Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dukes defeat La Salle 101-84

Box Score

Duquesne is now 15-7 and 5-4 in the A10 picking up their first A10 road win this afternoon. Duquesne controlled this game throughout. La Salle had a few runs to keep it close but the Dukes controlled this game. Duquesne held La Salle's leading scorer Darnell Harris to only 2 first half points. He ended the game with 14 on 4-11 shooting and 2-8 from beyond the arch.

We saw Kieron Achara and Shawn James on the floor together for the first time in a long time this afternoon and they looked good.

Ron Everhart stopped the post game interview to give Ray Goss props for the article about Goss in SI.

  • Kieron Achara had a huge game for Duquesne, he ended the game with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks.

  • Reggie Jackson also scored 21 points. He had 9 assists, he was 3-3 from three point land, and 4-4 from the free throw line

  • Aaron Jackson had 18 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals

  • Gary Tucker had 16 points on 7-10 shooting

  • The Dukes shot 24-28 from the free throw line for 85.7%

  • The Dukes were 35-63 from the field for 55.6%

Duquesne is a better team than La Salle on paper and it showed on the floor this afternoon. Great energy and effort from the Dukes. Duquesne travels to Dayton next Wednesday for a huge A10 game. Dayton was ranked in the top 25 earlier this season, but has fallen lately due to injuries, are they ripe for the picking? We shall see on Wednesday.

Duquesne vs. La Salle Live Blog

watch the game live online
scroll down to the 2pm games and click on Duquesne vs. La Salle

Pens 4 Kings 1 - 3rd period - Malkin has 2 goals

Kojo Mensah is not dressed for the game today due to the flu.

The Dukes are not playing 1040

6-2 Dukes early

Achara and Shawn James are now on the floor together

James with a dunk, assist Achara
10-2 Dukes 16 minutes left

12-4 Dukes

14-4 Dukes this time James feeds Achara for an easy layup

16-4 Dukes - Kieron already has 8 points for the Dukes

Pens just scored its now 3-0 Pens 2nd period

20-7 Dukes - Duty is in the lineup, it looks like he will take the extra minutes with Kojo out

Rodney Green just picked up his 2nd foul for La Salle

20-8 Dukes 12 minutes left 1st half

20-14 Dukes - 7 point La Salle run

22-16 Dukes - neither team has made a 3 yet.

22 - 18 Dukes - 10 -2 La Salle run

24 - 20 Dukes - Tucker slams home a alleyoop

28 - 24 Dukes - Paul Johnson with 8 points for La Salle
5:53 remaining 1st half

Pens scored again - Stall with his 8th of the season , the Pens now lead 4-0

35-29 Dukes lead - 3:57 remaining

35-35 tie game - Duke are getting killed on the glass
6-0 La Salle run

40 -35 Dukes big three by Clark
5-0 Dukes run

45-37 Dukes at the half
10-2 Duquesne run to end the half

Harris has 2 points for La Salle, he is their leading scorer for the season

The Dukes led by as many as 13 early in the 1st half

Half time stats:
La Salle
Paul Johnson with 13 points for La Salle
Darnell Harris with only 2 points - he
40% fg%
1-12 from beyond the arch

Kieron Achara 10 points - 5 rebounds - 2 blocked shots
Aaron Jackson 9 points
Reggie Jackson 9 points
50% from the field
9 turnovers
Shawn James played only 7 minutes


Start of the 2nd half

51-41 Dukes
Achara has 13 points

53-43 Dukes
James checks in, Achara and James in together again
Achara is playing lights out this afternoon

61-45 Dukes - Achara just hit a 3!! Kieron has 21 points!!!
This is the biggest lead of the game for the Dukes
15 minutes left - this game is far from over if Darnell Harris gets hot for La Salle

61-49 Dukes - 14 minutes left - Harris is starting to get his game on here in the 2nd half

61-51 Dukes - Harris with 2 more for La Salle
6-0 run La Salle

65-53 Dukes

Kings just scored 4-2 Pens lead with less than 2 minutes left

65-60 Dukes
8-0 La Salle run

Pens game is over 4-2 Pens win

68-63 Dukes
11-3 La Salle run
Duquesne can't figure out La Salle's zone

71-63 Dukes
back to back 3's for Duquesne!

74-63 Dukes
back to back to back 3's for Duquesne - 9-0 run!

