PREVIEW: UMES at @DuqMBB
Dec. 3, 2017
Duquesne (2-3), in the midst of a four-games-in-nine-days stretch, returns to the Palumbo Center to face Maryland Eastern Shore (3-5) at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 (Atlantic 10 Network). The Dukes, who dropped a 76-64 decision to Pitt in Friday's City Game at PPG Paints Arena, are looking to snap a three-game losing streak against an Hawks team that is looking for its first road win.
The Dukes conclude their busy early December stretch with home games vs. Stetson on Wednesday and Delaware State on Saturday. The Stetson game will be preceded by the DU women vs. Toledo at 5:30 p.m. Saturday's game, set for a 12:30 p.m. tip, will be followed by the Duquesne women against Akron at 3:00 p.m.
Grad transfer Chas Brown, who missed the first four games with a foot injury, made his debut vs. Pitt. Brown, who was Coppin State's MVP last season, had three rebounds in five minutes vs. the Panthers.
Duquesne has had three different 20-point scorers in five games: Rene Castro-Caneddy (22 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn & career high-tying 26 vs. Cornell), Mike Lewis II (22 vs. VMI & 20 vs. Pitt) & Tarin Smith (21 vs. VMI).
Rene Castro-Caneddy, who had never played more than 30 minutes in a game entering the season, is averaging 16.0 points in 33.8 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, added a second double-double (12-10) vs. Cornell. Williams Jr., who was named A-10 co-Rookie of the Week (Nov. 13) following the St. Francis Brooklyn game, has had at least eight rebounds in every game this season.
Freshman Tydus Verhoeven has blocked 17 shots in 124 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 100-140 from the line, opponents are 48-78).
DU's 56 turnovers in five games are the third-fewest in the nation (through Saturday's games).
This is the fourth meeting in the series which Duquesne leads 2-1. UMES, which lost to the Dukes in overtime on Dec. 31, 2002 (74-71), posted its first series win on Dec. 28, 2014 by a 78-69 score at Palumbo Center.
Maryland Eastern Shore, which competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, is located in Princess Anne, Md.
The Hawks come to Pittsburgh looking for their first road win. UMES has played at Maryland (43-96), at Georgetown (57-83), at St. Bonaventure (48-96) and at Old Dominion (44-83).
UMES is coming off a 74-70 home win over American on Saturday afternoon. Tyler Jones led four players in double figures with 18 points. Tyler Jones added a 17-10 double-double for UMES. The Hawks won despite being outshot 48.3% to 39.3% and having four fewer field goals than the Eagles. UMES made a living at the foul line, outscoring American 22-5 from the stripe. The Hawks rallied from a 12-point deficit with under 15 minutes remaining to post the win.
The Hawks finished the 2017 season with wins in 10 of their last 16 games and went 9-7 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). UMES lost by four (75-71) in last year's season opener at George Washington. The Hawks also fell to Keith Dambrot's Akron team by a 76-60 score in the championship game of the Sun Bowl Invitational at El Paso, Texas.
Six-two senior guard Ryan Andino (13.0 ppg.) - the 2015 MEAC Rookie of the Year decided to sit out his senior season and plans to compete as a grad transfer next season. Andino ranked fourth nationally with 3.56 3-pointers per game (121-of-318) in 2017. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native, who hit a career-high nine 3's in a 31-point effort vs. North Carolina A&T, scored in double digits 20 times and scored 20 or more seven times last season.
UMES is in its fourth season under head coach Bobby Collins, the 2015 MEAC Coach of the Year.
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 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 (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. JC transfer Marko Krivacevic (wrist) has yet to play. Grad transfer Chas Brown (foot) 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 (he was not in uniform for the first two games).
Duquesne has received considerable contributions from a pair of freshmenn. Six-five swingman Eric Williams Jr. (14.4 ppg.) leads the Dukes with a 9.4 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 17 rejections in five games.