Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bring on Robert Morris

I missed my first Dukes game of the season last night, alas I was stuck in the vast wasteland of Macungie PA at my in laws holiday party. Even more annoying someone at the party monopolized the computer all night so I couldn't even check the score untill well after the game ended. I had to wait till the guy went to eat to dive onto the computer. Who goes to a party and then uses the host's computer? Well I guess I can answer that question by saying, yes I do, but I had to check on my Dukes.

Anyway I am happy to announce I'll be back at the Palumbo Center Friday night for the Dukes game against Robert Morris. The Colonials lost to Saint Francis at home back on December 8th by 9 points so that should bode well for the Dukes. I'll give more of a preview on Robert Morris this week.

Some folks at the Dukes Forum have discussed meeting at Shale's Cafe before or after the game. I think this is a wonderful idea and I plan to have at least one drink after the game with my father. I would encourage everyone to come out to the game as the crowds tend to dwindle during the school's winter break. The Dukes need and deserve our support.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dukes win!

Aaron Jackson led the Dukes with 16 points tonight

Duquesne got off the schneid tonight with a convincing victory over Saint Francis, 99-80.

Kojo Mensa scored 12 points and had 10 assists for a double double.

Shawn James also had a strong night with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots.

Duquesne finished with a season-low eight turnovers. DU's 13 blocked shots were two shy of the school record set earlier this season at Oakland.

Duquesne's 7-3 start is the best since the 1993-94 NIT team opened with the same record. The last DU team to start a season 8-3 was the 1979-80 NIT squad which began 12-3.

Light heavyweight boxer Roy Jones, Jr., who was in town to watch fellow Pensacola, Fla. native Gary Tucker, spoke to the team in the locker room following the game.

Dukes Court favorite David Theis was a starter for the first time in his Duquesne career tonight. Theis saw 12 minutes of action, scoring 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocked shots.

It should also be pointed out that as of 1:03am Saturday morning Saint Francis has yet to post the score of the game. Hey Red Flash, you are a Division I program, update your freaking website!

I wasn't at the game so if anyone is looking for more details i recommend the Dukes Forum.

Apperently Stephen Wood has a bum ankle and did not dress for the game, who cares RE never plays him anyway.

I have a feeling Dukes fans will be seeing Saunders throwing down dunks like this one for the next 3 years


Ron Everhart's daughter Gianna has not been feeling well lately and had successful surgery this week to remove her appendix. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Everhart family.


The Dukes play host to Robert Morris next Friday at 7pm and I am happy to say that I will be in attendance. I'll likely be at Shales before and after the game with my Dad.

The 12 day layoff is OVER!

The Dukes are done with exams and can finally get back to what college is really about, sports.

Game Preview

I don't know about Dukes Court readers but I have been really hurting while the Dukes have been off, I actually dreamt last night that Duquesne had to go to 3 OTs to beat Saint Francis, and no I am not kidding.

I am predicting that tonight will be the beginning of a winning streak for the Dukes going into A-10 conference play.

Game time tonight is 7pm at the Palumbo, and as always you can listen to the game on 1410am in Pittsburgh or on the Internet via the link of the right side of the page. I will be unable to watch or listen to the game tonight as I will be stuck at my in laws holiday party, I'll do my best to get a post up after the game, but it likely won't be until late.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

(9) Pitt beats (7) Duke at MSG 65-64 in OT - Duquesne's RPI due to go up

It's weird but every time Pitt wins this season Duquesne's RPI will go up because of their loss to Pitt earlier this year. I hate rooting for Pitt, but in a weird way I can now justify enjoying Pitt wins at least to some extent. Of course I am always happy when Duke loses.

Since Duquesne lost to Pitt by 5, and Pitt beat Duke by 1, does that mean that Duquesne could compete with Duke? I have always hated these types of arguments especially in regards to college football:

Well my team beat team X, and team X beat team Y, and team Y beat team Z, and team Z is in the BCS title game so I think my team should be in the BCS title game. This argument was even more annoying before the BCS when several teams would lay claim to the national championship,but i digress.

Levance "Taser" Fields dropped 21 and scored the winning 3 for Pitt.

This is the type of celebration that says "yea I've won big games like this before" or not


In laws update:

I arrived at my in laws tonight at 830pm. Around 9pm I was given permission to turn on the Steelers game on their sick big screen HD. I am thinking to myself, "yes, score, I can watch the entire 2nd half!" No such luck, they do not get the NFL Network.

I hate you NFL Network!

Duquesne gets some love from the AP

It's nice to have the Dukes mentioned in the AP and not have it be about the shooting.

