Saturday, February 16, 2008

Looking Ahead?

Richmond's Chris Mooney is one heck of a coach

Were the Dukes looking ahead to the big game against Xavier next week? It sure looked like they were.

My post game observations:
  • Richmond slowed the game down and controlled the tempo.

  • Duquesne had the superior athletes, but Richmond had the better coached basketball team tonight. My hat is off to Richmond head coach Chris Mooney he has done a great job of coaching a young team, his players made smart decisions and rarely made mental mistakes. Richmond is the kind of team you see during warm ups and you say to yourself "Duquesne is going to run away with this game" but Richmond overcame their lack of strength by playing smart team basketball. The Spiders are going to be a very tough team the next few seasons as their players mature and continue to gel.

  • Richmond did not have a post player who could match up with Shawn James or Kieron Achara, but the Spiders were able to stifle the Dukes' big men all night be playing aggressive defense before Achara or James could get their hands on the ball.

  • Richmond made their shots tonight, that was the difference. The Spiders were 11-16 from 3 point land for a crazy 68% percentage. David Gonzalez, (who went to Notre Dame Prep) was 5-6 from beyond the arch. Every time the Dukes got back into the game in the 2nd half the Spiders would nail a clutch 3. Richmond shot 51% from the field.

  • In the 1st half Bill Clark was invisible but he came alive in the 2nd half, hitting a clutch 3 with 6 seconds left to cut the Richmond lead to 1.

I said it earlier this week, "Do not overlook Richmond. Do not overlook Richmond. Do not overlook Richmond." Well the Dukes clearly were not prepared for Richmond tonight. I honestly feel like Ron Everhart was out coached by Chris Mooney. Shawn James fought hard all night to get open in the post and his teammates simply refused to make a quality entry pass to him on the block.

I'll leave you with this quote:

"Getting behind against Richmond was the worst possible scenario on a basketball court. You get behind on a team like them and it's an uphill battle all the way with the treadmill on level 10 in terms of the incline. It was very difficult to come back against them."

Louisville Coach Rick Pitino


craig950 said...

2 years ago, the dukes would have folded after getting down by 13 and probably lost by 30. at least these guys play hard and dont give up. it was nice comeback at the end. too little/too late. but great things for the dukes on the horizon. this i have foreseen.

Anonymous said...

The Dukes have to keep there head on the prize and that is to get consistent. They have not been good for long. Well this is the first winning season in about 15 years. The Dukes have to take it slow. This reminds me of the Pitt program. The First year of Howland you could see the difference in the culture of the program. Second year the team is on the winning track but inconsistent. The third year it all falls into place. Then a better program comes in and scoops up the coach. But dont fret people Mike Rice(Robert Morris) is around the corner!

JayGeeKray said...

Bad, bad loss...because it was at home, not because it was to Richmond (a very solid team unlike the Bonnies and Forham)

Exciting to watch the Dukes claw back in the final 2 mins...disappointing that the endline ref missed seeing both times the Richmond inbounder stepped on the line...My son was shocked by how many folks left with over a minute do we expect the players to believe if we, the fans, don't know in our hearts that the comeback is realistic?

Sorry to miss you at Shales, my son's only 17 so we passed...hopefully I'll catch you at the St Louis game...


It is looking more and more like the Dukes will need a victory in their first A10 tourney game to reach 20 wins...I expect them to win both home games and steal one on the road at either Temple or Charlotte...winning them both would be even better...