79-65 Dukes - 6 minutes left
14 point Duquesne lead

83-74 Dukes - 3 minutes left

85-74 Dukes 3 minutes left
Reggie Jackson with 19 points

89-74 Dukes 2 minutes left
Saunders with 2 dunks!

91-76 Dukes 2 minutes left

93-76 Dukes 1 minute left - you can check this off as a win

95-81 Dukes less than one minute left
here comes the foul parade

101-84 Dukes win!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Duquesne play by play man Ray Goss featured in SI


La Salle - Game Preview

The Dukes travel to Philly this weekend for a match up with the La Salle Explorers, tip off is scheduled for 2pm. The Explorers are 9-12 overall and 4-4 in A10 play coming off of a monster win at George Washington earlier this week. This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season.

La Salle is led by 6'1 senior guard Darnell Harris. Harris is averaging 16ppg, while shooting 44% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arch. Harris has made 82 of his 162 three point attempts this season. La Salle is a young team, Harris is one of only two seniors on the roster, the other senior is reserve forward Sherman Diaz. In addition to being young La Salle is small, they only have 3 players taller than 6'6, and none taller than 6'8.

This is a must win game for Duquesne. The Dukes already gave away road games to two lower level A10 teams this year (Fordham and St. Bonaventure) and they can't afford to lose to La Salle.

I do plan to live blog the game on Saturday, make sure to check back to Dukes Court at 2pm on Saturday.

Achara's 4.0 GPA earns him a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team for a second consecutive year


Contract extension for Ron Everhart?

From this morning's Trib article:
Athletic director Greg Amodio approved of his coach's head-on approach and stressed that the university was hoping to keep Everhart involved in the program's rebuilding process, perhaps with a long-term deal.

Everhart is in the second year of a five-year contract that runs through the 2010-11 season.
"We're going to do whatever we need to do from our standpoint to keep the pieces in place," Amodio said.


I hate contract extensions for coaches. The school makes a commitment to the coach, but the coach can leave at the drop of a hat for a better offer, seems rather one sided doesn't it?

It is important for Duquesne to show Everhart that we are committed to him, and part of that is giving him a contract that matches the success the program is having. The bottom line however is that if Coach Everhart gets an offer from a better basketball program in a better conference he will leave Duquesne regardless of how much we are paying him and how long his contract is.

Playing against Man or Zone Defense

The Dukes offense looked nearly perfect on Wednesday night against St. Joe's, shooting 60% from the field, but only two games earlier against UMass it looked confused and anemic, what happened? UMass primarily played zone defense, and they switched which type of defense they played throughout the game leaving the Dukes confused and unable to adjust. St. Joe's played man to man defense almost the entire game.

I am surprised an experianced head coach like Phil Martelli wouldn't see the success that UMass had with switching defenses and use it against the Dukes. It also didn't make sense for St. Joe's who has a short bench to play man to man against a team that likes to run and has depth. Regardless, Ron Everhart has to get the Dukes prepared to play against a zone defense in the very near future.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Day After

Here are Duquesne's new rankings after the St. Joe's game:

RPI: #90
Sagarin: #61

I am going to enjoy this win all the way up until the tip of the La Salle game on Saturday afternoon. Things really seemed to come together for Duquesne last night. After shooting so poorly from the field the last two games the Dukes shot 60% last night. On top of that the Dukes finally hit some three's shooting 50% from beyond the arch last night.

When Kieron Achara got hurt early in the 2nd half Shawn James was forced to play most of the game without much of a break. James responded with one of his best performances of the season.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

For the first time in 10 years

The Dukes defeat St. Joe's 102-88. The Dukes did not play the 10/40 tonight, instead Ron Everhart went with a more traditional 8 man rotation. From the start of the game the Dukes played with a lot of energy and frankly they out hustled and wore out the Hawks. The Dukes shot 60% from the field tonight after shooting a combined 35% in their last two games. Duquesne made the Hawks pay from the free throw line tonight going 29-37 for 78%.

  • Shawn James recorded the first triple double in Duquesne history with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots.

  • Aaron Jackson played his best game of the season by far tonight. Jackson's hustle was contagious. Jackson's smart play and tough defense helped the Dukes pull to a 22 point halftime lead. Aaron ended the game with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists on 6-7 shooting from the field. Jackson left the game mid-way through the second half when he was punched/elbowed in the stomach while trying to block a Hawk shot. Jackson returned later in the 2nd half, still holding his stomach at times, and provided valuable minutes for Duquesne.

