PREVIEW: Stetson at @DuqMBB
Dec. 5, 2017
Duquesne (3-3), which snapped a three-game losing streak with an 86-61 home win over Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday, plays its second game in 72 hours when it takes on Stetson (6-4) on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 8:00 p.m. at the Palumbo Center (Atlantic 10 Network). The Dukes, who are in the middle of a stretch of four games in nine days, are taking on a Stetson team that has been idle since an 85-52 home win over NAIA Edward Waters on Dec. 1. The Stetson game will be preceded by the DU women vs. Toledo at 5:30 p.m.
Mike Lewis II tied his career high with six 3-pointers on his way to a season-high 29 points and freshman Eric Williams Jr. posted a career-high 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds in Monday's win over MDES. It was Williams Jr.'s third double-double in six games.
DU started the same lineup in back-to-back games for the first time this season vs. MDES (Verhoeven, Brown, Williams Jr., Lewis II & Castro-Caneddy). Nine of the 10 players who have seen action for the Dukes have started at least once.
Sophomore G Mike Lewis II tied his career high with six 3-pointers (6-of-7) in scoring 29 points vs. MDES. Lewis II, who was 7-of-7 in scoring 19 first-half points, went 10-of-12 from the field. Lewis II has scored 20 or more in 10 of his last 17 games dating back to last year.
Eric Williams Jr. notched his third double-double with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds vs. MDES. Williams Jr., who has had at least eight rebounds in every game this season, is the first player since Bruce Atkins to post three double-doubles in his first six games. Atkins, a member of DU's All-Century Team and the only Duquesne two-time first team All-A-10 player, had five double-doubles in his first nine games as a Duke (11 for the season).
Rene Castro-Caneddy, who had never played more than 30 minutes in a game entering the season, is averaging 14.3 points in 32.5 minutes/g. Castro-Caneddy's career scoring average entering the season was 5.0 points in an average of 13.6 minutes/g.
DU has made 11 more free throws than their opponents have attempted (Duquesne is 112-160 from the line, opponents are 65-101).
DU's 67 turnovers in six games are the third-fewest in the nation (through Monday's games). The Dukes did not turn the ball over in the second half of Monday's win over MDES (11 for game).
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).
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).
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. He added eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 18 minutes vs. Maryland Eastern Shore.
Duquesne has received considerable contributions from a pair of freshmen. Six-five swingman Eric Williams Jr. (16.0, 9.7) leads the Dukes with a 9.7 rpg. average. The versatile swingman, who has three double-doubles on the young season, is second on the team with 12 3-pointers and has thrown down a team-high seven dunks. 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 on Nov. 19. The 6-8 Verhoeven ranks third to Texas' 6-11 Mo Bamba and Purdue's 7-3 Matt Haarms among the nation's top freshman shot blockers with 17 rejections in six games (2.83 bpg.).
This is the third meeting in the series which Duquesne leads 2-0. It is the first meeting since the Dukes swept a home-and-home series in 1979-80 and 1980-81.
Stetson, which competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference, is located in Deland, Fla.
Five-eleven senior guard Divine Myles, who has over 100 career starts, leads the Hatters at 16.4 ppg. The Mobile, Ala. native has scored in double digits in all 10 games, with a high of 27 against Campbell. Five-eight senior Angel Rivera leads the team with 61 assists (6.1 apg.). Senior guard Luke Doyle (11.7 ppg.) leads the team with 22 3-pointers.
Stetson, whose starting lineup features five seniors, is 3-1 on the road with wins at FIU (70-64 in OT), South Alabama (81-77 in OT) and Green Bay (83-71). The Hatters began the week ranked among the nation's top 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (7th at 1.64), total assists (7th with 164) and fewest turnovers per game (9th at 10.0). The Hatters average just under nine 3-pointers per game.
Stetson has been idle since an 85-52 home win over NAIA Edward Waters on Dec. 1 ... Doyle (13 points) hit three 3-pointers in the win to move into the third spot on Stetson's career list ... 14 players saw action, with none logging more than 28 minutes.
Stetson had just one senior on its 2016-17 roster ... the Hatters ranked among the top 40 nationally in fewest turnovers per game last season (11.3) ... Rivera, who finished with 162 assists and 52 turnovers, ranked 11th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio in 2017 (3.12) ... Doyle, who played his freshman season at Nicholls State, broke his own school record with 76 3-pointers last season ... Stetson has been excellent at protecting the ball this season with 100 turnovers in 10 games.
Stetson is in its fifth season under head coach Corey Williams ... Williams led Stetson to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament title in 2015-16 where the Hatters fell to FGCU 80-78 in overtime ... it was Stetson's first title-game appearance since 1994.