PREVIEW: Mississippi Valley State at @DuqMBB
Dec. 12, 2017
Duquesne (5-3), winner of three in a row, welcomes Mississippi Valley State (0-8) to the Palumbo Center on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Network). The Dukes, who have led for 116:03 of a possible 120 minutes in their past three games, hit a school record 18 3-pointers in Saturday’s 97-48 win over Delaware State.
• Sophomore G Mike Lewis II, hit a career-high seven 3-pointers (7-of-12) in scoring 23 points in 22 minutes vs. Delaware State. Lewis II, who went 17-of-26 from 3-point in DU’s three games last week, has scored 20 or more in 11 of his past 19 games dating back to last year.
• Eric Williams Jr., who has had at least eight rebounds in every game this season, is the first freshman since Bruce Atkins to post four double-doubles in his first eight 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 in 1978-79 (Atkins had 11 double-doubles for the season).
• Williams Jr. was named A-10 Rookie of the Week for the second time on Monday after averaging 19.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in DU’s three games. Williams Jr. is 11-of-17 from 3-point in his past three games. He is one of five D-I freshman averaging a double-double (16.1, 10.4).
• Rene Castro-Caneddy posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in 28 minutes vs. Delaware State. Castro-Caneddy has 22 assists and four turnovers in his past four games.
• Castro-Caneddy, who had never played more than 30 minutes in a game entering the season, is averaging 13.1 points in 31.0 minutes/g. He entered the season averaging 5.4 points in an average of 14.8 minutes/g in 46 games at DU.
• Eric James came off the bench to score a season-high 13 points in 13 minutes vs. Delaware State.
• DU has made seven more free throws than their opponents have attempted (Duquesne is 137-199 from the line, opponents are 80-130).
• DU’s 86 turnovers are tied for fifth-fewest in the nation (through Sunday’s games). The Dukes, who averaged 14.2 turnovers per game last season, have cut their average to 10.8 through eight games.
• This is the second meeting between the Dukes and Delta Devils. DU took the first game of the series by a score of 91-77 at the Palumbo Center on Dec. 1, 2015.
• Mississippi Valley State, which is located in Itta Bena,Miss., competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference ... Duquesne is 3-1 all time against schools that comprise the current SWAC ... all four meeting have come at home.
• MVSU, which played 22 of its 32 games on the road last season, has yet to play a home game this season (seven on the road and one at a neutral site) ... the Delta Devils have been idle since an 83-62 loss at Oklahoma State on Dec. 3 ... MVSU’s first home game will be on Jan. 1 - a conference game vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
• Mississippi Valley State is in its fourth season under head coach Andre Payne.
NOTING THE DUKES
• 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 and is currently averaging 5.5 rpg.
• Duquesne has received considerable contributions from a pair of freshmen. Six-five swingman Eric Williams Jr. (16.1,10.4) leads the Dukes with a 10.4 rpg. average. The versatile swingman, who has four double-doubles on the young season, is second on the team with 19 3-pointers and has thrown down a team-high nine dunks. Through Sunday, Williams Jr. was one of five Division I freshmen averaging a double-double. 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 tied for seventh among the nation’s top freshman shot blockers at 2.38 bpg.