I am not a Pitt fan but seeing this picture was painful.
Why I like the Dukes in a rematch:
- While Pitt is ravaged with injuries the Dukes are healthy. Shawn James is banged up a little bit, and Damian Saunders missed some time with an ankle injury, but all in all the Dukes are fairly healthy and both of those players are on the floor making significant contributions.
- On top of being healthy 2 of the Dukes key contributors are freshman Damian Saunders and Bill Clark who are getting better with every game they play.
- The Dukes are also meshing and becoming more of a team with every game. A big part of Pitt's success is having a tight knit team, and having players develop chemistry over their entire careers in the Pitt program. Duquesne doesn't have the type of chemistry that Pitt does, at least not yet, but with every game the Dukes play together they are learning to play better together and learning each other's tendencies.
- The Dukes are a more confident team today than they were back on December 5th when they faced Pitt. The Dukes are 4-1 since their loss to Pitt and their continued success has breed the kind of confidence Duquesne needs when playing teams like Pitt.
Considering the Panthers started the game against Duquesne with a 14-0 run, and the Dukes were able to claw back, eventually losing by 5, I would like the Dukes chances in a rematch if the two teams played today.