  • While Aaron Jackson provided great defense Gary Tucker was brilliant on offense tonight, especially in the 1st half. Tucker ended the game with 18 points, on 4-9 from the field and 9-11 from the charity stripe.

  • Kojo Mensah played with composure for the first time in awhile tonight. Kojo ended the game with 19 points on 4-6 from the field and 10-12 from the free throw line.

  • Damian Saunders finally got out of his slump and got back to what he had been doing so well earlier this season playing great defense and making open shots when they presented themselves. Saunders had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

  • Kieron Achara left the game early in the 2nd half because he had two teeth knocked out. Coach Everhart said during the post game show that Achara was in the ER dealing with his teeth. James stepped up in Kieron's absence with one of his best performances this year.

The Dukes ended St. Joe's 6 game winning streak, and got a much needed win after loses of 14 and 15 points to UMass and St. Bonaventure respectively. The Dukes are now 14-7 overall and 4-4 in A10 play. Duquesne travels to La Salle on Saturday. The Explorers whipped GW 80-58 on the road tonight and are now 9-12 on the season.


  • Pittsburgh Steeler defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was in attendence at the game tonight.
  • Ron Everhart said during the post game show that 4 NBA scouts were at the Palumbo Center to watch Shawn James tonight. It's safe to say that James impressed his NBA fans.


Box Score

Dukes face St. Joe's at 7pm - Game Thread

PG Preview
Trib Preview

Vegas has tonight's game listed as a pick'em which is a bit of a surprise considering the Dukes 2 game skid, which includes a loss to A10 bottom feeder St. Bonaventure, and St. Joe's 6 game winning streak, and victories in 11 of their past 12 games.

Feel free to use the comments of this post to discuss the game during the broadcast. I will be at the game tonight and will post my wrapup when I return from the Palumbo Center.

The Shaq / Marion Trade

Yes I know this is a Duquesne Blog but I am also a big Phoenix Suns fan and I had to give my two cents about the Shaq / Shawn Marion trade.

My first reaction to this deal was something along the lines of: "What are the Suns thinking trading a guy whose nickname is "The Matrix" for a guy who is way past his prime and is being paid a ton of money?" After I stopped swearing at Steve Kerr I decided to take an objective look at this trade.

The Suns are tired of getting that grumpy look from Marion

Shawn Marion is not happy in Phoenix. Marion wants to play SF but is forced to play PF and play defense against much bigger tougher players than himself. Marion is a fantastic defensive player and is able to handle himself well against bigger competition, but he just doesn't like playing power forward. The Suns have done what they can to try and make Marion happy but it hasn't worked. Marion can opt out of his contact after this season so the Suns could lose Marion this off-season, or be stuck with a moody superstar who is due 17.1 million for the 2008-09 season.

Surprise surprise, Shaq is on the floor clutching his knee

Will the addition of Shaq make the Suns a more legit threat for an NBA title this year? Shaq is slow, frequently injured, and he doesn't fit into the Suns run and gun system. I don't like the idea of a team in 2008 counting on Shaq and Grant Hill, not to mention a frequently banged up 33 year old Steve Nash at PG. What Shaq can do is guard Tim Duncan in the playoffs, and he represents another legit low post threat for the Suns (when he is healthy) who have been weak down low for what seems like forever.

This is where Marcus Banks does most of his work, the bench

Don't forget about Marcus Banks. The Suns signed Banks a few years back to be a capable back up to Nash. Banks has been terrible, the Suns don't want him on their roster and have been stuck with his contract that pays him 4 million a season through the 2010-11 season. The Suns are very happy to get rid of Banks and his contract. Shaq is due 20 million next season and 20 million in the 2009-10 season.

Here are the Pros and Cons of this trade for the Suns:

  • Pros:
    The Suns get rid of Marcus Banks and his contract that runs through 2010-11

  • By trading Marion now the Suns eliminate the chance of Marion sticking around for next season, when he would earn 17 million. Marion is a great player, and he deserves his big contract, but he just isn't happy as a Sun, and as long as he is on the team I don't think they can win a title.

  • Shaq can fill in for Amare when he gets tired, and he provides another legit low post player for the Suns who have struggled against teams with talented centers in the past, namely Tim Duncan


  • Shaq is old, frequently injured and will make 20 million next year, and 20 million in 2009-2010.

