineups in four games.• Duquesne has had three different 20-point scorers in its first four games: Rene Castro-Caneddy (22 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn & career high-tying 26 vs. Cornell), Mike Lewis II (22 vs. VMI) & Tarin Smith (21 vs. VMI).

The Last Meeting
Duquesne64
Pittsburgh55
December 2, 2016
PPG Paints Arena
Duquesne 64, Pitt 55
Emile Blackman scored a game-high 21 points to lead Duquesne to a 64-55 win over Pitt in the annual City Game at PPG Paints Arena.

Rene Castro-Caneddy, who had never played more than 30 minutes in a game entering the season, is averaging 20.0 points in 36.2 minutes/g. Castro-Caneddy’s career scoring average entering the season was 5.0 points in an average of 13.6 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. He added a second double-double (12-10) vs. Cornell. Williams Jr. was named A-10 co-Rookie of the Week (Nov. 13) following the St. Francis Brooklyn game.

• Freshman Tydus Verhoeven has blocked 14 shots in 92 total minutes. His seven rejections vs. Robert Morris tied the DU freshman record.

• DU has made 22 more free throws than their opponents have attempted (Duquesne is 89-125 from the line, opponents are 41-67).

• DU’s 45 turnovers in four games are the fourth-fewest in the nation (through Monday’s games).

• The Pitt game begins a stretch of four games in nine days for the Dukes: Dec. 1 vs. Pitt, Dec. 4 vs. UMES, Dec. 6 vs. Stetson and Dec. 9 vs. Delaware State.

NOTING THE DUKES
• This is the 102nd season of basketball for Duquesne University (1,373-1,096). The Dukes started play in 1913-14 (DU did not field a team in 1944-45-46 due to World War II).

• 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 key 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).

• Dambrot added a four-man, April/May-assembled recruiting class consisting of 6-8 Fr. F Nicholas Kratholm, 6-9 Jr. F Marko Krivacevic, 6-8 Fr. F Tydus Verhoeven and 6-5 Fr. G Eric Williams Jr. 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.

• Duquesne has yet to have its full roster for a game this season. Grad transfer Chas Brown (foot) and JC transfer Marko Krivacevic (wrist) have missed the first four games and senior forward Eric James (knee) missed the Cornell game. Sophomore forward Kellon Taylor, who spent the fall as a receiver for DU’s FCS football team, joined the team just prior to Thanksgiving.

• Duquesne has received considerable contributions from a pair of freshmen on the young season. Six-five swingman Eric Williams Jr. (13.5 ppg.) leads the Dukes with a 9.8 rpg. average. Williams Jr., who is the first DU freshman to post a double-double in a season opener (17-12 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn), added a 12-10 double-double vs. Cornell. Six-nine forward Tydus Verhoeven had the best game of his young career with 12 points, nine rebounds a freshman record-tying seven blocks and three assists vs. Robert Morris. Verhoeven ranks second to Texas’ Mo Bamba among the nation’s top freshman shot blockers with 14 rejections in four games.

THE SERIES
Series Record: Pittsburgh leads 53-32
At CONSOL Energy Center/PPG Paints Arena: Pittsburgh leads 6-1
Current Streak: Duquesne won 1

This is the 86th meeting between Duquesne and Pitt in a series that dates back to Jan. 13, 1932 ... Pitt holds a 53-32 advantage overall ... this is the eighth meeting at PPG Paints Arena ... No. 3 (AP) Pitt defeated Duquesne 80-66 in the inaugural game at PPG in 2010, and went on to win the next five, before Duquesne ended the streak with a 64-55 win last season ... eight years ago, the Dukes and Panthers played in the final basketball game at Mellon Arena, with Pitt emerging with a 67-58 double overtime win ... Duquesne, which never trailed in regulation, led by 16 with 17:32 left ... the seven games before that alternated between Pitt’s Petersen Events Center and Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center ... 2017-18 marks the 48th consecutive season the two teams have met ... the last time Duquesne and Pitt did not play was in 1969-70 ... DU snapped a 15-game Pitt series win streak with a 64-55 win last season ... the Dukes erased a 10-point first half deficit by outscoring the Panthers 44-25 over the final 23:09 ... Emile Blackman led three Duquesne players in double figures with a game-high 21 points ... DU ended an eight-game Pitt win streak with an 80-69 win on Feb. 5, 1998 and won again at Mellon Arena on Dec. 21, 2000 by a 71-70 count, giving the Dukes wins in three of the past 19 meetings.

DUKES AND THE ACC
Duquesne is 7-26 against the Atlantic Coast Conference, including a 2-7 mark at neutral sites. The neutral wins came over Duke on Dec. 15, 1961 (66-61) in a Steel Bowl game at Fitzgerald Field House and last year over Pitt at PPG Paints Arena. DU’s last win over an ACC opponent prior to last year was on Dec. 28, 2006 in overtime at Boston College (98-93). Aaron Jackson, who is currently playing professionally in China, led the Dukes with 19 points and 7 rebounds. The win, in addition to being Duquesne’s first ever on an Atlantic Coast Conference school’s home floor, was also DU’s first victory over an ACC team since a 91-84 home win over No. 10 (AP) Florida State on Dec. 15, 1992. BC was in the “others receiving votes” category of the AP poll at the time of the game. DU head coach Keith Dambrot is 1-7 against Atlantic Coast conference schools, including an 0-1 record vs. Pitt. Of the eight meetings, three have been on the road and five at neutral sites (the win came at Florida State (65-60 in OT) in a Mar. 18, 2008 NIT first round game).


 

 

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