Repeat after me, winning ugly is still winning.
Winning ugly is still winning.
Defensive rebounding has quietly been a major issue for Duquesne this year. They came the game ranked 323rd in the NCAA in defensive rebounding percentage at 67.3%. They corralled 82.8% against UMES with the team’s two best rebounders playing a combined four minutes. Very good offensive rebounding has covered for the Dukes poor work on the defensive glass, but they showed progress tonight. I thought Austin Rostroff, Marcus Weathers and Lamar Norman all did a particularly good job.
I thought the Dukes built a sizable lead and really let up on the gas this evening. They got away with it against a low major in UMES, but just about everyone in the Atlantic 10 could come back down twenty against that effort. I think this team has the talent and potential to exceed expectations this season. However, the Dukes need to play forty minute games in order to get there. I know I keep coming back to this, but they will end up middle of the pack if they can’t play consistently within games.
Player of the Game
I’m giving the game ball to Lamar Norman. Jr. He’s defended well in every appearance, but he has broken out on the offensive side of the ball the last two games. I like everything I saw from him tonight and he’s starting to become one of the most reliable three point shooters on the team.
The Turning Point
Not applicable. The Dukes were in control of this one pretty much from tip to horn.
When I Knew It Was Over
The score was 67 – 50 at the under four and I surmised that the Hawks would not likely score another seventeen points in the final three minutes and change. It was likely over sooner than that, but I didn’t do the math till then.
Credit Where It’s Due
If not for the efforts of Ryan Andino, I don’t think UMES would’ve cracked the fifty point mark. He caught fire and hit a number of difficult shots from three point land. Also, I don’t know if there is a better name in college basketball than AJ Cheeseman. If you’ve got someone better, please comment below.
What We Learned
There are a few players in Keith Dambrot’s doghouse right now, chief among them Eric Williams, Jr. He hasn’t started in the last three games, played four minutes tonight and none in the first half. He actually talked his way into the game the first time he headed to the scorers table. Tavion Dunn – Martin and Kellon Taylor played less than expected or not at all respectively. Whatever is going on, I hope it resolves quickly as the Dukes will likely need all three of those players to reach their ceiling the rest of the way.
The Dukes didn’t win sexy, but they won efficiently enough. Fifteen point margin and just the simple W will play well enough in the computer rankings that actually matter. Make no mistake, UMES were not a great team and I would have liked to see Duquesne crush them by forty. As always, those wins do more for Ken Pomoroy than for the players themselves. We saw three freshman, Norman, Amari Kelly, and Gavin Bizeau establish new career highs for minutes. We saw much needed improvements in the defensive rebounding and turnover departments. We also saw the Dukes get it done with Michael Hughes and Eric Williams playing limited minutes. I do crave a blow out. I won’t lie about that, but keeping the ball rolling is all that matters.