All salary information was gathered from Hoops Hype.

St. Joe's update

  • So much for Ahmad Nivins giving Achara and James a tough time tonight he is out with a high ankle sprain. Fifth year senior Arvydas Lidzius (pictured right) will be making his first career start tonight in place of Nivins. Lidzius is a 6'9 205 pound forward.
  • The Hawks have won six in a row and 11 of their last 12 games.
  • Saint Joseph's received seven votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25. It is the first time this season that the Hawks have received votes.
  • Saint Joe's is tied for 1st in the A10 with a 6-1 record in conference play.
  • The series between Duquesne and Saint Joseph's dates back to 1938 and the Hawks have dominated the Dukes ever since. The Dukes career record against the Hawks is 9-33, and 6-13 in Pittsburgh.
My thoughts on the game tonight:

Even though the Dukes have been struggling lately the Dukes have a good shot at a win tonight. St. Joe's only plays a 7 man rotation, and one of their best players, Ahmad Nivins, will not be playing tonight. The Dukes have been playing well at home this year (with the exception of their last home game against UMass), and St. Joe's is the last top tier A10 team that Dukes will face at home this year. A win tonight against St. Joe's would get the Dukes' season back on track and keep their NIT Tournament hopes alive.

I will be at the game tonight, and will likely be making a brief stop at Shale's for a pre-game adult beverage.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Duquesne gets some love from Mike DeCourcy of highlights 07-08 Dukes turnaround

The Big Bad Hawks Come to Town

St. Joe's comes to Pittsburgh on a tear having won their last 6 games. Most recently the Hawks dispatched cross-town rival Villanova 77-55. St. Joe's is 15-5 overall and 6-1 in A10 play. This is the first home game of the year since we played Pitt that I felt that Duquesne was the underdog.

St. Joe's features 5 players who average 10 points or more. Of course the reason 5 players average that many points is because the Hawk's rotation only consists of 7 players. This begs the question, should the Dukes use the 10/40 against a Hawks team that has a short bench? Normally I would say, of course, but after the 10/40 failed against a much less talented St. Bonaventure team, (who also has a short bench) I am hesitant to go back to something that failed so miserably just one game ago.

Coach Everhart agrees that the 10/40 has not been good to the Dukes lately, Everhart said that the 10/40 system can be "a double-edged sword" because his team seems to flourish when it plays at an up-tempo pace. "When you can't score, you can't press," he said. "We have to be able to press in order to get more opportunities to score."

The Dukes are in the midst of a two game losing streak in which they have shot just 36.2 percent against St. Bonaventure and a season-low 34.2 percent against Massachusetts. Is it possible that the Dukes can continue to shoot this poorly? I sure hope not. Coach Everhart has said on a number of occasions since the UMass game that he feels an "extra pass" is necessary to give the Dukes more open looks at the basket and increase their shooting percentage.

James and Achara are going to have their hands full with Nivins

Standing in the Dukes way is a St. Joe's team that is led by two talented big men, Ahmad Nivins and Pat Calathes (pictured right). Nivins is a 6'9 235 pound junior forward who is averaging 14.2ppg and 6.5rpg while shooting 62% from the field. Nivins will be banging down low with Kieron Achara and Shawn James all night. Pat Calathes is a unique ball player, he is a 6'10 214 pound senior that is listed as a guard/forward. Calathes leads the Hawks in scoring and rebounding with 18.3ppg and 8.1rpg. He also leads the team in blocked shots with 30, and 3 point shots made with 47. He is shooting 45% from beyond the arch this year. It's safe to say that Pat Calathes scares me. I can only imagine who will have the unenviable task of guarding Calathes.

The Dukes will need to return to their early season form to have any shot against a St. Joe's team that has a legit shot at the NCAA Tournament.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Video of the Red Panda halftime show

A friend of Dukes Court, Alan Sekula, shot this video of the halftime show from the UMass game last week.

Thanks Alan.

Is it time to dump the 10/40?

Will this be the last time we see 5 Dukes entering the game at the same time?