AP Article about Dukes RPI ranking

(6-3) Duquesne hosts (3-7) Saint Francis

Game Notes

Some interesting nuggets:

  • Duquesne has won 27 of the past 29 games against Saint Francis
  • A victory over The Red Flash would ensure Duquesne's first winning non-conference record since 1993-94. I was in 8th grade in 93-94
  • The last time Saint Francis defeated the Dukes was back in 1966
  • Shawn James has at least 1 block in every game he has ever played in college
  • Phillip Fayne is 0-8 from the field since the end of the 2nd game of the season
  • Damian Saunders returned to practice on Monday the 17th and is expected to play after suffering a sprained ankle at the end of the WVU game
  • Kojo Mensah is 3-16 from the field in Duquesne's last two games
  • Page 9 of the Game Notes has a nice write up on Duquesne's incoming recruits


I will be unable to attend the game against Saint Francis this Friday because I will be visiting my in laws this weekend for the holidays.

If the Dukes lose to Saint Francis I'll walk home from my in law's townhouse in Macungie, PA.

Top Ten Tarts of Pittsburgh in 2007

My friends over at The Darn News have released their: Top Ten Tarts of Pittsburgh in 2007

Coming in at #2 is Danika Wukichour our Mayor's former spokeswoman

Saint Francis drops the ball against Iona

I love this logo

Not only did Saint Francis lose to Iona last night, but it would appear I jinxed Devin Sweetney with my profile yesterday, he only scored 6 points against the Gaels.

Duquesne's RPI is currently #37
Iona's current RPI is #258
Saint Francis drops down to #312

In short, if the Dukes lose Friday night Ron Everhart might have a coronary.

Iona is coached by Kevin Willard, a Pitt alumnus, who's father is the current Holy Cross coach and former Pitt coach Ralph Willard.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm a Duquesne fan it's my job to bring up things that make Pitt look bad

Former Pitt Panther and current member of the Minnesota Timberwolves Mark Blount was listed as having the 14th worst contract in the NBA this season in an article by Bill Simmons from ESPN. Blount is in the middle of a 3 year contract that will pay him 22 million dollars.

Blount left Pitt after two seasons to go pro.

Blount's stats at Pitt:
95-95: 3.6ppg 3.0rpg 1.0bpg
95-96: 9.1ppg 6.8rpg 2.7bpg

Blount was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1997 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics but did not make the team. To Blount's credit he played overseas, made a name for himself and earned an NBA job with Celtics in 2000-01 and has been in the NBA ever since. Now he has joined the dubious list of worst contracts in the NBA.

Mark Blount is the only former Pitt player currently in the NBA.

Shawn James compared to Sean Williams's Jeff Goodman listed Shawn James as the 17th pick in his 2008 NBA mock draft published in July.

Goodman on Shawn James:

"The former Northeastern star bulked up this past season while sitting out due to transfer rules. He’s extremely athletic and is arguably the best shot-blocker in the country. If [Boston College’s] Sean Williams can be chosen 17th with his baggage, why can’t James?"

Not only was Williams chosen 17th overall, he has now been made a starter by the New Jersey Nets. In his third start of the season last night, Williams had 11 points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots in 42 minutes of the Nets' 106-101 loss to Sacramento. His eight blocks tied a team rookie record set in 1981 by Mike Gminski.

Yep, that Mike Gminski

I have been beating this Sean Williams - Shawn James comparison to death, I know. What can I say this 13 day layoff is killing me.

"Wunderkind" named Pittsburgh Male Athlete of the Week by the Trib

Trib Article

Chartiers Valley sophomore guard T.J. McConnell, (who Dukes Court has officially nicknamed "Wunderkind") was named the Pittsburgh Male Athlete of the Week this morning by the Pittsburgh Tribute Review. McConnell averaged 24.6 points and six 3-pointers per game in Chartiers Valley's path to the KSA Disney Classic championship in Orlando, Fla., last week.

McConnell has already verbally committed to Duquesne and is making Ron Everhart look like a visionary with his ridiculous play so far this year.

As if putting up great numbers as a 5'8 135 pound sophomore isn't enough McConnell is already talking about how he can improve his game, "I'd like to get a better handle on the ball and going around people. On defense, I just want to keep looking in (an opponent's) eyes and telegraph where the pass is going and get a few steals a game."

Devin Sweetney - Saint Francis Super Sophomore

The Dukes host a Saint Francis squad that is led by 6'6 - 180 pound redshirt sophomore Devin Sweetney this Friday.
  • Sweetney led the Red Flash in scoring as a freshman with 13ppg

  • Sweetney is the cousin of Chicago Bulls forward Mike Sweetney.

  • Devin is 2nd on the team in scoring this season with 11.8ppg, and leads the team with 13 steals.

  • Sweetney has been named co-captain as a sophomore

  • Lindy's named Sweetney to their pre-season all-NEC team

  • Devin had a solid game last year against the Dukes with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.

  • Sweetney played at the same high school as two of his current teammates, Bassirou Dieng and Chris McFarland

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some thoughts about Saint Francis

The Dukes will play the Red Flash of Saint Francis this Friday at the AJ Palumbo Center after a 13 day layoff for final exams. Blogging about the Dukes during such a long layoff has forced me to think creatively in terms of posting ideas. The Dukes have lost their last 3 games to 11th ranked Pitt, 24th ranked WVU, and Drake who is now receiving votes for the AP top 25. I think the layoff has been good for Duquesne, specifically I think it has allowed the Dukes to recover mentally from a tough 3 game losing streak, and to get healthy. Damian Saunders injured his ankle in the WVU game and Bill Clark is recovering from a mild concussion. I also think that the layoff has given the Dukes time to stew over losing 3 in a row, I would hate to be Saint Francis on Friday because I have a feeling the Dukes are going to come out like a ball of fire.

