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Duquesne Basketball

Inside the Dukes: Duquesne Displays Signs Of Maturity



As the Duquesne Men’s Basketball Team came off of a signature win over College of Charleston, assistant coach Rick McFadden challenged his team to push through the tiredness and any hangover from the victory.

Though it was not a picture-perfect first half, Duquesne came away with an 85-63 victory over Stony Brook Monday night at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

“I think we were a little tired, it was a long trip and there was a lot going on,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot admitted. “I thought we were a little sluggish, but I don’t think it was from a lack of respect for the opponent or not understanding the importance of the game.”

Duquesne held Stony Brook to a 24.3% shooting clip, which on the surface looked great, but there were some frustrations, namely 10 offensive rebounds conceded and 10 turnovers, ruining what consistently was a short court.

There were a lot of mental mistakes but at the locker room, the Dukes worked to regroup.

“We just told ourselves we were going to rally, calm down and come out and play basketball how we should and don’t let the defense dictate what we do,” senior guard Jimmy Clark III said. “That was the main focus at halftime.”

Duquesne was a far more polished side evidenced by eight steals compared to one turnover.

“The one thing about these guys, they keep coming back for more,” assessed Dambrot.


Duquesne has had its share of reliable six men under Dambrot, among those are Tavian Dunn-Martin, Tarin Smith and Baylee Steele, but now Fousseyni Drame is throwing his hat in the ring.

Drame posted his first double-double as a Duke consisting of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Through three games he is averaging 11 points and 8.3 rebounds over 26.3 minutes of work.

“The one guy is playing unbelievable. His production in short time periods for the amount of shots he’s taking is one of the highest levels that I’ve seen,” Dambrot said.

Though it has just been three games, Dambrot has seen enough to state that he is playing himself into being a high-level player instead of as a role player, doing so by shooting at a high-level while being very diversified.

It is Dambrot’s belief that Drame is playing like one of the best players in the Atlantic 10 and if that were to continue then the team would have something special.

Dambrot has already begun to consider putting Drame in the starting lineup, which he stated would consist of just talking to him to see if it is okay, stating with the current level he is playing at would warrant that being the only right thing to do.

The catch-22 of it all would be that he would almost certainly take Andrei Savrasov’s spot in the lineup. Though for most on the team it does not affect them were they to start or come off the bench, Savrasov has played with more confidence because the staff did not give up on him when he struggled.

Either way, it goes back to a refrain associate head coach Dru Joyce III mentioned that it does not matter who starts on the team.

“Our guys are coming to grips with whatever opportunity presents itself they take advantage of,” said Joyce. “I think that’s the sign of a special team. It’s been beneficial if we have rough starts, to have that man coming off your bench with that type of production, that’s a special thing.”


Duquesne continues with the middle of a three-game homestand against Princeton. It is a challenging time given the team had two days before this game and a day in between the next two contests.

This will test a Dukes team which will be without Tre Williams and also continue developing some of their younger players, the latest of which, Kailon Nichols made his debut Monday.

“Probably the hardest thing is Princeton is next and we all know about that system,” Dambrot concluded. “You need good prep time and clearly we’re not going to have that. We’re just going to go out and play and I tell our guys to let it rip and quit thinking so much. We’re better when we just play. It’s like a pro schedule now. I kind of like it in a way, nobody really likes to practice that much anyways. They sure as hell don’t, they like those 45-minute-to-hour practices where they can go home and sleep.”


“We’ve got shooters everywhere. We stretch the floor and have two wild stallions who shoot the ball extremely well. (Dambrot) has strong belief in all of us and that’s why we keep letting it go. That changed the game when we started hitting our threes.” – sophomore guard Kareem Rozier

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 day ago

Duquesne and PITT are both starting off hot! What a shame Capel won’t renew the city game. This year it may have featured two undefeated teams.

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