Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dayton takes out Pitt 80-55

Yes that's right, 80-55.

I didn't watch the game so Dukes Court readers will have to rely on the AP recap. Brian Roberts (pictured right) dropped 31 points for the Flyers who are now 11-1 and are a sure fire bet to move into the top 25. The A10 Conference is looking crazy good this year.

Congrats to the Flyers.

The Pitt Blather live blogged the game.

Picture of the game

This was one of the most exciting plays of the season in my mind. The Dukes were just starting to pull away from Robert Morris in the 2nd half when Shawn James received a pass under the hoop. James was being harassed by 2 Robert Morris players and he was in a bad position to make a play. James leaped in the air and slammed the ball home, reverse dunk style.

Props to Matt Freed of the Post Gazette for documenting this joyous Duquesne moment.

Dukes look good in retro jerseys, win by 16

I caved and dropped 50$ on the retro "Stormin' Norman" jersey

The Dukes looked like garbage in the first half but put things together in the 2nd half with inspired play from Kojo Mensah and the Jacksons.

  • Kojo played well leading all scorers with 22 points and 6 assists
  • Reggie Jackson played his best game at Duquesne dropping 14 points, 9 assists, and 7 boards
  • Damian Saunders looked wonderful all around but especially on defense, he had 4 blocks and 2 steals
  • I was disappointed in Shawn James and Kieron tonight, Bobby Moe had no post players to speak of and both failed to dominate or take advantage inside.
  • Kieron missed his first shot from the block and never seemed to regain his confidence. I love Kieron but he just seems to lack that fire that makes a talented player great.
  • My father and I shared some adult beverages with Garry Nelson, one half of the famous Nelson twins from Duquesne's great early 70s teams.
  • Ron Everhart continued his trend of playing the two platoon system in the first half and then playing a shorter bench in the 2nd half. This strategy has worked effectively, the two platoon seems to wear out the opposing team and then the 7 select Dukes pull away from the their opponent in the 2nd half.

Sadly the Dukes next game against South Carolina Upstate, a 5pm tip on Sunday, now will interrupt the Steelers 4pm game against the Ravens. Stupid flex scheduling.

The Dukes are now 8-3 and are in a good position to win their next three games against South Carolina Upstate, Bowling Green and Fordham.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dayton and Drake get some blog love

Storming The Floor lists Dayton and Drake amongst their early season winners in a recent post. Dayton is off to a crazy 10-1 start featuring a victory over Lousville. The Dukes travel to Dayton on February 13th to play the Flyers. I haven't been this scared to play the Flyers since the monstrous 7'0 Sean Finn (pictured right) was dawning a Dayton uniform. Dayton is receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and is in many Top 25 polls around the country.

Drake has continued its winning ways since dispatching the Dukes on December 1st. Drake is 9-1 and is in great shape going into conference play. I don't think I'll be able to let the Drake game go for the rest of the season. We played like crap, on the road, and still almost won. The annoying thing is that Drake has been getting a lot of national attention for starting out the season so strong and if the Dukes had won that game I think Duquesne would be getting more national press, 7-3 just isn't as nice looking as 8-2. Drake is currently receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and is in the Top 25 in many polls around the country.


I will be attending the game tonight with my father and we are planning on having at least one post game drink at Shale's Cafe. Dukes Court readers are welcome to join us. Keep an eye out for a guy in his late 20s named Patrick, (that would be me) and a man in his 60s with a limited amount of grey hair.

Something tells me that sign hasn't been cleaned in a while

Player Spotlight - Colleen Russell from Eastern Michigan

The Lady Dukes play host to the Eagles from Eastern Michigan this afternoon at 4pm and our 2nd Player Spotlight of the day will feature Colleen Russell from Eastern Michigan.

Meet Colleen Russell:
  • Colleen is 6'5
  • A native of Windsor, Ontario
  • Colleen has appeared in all 10 games this season and has started 6
  • Colleen's averages - 6.4ppg - 2.2rpg - 16.9mpg

Player Spotlight - Bas Rozendaal from Robert Morris

This is the first edition of Player Spotlight here at Dukes Court. Player Spotlight has nothing to do with a player actually being any good. Player Spotlight will showcase a player on an opposing team that has caught my eye for one reason or another.

Meet Bas Rozendaal:

  • he is 7'0
  • white
  • a native of Holland
  • has a horrible haircut like most foreign big men. Is it just me or does it almost look feathered?
  • His name is Bas

Bas sat out last year as a non-medical redshirt and is now a redshirt freshman.

Some key Bas stats:

  • Bas has played in 6 games this season
  • Bas has scored a total of 8 points in his Robert Morris career
  • Bas is averaging 3.8 minutes per game

I doubt I'll get the pleasure of seeing Bas on the court tonight for the Colonials but I can dream can't I?

Being the Favorite

The Dukes will be the favorite tonight when they play Robert Morris at the Palumbo Center in what some people are calling The City Game Part 2. First things first, we need a new nickname for this game, or at the very least we should not be calling it The City Game Part 2.

Being the favorite tonight scares me a little, of course a strong Robert Morris team scares me even more.

Tonight's game is going to be a big test for Duquesne.

  • Can the Dukes handle the pressure of being favored?

  • Can the Dukes win at home without the support of their student section?

