PREVIEW: Lamar at @DuqMBB
Dec. 18, 2017
Duquesne (7-3), which extended its win streak to five with a 74-58 win over North Carolina A&T on Sunday, continues play in the four-game Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic when it hosts Lamar (8-2) on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Network). The Dukes will head to Las Vegas Wednesday morning to prepare for neutral-site games vs. San Francisco (FS2 TV) and Southern Illinois (FS1 TV) on Dec. 22 & 23 at Orleans Arena.
Duquesne is looking for its first six-game win streak since the 2010-11 Dukes reeled off 11-straight. The Dukes are 5-1 in December. The last Duquesne team to post more than five December wins was the 1980 NIT team which went 7-1 in December on its way to an 18-10 finish.
• DU has two wins when shooting under 40% this season. To put that in perspective, Duquesne won just three times in the previous five seasons (45 games) when shooting under 40%.
• The Dukes are 6-1 when holding opponents under 70 points.
• DU’s 102 turnovers are seventh-fewest in the nation (through Sunday’s games). The Dukes, who averaged 14.2 turnovers per game last season, have cut their turnovers to 10.2/g. (9th nationally) through 10 games.
• Eric Williams Jr., who has had at least eight rebounds in every game this season, was the first DU freshman since Bruce Atkins to post five double-doubles in his first nine college games. Atkins, a member of DU’s All-Century Team and the only Duquesne two-time first team All-A-10 player, finished with 11 double-doubles as a freshman in 1978-79.
• The 6-5 Williams Jr., who has been named A-10 Rookie of the Week twice this season, is one of five D-I freshmen - and the only one under 6-11 - averaging a double-double (14.7, 10.8) through Sunday. The other four, Marvin Bagley of Duke, Deandre Ayton of Arizona, Brandon McCoy of UNLV and Mo Bamba of Texas were ESPN.com 5-star recruits.
• Rene Castro-Caneddy, posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists vs. Delaware State, has 31 assists and six turnovers in his past five games.
• Duquesne is 5-1 since grad transfer Chas Brown made his debut on Dec. 1 vs. Pitt. Brown, who was Coppin State’s MVP last season, missed the first four games with a foot injury. The 6-8, 235-pounder is currently averaging 5.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in just over 16 min/g.
• Tarin Smith is 13-of-25 (.520) from the 3-point arc in his past five games. The 13 3-point makes are two more than his total in 32 g. last season (11-of-52).
• This is the first meeting between the Dukes and Cardinals, who hail from Beaumont, Texas and compete in the Southland Conference. Duquesne is 8-0 all-time - with all eight meetings coming since 2009-10 - against the teams that comprise the current Southland Conference.
• Duquesne is 15-6 all-time against schools from the state of Texas, including a 10-2 mark at home.
• Lamar, coming off its first 19-win season and postseason appearance (CIT) since 2012, is off to an 8-2 start including a 3-1 record on the road. The Cardinals are coming off a 71-61 loss at Southern Illinois on Sunday. The defeat snapped a five-game LU win streak.
• Lamar is led by 6-5 senior forward Colton Weisbrod who was named to the NABC all-district team last year. Weisbrod finished tied for sixth in the Southland Conference in scoring (15.1 ppg.) and third in rebounding (8.1 rpg.) in his first season after transferring from Lamar State Port Arthur JC. The former NJCAA First-Team All-American posted 10 double-doubles last season. Weisbrod is averaging a team-high 14.7 ppg. this season.
• Junior guard Nick Garth (11.7 ppg), who ranked 19th nationally in 3-point percentage (93-218, .427) last season, is 25-of-74 (.338) from 3-point this year.
• Head coach Tic Price in his fourth season at Lamar and 13th season overall as a head coach.
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). Dambrot’s 7-3 start is the best by a DU first-year coach since John Cinicola also went 7-3 in his first 10 games in 1974-75.
• The 2017-18 Dukes are limiting opponents to 62.6 points per game. It is the lowest opponent scoring average since 1962 (61.1). Only three opposing teams have topped 70 points against Duquesne this season. The 62.6 ppg. average is a +14.8 ppg. improvement over last season (77.4 ppg.).
• Duquesne limited Stetson - which came into the game averaging 78.8 ppg. - to 59 points and held Delaware State to 48 in a 49-point win. DU defeated Mississippi Valley State, 73-49 on Dec. 13, marking the first time since December of 1968 (57-42 vs. Pitt and 72-48 at Catholic) that a DU team has held back-to-back opponents under 50 points.
• Duquesne had its full roster for the first time this season on Dec. 9 vs. Delaware State. JC transfer Marko Krivacevic missed seven games with a broken bone in his wrist. Grad transfer Chas Brown missed the first four games with a foot injury 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 freshmen. Six-five swingman Eric Williams Jr. (14.7, 10.8) leads the Dukes with a 10.8 rpg. average. - the highest rpg. average by a Duke since Damian Saunders averaged 11.3 rpg. in 2010. The versatile swingman, who has five double-doubles, is second on the team with 20 3-pointers and has thrown down a team-high 11 dunks. Williams Jr. has had at least eight rebounds in every game this season. 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, who added five more blocks vs. Mississippi Valley State, ranks seventh among the nation’s top freshman shot blockers at 2.40 bpg.