Atlantic 10 (21-12, 9-7)
NIT Seed: #7
Big Wins: 2/7 Xavier (72-68), 3/12 vs Rhode Island (78-74), 3/13 vs Dayton (77-66)
Bad Losses: 12/17 Old Dominion (60-86), 2/4 at St. Louis (74-78), 2/11 at Richmond (67-71)
Coach: Ron Everhart
Aaron Jackson, Senior, Guard, 18.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.5 rpg
Jason Duty, Junior, Guard, 7.3 ppg, 1.3 apg
Melquan Bolding, Freshman, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Bill Clark, Sophomore, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 2.8 apg, 5.1 rpg
Damian Saunders, Sophomore, Forward, 13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Eric Evans, Freshman, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 2.2 apg
B.J. Monteiro, Freshman, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Duquesne will push the tempo nearly every time they have the ball and Coach Ron Everhart needs to have some offensive weapons to successfully do that. And there are three players on this team that have stepped up and become dynamic scorers. Damian Saunders is the only true forward on the team and he has to do a lot more than just score…like grab some rebounds and block a few shots. Yet, it is his versatile scoring that makes him so dangerous. He will back down some opponents and he can make the opposing center very uncomfortable by stepping out and hitting the three ball.
In the backcourt the best scorers are Aaron Jackson and Bill Clark. Jackson, a 6-4 point guard, does a superb job finishing around the basket. Against smaller opponents he will use his strength to get to the basket, but he has enough speed and quickness to beat just about anybody off the dribble. When Jackson is not scoring his 18.5 points per game, he is setting up great looks for his teammates. Clark is the best three-point shooter on the team, yet at 6-5, he has the size to also help out on the glass.
Why They Can Disappoint:
While Saunders is a quality rebounder and taller guards like Jackson, Clark and Melquan Bolding will help out on the glass, the Dukes are not a good rebounding team. For a team that starts four guards and likes to run, it is not surprising that they have trouble on the boards, but in certain situations Duquesne has to do a better job in that department. There will be situations when the team needs to crash the glass instead of starting a break the other way and they might not be able to do it.
Who To Watch:
Clark, Jackson and Saunders might score a large bulk of the points, but Bolding, Jason Duty and Eric Evans all average at least seven points per game. Bolding is an important player in the starting lineup due to his size and Duty is a very consistent outside shooter. Duty, a 6-1 junior, connects on 40.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and that is where a majority of his shots will come from. Evans, the team’s sixth man, is an inconsistent shooter and probably takes too many three-pointers, but he is a very dangerous scorer who will attack the basket.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.1 (26th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.6 (296, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.6 (52, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.1 (293, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.2 (23, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.4 (148, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.9 (131, 3)
Rebound Margin: -1.1 (228, 10)
Assists Per Game: 16.9 (9, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.2 (197, 10)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to Baylor