Monday, January 7, 2008

The Big Picture

With the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule starting Wednesday it is time to look at the Dukes season in the big picture. The Dukes have done a fantastic job in non-conference play for the first time in over a decade. Duquesne has a favorable A10 schedule this year with home and home series against lower tier A10 teams: Fordham, St. Bonaventure and La Salle. In short the Dukes have exceeded every one's expectations, (with the possible exception of Ron Everhart) and have a favorable road ahead in A10 play.

It is time to make new expectations for Duquesne. Nothing less than a trip to the NIT Tournament would make me happy. I expect the Dukes to take 5 of 6 from the teams we have home and home series with. The Dukes are still lacking a signature win this season, and a win against either Rhode Island, Dayton or Xavier would fill this void, (sadly we play all of these teams on the road this season.)

The first step towards making a post season tournament will be taking care of Fordham at home on Wednesday night.


Scoville said...

Having high expectations are the first step to becoming a winning program. Meeting them is the second, and obviously, more difficult step.

NIT is the minimum, in fact, I think I'd be happy with no less than being on the bubble for the dance. The A-10 gets at least 3 this year, 4 is a distinct possibility. The CAA is down. The MVC is also down. Those bids have to go somewhere. I don't see the Big East or ACC getting more than usual - and maybe the Big East getting less than normal. (Big East having only a few big non conference wins, and none of the teams can seem to win road conference games equals records less impressive than usual.)

The team needs to take care of business against all the teams they are expected to beat. That means no losses to La Salle et al. Getting a road win verse URI, XU or UD would be a huge feather in the profile cap, but maybe the biggest game of the year is the game againt UMASS at the Palumbo. If the team gets the win, and ends up ahead of them in the A-10 standings - maybe we steal their spot. It's a reach, but, it isn't out of the question.

The A-10 schedule is favorable - they should finish in the top 3, and win at least a few games in the A-10 tourney.

jaygeekray said...

Fordham at home is HUGE !!!

A stumble now would be horrible...need to hit the A10 schedule at full speed and take the beatable teams out quickly and decidedly...

the games at Dayton and Xavier would be signature wins no doubt...we just have to hope to be competitive...the Dayton papers praised Pitt for scheduling to play the Flyers on the road since NOBODY is willing to go a Dukes win there would surely open some eyes around the Nation...