Ron Everhart gave me an early Christmas present when he said this week that Duquesne will continue to use the two platoon system. I am a big fan of the two platoon system, and think it is a key to success for the Dukes this season.

Saint Francis on the other hand has been very active this month. After starting the season 0-6 with loses to Youngstown State, Leigh, Morgan State, PSU, American, and La Salle the Red Flash have won 4 in a row including wins on the road against Robert Morris and Bucknell. Saint Francis will play Iona Wednesday the 19th prior to meeting the Dukes on Friday.

I have some bad news for Dukes Court fans, I will be unable to attend the St. Francis game this Friday, I will be traveling to beautiful Macungie PA to visit my in laws for the holidays. This will be the first Duquesne home I have missed this season. I will be back at the Palumbo for the Dukes' other December games against Robert Morris and South Carolina Upstate.

Drake gets more props

At one point I was disappointed in Duquesne for losing to Drake but now Drake is getting so much love for their 8-1 start that I almost feel honored to have lost to them. is the latest publication that has jumped on the Drake bandwagon:

"Keno's Drake Bulldogs are 8-1, with their only loss coming at Saint Mary's, the nation's top-ranked team in the RPI. In early December, Josh Young and Leonard Houston combined for 39 points in Drake's 79-44 drubbing of Iowa State. The 35-point margin of victory was the Bulldogs biggest in 167 meetings with the Cyclones. This past week, Des Moines-based Drake crushed Chicago State 83-53 and demolished Texas-Pan American 83-55. On Friday, the Bulldogs travel to hapless Iowa, where I expect the good times to continue. Now, in honor of the presidential campaign, try saying "caucus" 10 times fast. Caucus, caucus, caucus, caucus..."

That is a big trophy for the Drake Regency Classic, is someone compensating for something?


If love from people like wasn't enough Drake received 6 votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll.


Yani from yocohoops wrote the article for

Monday, December 17, 2007

David Theis to get more playing time?

With Damian Saunders recovering from an ankle injury and Bill Clark still dealing with a mild concussion, (Clark is expected to play on Saturday) we might be seeing more from Dukes Court's favorite bench player David Theis. Theis is a Pittsburgher who came to Duquesne from Vincentian Academy by way of Mercersburg (Pa.) Prep. I love athletes who grow up in or around the Pittsburgh area.

We all pretty much know the David Theis story by now, he tore his ACL in high school, and was forced to go to prep school to give himself a shot at a DI scholarship. I saw Theis get some minutes early this season in games against Howard and Winston-Salem State. Theis reminds me of former Pitt Panther Donatas Zavackas. Zavackas, also 6'8, was a big strong player, who didn't move too well and couldn't do anything off the dribble, but if you left him open for just a second he would nail any open shot. Theis doesn't have much speed or agility, (he is 6'8 after all) but he seems to have a nice shooting touch. If St. Francis ends up being a pushover don't be surprised to see Theis get a nice chuck of playing time.

As for Donatas Zavackas, I found this nugget on the big W:
Donatas Zavackas is most remembered by Pittsburgh fans for removing his shoes and refusing to play in the waning minutes of an NCAA Tournament game. That game, versus Marquette, would be his last career college game.

Somehow I don't think that would fly on a Ron Everhart team, but maybe that is just me?

Former Pitt player Donatas Zavackas has continued his career overseas, he is currently playing for BC Šiauliai in Lithuania. Duquesne fans could care less.

The King of Shot Blockers

Is Kenny George going to be the King of the Shot Blockers this year?

Shawn James has fallen behind the massive 7'7 Kenny George of UNC-Asheville in the fight to be named the king of the NCAA shot blockers. George is averaging 6.5 blocks per game in his first 7 games this season. Shawn James is not far behind with 4.8 blocks per game, and a total of 43 blocks this season. James only had one block in the Dukes last game a debacle against WVU.

I wouldn't be surprised if a surge in James' blocked shots coincides with a string of wins for the Dukes.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

A morning reading of the Post Gazette made me remember Highlights for Children Magazine. I used to get stuck reading this when I had to wait for long periods of time in either my doctor's or dentist's office waiting room as a child. Anyway, the "Where are they now?" section of the Dukes Notebook in this morning's PG made me think of the one exercises in Highlights where you had to compare two pictures and mark the differences between them. It would appear that there are not many differences between a recent post on Dukes Court and the Dukes Notebook in the PG.

Click the two links below and see if you can find many differences:

My post last week

The Dukes Notebook from the PG this morning - scroll down to the bottom

No mention of Dukes Court in the PG however.


Thanks to Scoville for pointing this out to me.