The Atlantic 10, in a digital tie with the American Athletic and inside arm’s size of the SEC and ACC, ranks eighth amongst 32 Division I basketball leagues within the NCAA Analysis Software (NET) and Scores Proportion Index (RPI).
Certainly, the A-10 is a top quality convention this season.
It’d clarify why Fordham, one of many A-10’s bottom-feeders and Duquesne’s opponent Sunday at Rose Hill Health club in New York, doesn’t at all times show to be a pushover, regardless of the Rams’ poor report (7-16, 1-10).
“They’re going to make it onerous for us to get into our offense,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot mentioned Friday. “They’re going to play each man or zone, whichever goes higher for them. They’re going to make it like going to the dentist and also you’re getting six enamel pulled.”
Of their first assembly Jan. 15, Duquesne (17-6, 7-4) escaped PPG Paints Area with a 58-56 extra time victory in opposition to Fordham, thanks largely to sophomore guard Lamar Norman Jr.’s game-high 20 factors on 7-of-11 taking pictures (6 for 10 from behind the arc).
Duquesne might use Norman Jr.’s assist once more at Fordham, the place the Rams, who lead the A-10 in scoring protection (57.6 ppg), are 6-Eight total however simply 1-Four within the convention.
“They’re one of many higher defensive groups within the league and doubtless one of the vital diversified defensive groups within the league,” Dambrot mentioned because the Dukes wrapped up every week through which they hung out therapeutic following a bruising seven-day stretch of three video games.
Duquesne went 2-1 throughout the interval, dropping their most-recent check, an 83-80 resolution to St. Bonaventure on Feb. Eight at UPMC Occasions Heart at Robert Morris. It adopted a 14-point victory at Saint Louis — the Billikens’ first residence loss to an unranked staff — and a two-point victory over La Salle at PPG Paints.
“We gave them Sunday off,” Dambrot mentioned. “Monday, we practiced actually onerous. Tuesday, we did nothing however meet with the sports activities psychologist. (The remainder of the time was) onerous and quick.”
Junior guard Tavian Dunn-Martin, who tied a profession excessive with seven 3-pointers within the loss to St. Bonaventure, was optimistic concerning the Dukes’ bounce-back.
A uncommon off-day for main scorer and rebounder Marcus Weathers, who was hobbled and completed with simply seven factors on 0-for-6 taking pictures and 5 rebounds, didn’t assist the Dukes’ trigger.
“Many of the guys speak about what we might’ve achieved higher, and what to do to repair it,” mentioned Dunn-Martin, who got here off the bench to steer Duquesne with 25 factors. “On the finish of the day, you’ve simply acquired to get on the market and observe tougher and attempt to transfer on.”
Weathers (14.7 ppg, 7.Eight rpg) gave the impression to be on the mend this week after battling fatigue and soreness in his legs. He had been sporting elastic therapeutic tape, however that was not evident Friday, and Dambrot mentioned Duquesne’s medical workers has been working with the 6-foot-5 junior.
“Now we have comparatively good well being proper now,” Dambrot mentioned. “Marcus was actually banged up after the final recreation, however the trainers did an excellent job of getting him again on his ft a bit of bit. Aside from that, knock on wooden, we’re fairly good.”
Dave Mackall is a Tribune-Evaluate contributing author.