The Dukes have lost their last two games, including a humiliating loss to a struggling St. Bonaventure team. To combat the 10/40 the Bonnies used only 7 players, 5 of which were on the floor for almost the entire game. If a bad team, with inferior players is beating you by 15 when you are running the 10/40 maybe it's time to make a change. Shawn James has not been able to find his rhythm since the GW game and maybe it is because he is seeing sporadic playing time? I am definitely not a basketball coach, but I do know that drastic changes need to be considered after a 15 point loss to St. Bonaventure.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dukes Court Super Bowl Prediction

I like the Giants tonight

Former Duquesne Great Al DeMao Dies

CLK posted this on the Duquesne Forum and I wanted to pass it along to Dukes Court readers.

"Duquesne has lost one of its all time greats. Duquesne Hall Of Famer Al DeMao passed away yesterday. Most people won't recognize the name, but he was one of Duquesne's greatest football players ever, and one of the kindest persons you would ever meet. Al played football for Duquesne from 1939 - 1942 and became an All American. The only Duquesne loss during the three years DeMao played varsity football was to Ole Miss. DeMao actually joined the U.S. Navy before his Duquesne graduation ceremony when all resources turned to the war effort. He finally received his diploma from Duquesne after returning to Pittsburgh following the war.

Future Hall of Fame coaching legend Paul 'Bear' Bryant scouted and signed DeMao to a Redskins contract. DeMao's sgning bonus was $250, a paltry sum when compared to today's extraordinary bonus figures. The Redskins had drafted DeMao four years earlier, but the organization thought the wait was worth it because the player and the organization made what has proven to be a perfect match. DeMao joined the Redskins in 1945 at mid-season, just in time for an eventual playoff matchup with the Cleveland Rams. The Rams won a 15-14 squeaker and then moved to Los Angeles. For seven seasons, DeMao was a two-way player at center and linebacker and served as captain for seven years. He snapped to one of the NFL's all-time greats, Sammy Baugh. DeMao had hoped to retire from Washington in 1952 after he was named to the Pro Bowl, but was persuaded to return for 1953. He was honored with an "Al DeMao Day'' at Griffith Stadium in Nov. 1952, where he received a boatload of presents and an automobile.

In 2002 Al DeMao was honored as one of the top 70 Washington Redskins players of all time. The "70 Greatest Redskins'' were selected by a Blue Ribbon Committee that was headed by retired CNN anchor Bernard Shaw. The committee took votes from fans and hundreds of present and former players were considered. Other panel members included U.S. Senator George Allen (R-Va.), son of the former Redskins coach, former stadium announcer Phil Hochberg and WRC-TV sports director George Michael.

Al was a relative of mine and will be missed by all who knew him. When I was a little boy growing up I remember seeing his Duquesne ring. Even with all his accomplishments he still wore the ring proudly on his hand with fingers twisted from years in the NFL trenches. I remember him as a soft spoken man who loved God, and loved and honored his family. I honestly never remember him ever having a harsh word toward any one. He truly was an All American."

People sometimes forget that Duquesne at one time was a top tier football school, and Al DeMao is a part of that tradition.

The Day After

New Ratings after the loss to St. Bonaventure:

RPI: #97
Kenpom/Pomeroy: #84
Sagarin: #70

Is it time to revise our goals for the 07-08 Dukes? Maybe. If the Dukes can get back on track with a win over St. Joe's on Wednesday they still have an outside shot at the NIT. With a loss to St. Joe's Dukes' fans should set their eyes on a new prize: a winning season.

Part of me wants to think that Shawn James may still be feeling the lingering effects of that knee injury but let's face it, the Dukes shot terribly again for the second game in a row. When you shoot poorly and play crappy defense you are going to lose. The Dukes allowed Tyler Benson to drop 15 points last night! Benson didn't even look like a Division 1 player the last two times these teams played. On top of that Shawn James didn't even play in the Dukes 16 point win over the Bonnies a few weeks back!

Remember when Reggie Jackson went on that tear in January? In our last two games he is a combined 4-16 from the field, 1-6 from beyond the arch, with a total of 11 points, and 7 turnovers

How bout Damian Saunders? What has he done the last four games?
St. Bonaventure: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
UMass: 6 points, 5 rebounds, 0 steals
George Washington: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals
St. Bonaventure at home: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals


I am upset about what has happened to the Dukes the last two games, I really felt this team had a shot at making history and going to the NCAA Tournament. That being said, this has been a very exciting year to be a Duquesne basketball fan. Ron Everhart has brought competitive basketball back to The Bluff and I appreciate all of the hard work he and the Dukes have put in this year. I am proud to say I am a Duquesne fan.