After a down yr through which the Atlantic 10 was hard-pressed to position a couple of staff within the NCAA Match, some pundits have predicted as many as 4 NCAA bids for the convention.
Getting into Saturday’s video games, the A-10 was tied with the West Coast Convention for the second-most groups with a minimum of 15 total victories with six every. Solely the Large Ten, with seven, had extra.
Amongst these 15-win groups is Duquesne (15-5, 5-3), which returns to PPG Paints Area on Sunday to face La Salle (10-10, 1-7).
“Persons are going to take a look at La Salle’s file and say, ‘They’re not any good.’ However they’re mistaken,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot stated. “They only performed at residence (on Wednesday) towards Saint Louis and misplaced in time beyond regulation (77-76). They’ve performed a whole lot of shut video games with good groups. We’re going to need to play.”
The sport comes at a essential time for Duquesne, which has seen its exceptional begin to the season dulled by a three-game shedding streak.
Friday, at Duquesne’s Energy Heart, the staff’s non permanent follow facility whereas their residence court docket is being renovated, the Dukes had been in enterprise mode after a 73-69 loss tto No. 7 Dayton two days earlier.
“After we began the day,” I stated, ‘Oh boy,’ as a result of you realize it’s February, we misplaced three in a row and a whole lot of juice went into that Dayton recreation,” Dambrot stated.
The Dukes rallied from a 19-point deficit to chop the Dayton result in two within the closing minute earlier than falling quick at PPG Paints Area.
“However then,” stated Dambrot, locking eyes along with his gamers, “possibly what we did in follow helped revitalize them as a result of they had been fairly good. We’ve simply bought to verify we include some good juice.”
Since successful its first 10 video games and sporting a 15-2 file earlier than this present skid, Duquesne has sputtered. However Dambrot stated it’s not too late to refocus and discover the mark once more. Going through La Salle appeared like time to start out the method.
The Explorers are yielding a mean of 70.1 factors.
“Play with juice and vitality and get on a roll,” Dambrot stated. “There’s loads of groups on this league that may try this.”
La Salle, like so many others, has performed a number of shut video games. The Explorers are 6-Four in video games determined by 9 factors or fewer.
In the meantime, Duquesne is averaging 62.Four factors in its previous 5 video games, effectively under a season common of 70.7. The Dukes, who yield a mean of 63.2, are 6-Three in video games determined by 9 factors or fewer. They’ve misplaced their most up-to-date contests to Massachusetts, 73-64, and to Dayton.
Senior guard Isiah Deas (11.7 ppg) leads La Salle in scoring. Sophomore Ed Croswell (10.5 ppg, 8.zero rpg), a 6-foot-8, 250-pound ahead, is second in scoring and leads the staff in rebounding.
Duquesne’s Marcus Weathers (14.Four ppg, 8.2 rpg) has been a constant. The 6-6 junior ahead leads the Dukes in scoring and rebounding and has produced 15 double-digit scoring video games.
Sophomore level guard Honest Carry (11.5 ppg) and junior middle Michael Hughes (10.5) additionally common double figures in scoring for Duquesne. Hughes’ 58 blocks ranks second within the A-10, the place the Dukes’ whole of 118 tops the sector.
The depth at Duquesne’s Friday morning follow was encouraging to Dambrot amid the present skid. He’s hopeful there’s one other gear in his staff’s repertoire.
“It must be completed as a gaggle,” he stated. “Till we go every single day, everybody, we’re going to be good, however we’re not going to be nice.”
Dave Mackall is a Tribune-Overview contributing author.