  • Can the Dukes win with two of their star players at less than 100%? Shawn James has a bruised right forearm and Kojo Mensah missed practice yesterday due to back spasms. Both are expected to play tonight.

  • Can the Dukes handle an experienced Robert Morris squad which features two 1000 point career scorers and a third who is less than 40 points from 1,000?

I like the Dukes tonight but I feel a little bit like I did before the Steelers played the Jets this year, and that scares me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The PG gives the Lady Dukes some props

PG article

5'4 Kristi Little leads the Lady Dukes with 17.9ppg and 6.3apg

I'll be honest I don't really follow the Lady Dukes that closely but I am happy to see that Suzie McConnell-Serio has turned the program around, and very quickly might I add. The Lady Dukes have already equaled their win total of last season with a 7-5 record, a big improvement on the 7-20 record last season under Dan Durkin.

I met Dan Durkin with my dad when Scott Edgar was introduced as the new men's head coach back in the day. We actually sat at the same table as Durkin and his wife, they are both really cool people, especially Dan's wife who is from Ireland and has a sweet accent. That being said it was time for Duquesne and Durkin to go their separate ways.

The afternoon we met Durkin he told us how he found Korie Hlede, (pictured right.) Durkin was recruiting a post player on Hlede's team overseas, and the player Durkin was recruiting was surprised that he wasn't there to recruit Hlede and insisted that they meet. The rest is history. Hlede's number has been retired by Duquesne and she spent several successful seasons in the WNBA before injuries ended her pro basketball career.

Clearly McConnell-Serio has the Lady Dukes going in the right direction. Give Everhart and McConnell-Serio a few years and both of these teams will be in the NIT or NCAA Tournament.

Go Retro!

The Dukes will be sporting throwback jerseys for tomorrow night's game against Robert Morris. You can purchase your Norm Nixon throwback jersey here.

I am a huge fan of wearing a team's jersey to their games.
My closet it filled with jerseys including:

  • Ben Roethlisberger jersey
  • Sidney Crosby jersey
  • Throwback Roberto Clemente jersey
  • A collection of bad Pirates jerseys: Kris Benson, Brian Giles, and Jason Kendall.

I have never really understood the basketball jersey thing, maybe it is because we don't have an NBA team in Pittsburgh. I can't wear a basketball jersey without an undershirt because I have no tan. I guess I could pull a Aaron Jackson and wear a tee-shirt under the jersey, but that looks sort of silly in my opinion. Needless to say I doubt I'll be spending the $159 necessary to purchase one of the retro Norm Nixon jerseys.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Duquesne ranked 38th in the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings

Brian (DU class of 2000) a Dukes Court reader turned me onto the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings.

The Pomeroy rankings:
The purpose of this system is to show how strong a team would be if it played tonight, independent of injuries or emotional factors. Since nobody can see every team play all (or even most) of their games, this system is designed to give you a snapshot of a team’s current level of play.

The site predicts Duquesne to finish the season with a record of 22-7.

Old School Baby, Old School

Game Notes
PG article

Duquesne will honor the 1976-77 NCAA Tournament team at halftime of the Robert Morris game this Friday night, and the Dukes will wear retro uniforms.

I'll be honest, the more I read about Robert Morris the more scared I get about playing them.

  • Bobby Moe is 4-1 on the road this year with their only loss coming in overtime against Seton Hall.
  • The Colonials start two career 1,000 point scorers, 6'6 forward A.J. Jackson and 6'0 guard Tony Lee.
  • 7-4 RMU has only lost two games when they have had #21 Jeremy Chappell (pictured right) in the lineup, he missed some games this season with academic issues, one of those being a humiliating loss to Saint Francis.
  • Chappell enters the game against the Dukes with 962 career points. Chappell will play Friday night.
  • The Colonials are coached by Mike Rice, a well traveled NCAA assistant coach, who's father played and coached at Duquesne. Rice was an assistant coach at Pitt last year.
  • The last time RMU defeated Duquesne at the Palumbo Center was in 1990.

Check out this Robert Morris blog

Monday, December 24, 2007

Damian Saunders Named A10 Rookie of the Week

More Shawn James NBA Talk

Because another week couldn't go by without posting something about Shawn James' NBA prospects, here is a great writeup on James from The writeup was written on 12-12-07.

The Future Looks so Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

PG article on Super Frosh Damian Saunders

Transfers Kojo Mensah and Shawn James have been making Ron Everhart look good all season long, but this year's freshman, Damian Saunders, Bill Clark, and David Theis are making waves now and the future look even brighter for Duquesne.

There have been times this season when I've said to myself, "when Kojo and Shawn James leave Duquesne this team will take a big hit" but now I realize that isn't true. Ron Everhart is not only giving his young players lots of playing time, but the freshman are also playing in crucial situations.

If RE had to chose his best 5 players Damian Saunders would be part of that 5. Saunders is the most talented of the freshman, and he has the speed and athleticism to be a star in the Atlantic 10. Bill Clark is a RE favorite due to his overall tenacity, tough defense, hussle, and 3 point shooting ability. David Theis is the least used of the freshman, however he did receive his first start of the season Friday night against Saint Francis. Theis may never be a superstar but he has a nice 6'8 build, a strong shooting touch, and at the very least will provide the kind of inside depth that every competitive team needs. Duquesne fans can only hope that the 07-08 recruiting class has as much impact as this group.