Recon: Duquesne

Recon: Duquesne

13816830_2250435_lzDayton is a completely average college basketball team. Yes, they have a great narrative going, a truly compelling story centered on overcoming “adversity.” A roster short on depth and size, an up-and-coming coach (with a piece of ass wife), they are fighting against the odds — and they even have a lil’ black kid named Scoochie!! It’s basically a rejected, unimagined script sitting on someone’s desk at Disney (It’s entitled something horrible, like “True Team“). But this, as you may have surmised, is not even close to the point. It’s immaterial really. 

The fact that Dayton is finally doing exactly what we always hoped, following the scenario we always imagined would lead to the program’s perpetual success, is what is vital about this year’s team. The path to consistent NCAA appearances was always paved with easy non-conference wins, protecting the home floor in conference play and not suffering any completely embarrassing defeats along the way. It was really simple, but Dayton, particularly during the dark Gregorian era, could never seem to adhere to the straightforward guidelines. 

Until this year.

The Flyers don’t have a single win that jumps off the page, there’s even a decent chance they might not beat a NCAA tournament team this year. Fifteen of their twenty wins have come against +100 RPI programs. Their best win away from UD Arena  is Saint Bonaventure. However, none of that matters due to the fact that UD is seamlessly, finally, doing what is minimally necessary to get an at-large bid coming out of the Atlantic Ten conference — it’s beating the teams it should.

Dayton doesn’t have to be a Top 25 caliber team (or even a Top 35-40ish team) to go dancing every season, it merely has to be less worse (or less worser) than the majority of the teams in the league. Take a quick look around the A10, that ain’t heavy lifting.

There is no reason the Flyers can’t consistently win at least ten games a year in this conference. None. Throw in 9-10 tomato can non-conference wins and you got 20 victories without even breaking a sweat. This year’s Flyers have done exactly what we’ve asked of them since this site has been in existence, nothing more, nothing less. This fact alone has made this season enjoyable for me.

[su_note note_color=”#23307b” text_color=”#ffffff” radius=”1″]Sidebar: who do you think the most famous person to ever watch a UD regular season game on TV is (even for a few seconds) ? My gut says Rob Lowe.[/su_note]

[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Overview[/title]

UD owns a win over the Dukes already this season, an 81-55 ass kicking that opened up A10 play for both programs. Needless to say, Duquesne’s season hasn’t gone swimmingly. They are a moribund 8-16 on the year, 3-10 in Atlantic Ten play (they have an outlying 16 point victory over GW, a close win against St. Joe’s and have defeated George Mason — speaking of which, people have no clue how bad the Patriots are. Just deplorable right now).

Here’s a list of teams Duquesne lost to before they got into their conference schedule: New Jersey Tech, Robert Morris, Saint Francis (PA) and Maryland-Eastern Shore. The type of resume that hardens veins.

TJ McConnell, Damian Saunders, Bill Clark, BJ Monteiro and/or Aaron Jackson are not walking through that door.

[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Rosceaux’s Oeuvre[/title]

Pleased to say that everyone’s favorite Duquesne fan, Rosceaux, has made a contribution in preparation of tomorrow’s game. Here it is in all of its glory.


Fordham Rams v Dayton FlyersI’d like to say that I volunteered to write a short piece because I am enthralled with Duquesne’s performance. That is a lie that would make George Zimmerman blush. I’d like to say that I am writing because the Fliers and the Dukes have a great rivalry, but that would be like calling the Globetrotters and the Generals rivals. I would like to say that I am writing to bump any of Donoher’s crap writing from the site, but his laziness and/or Blackburn’s good taste (??) have already taken care of that. Instead, I am writing to limit the amount of times I have to read/hear about how Dayton has only 6 scholarship players with none over 6’6”.

Really? While Coach Archie has been doing a great job in all areas but clothing choices, he’s not really parting the Red Sea. Too Old Testament?…Too Jewey?. Ok…it’s not like he’s turning water into wine. The online fondling of Coach Archie’s package has gotten pretty out of hand. When the Blackburn Review comments read like UDPride, I can’t even imagine what UDPride looks like. Coach Archie is a very good coach and depending on how the Fliers finish out the year, he (we’re still using the lowercase “h” when referencing “he/him,” correct?) could be a great coach. It is a fine balancing act. But, like every college coach in every college, his team is of his own making. That includes offering and sustaining scholarships for two stupid pseudo-thugs, and not offering or sustaining scholarships to anyone else over 6’6”. Coach Archie has made his bed, now he has to sleep in it.

[By the way, if he ever decides not to sleep in his bed, I will be the first to volunteer to do so. Someone has to keep Mrs. Coach Archie warm.]

For a period of four years, the Dukes and Dayton did have a decent in-conference rivalry. The teams split their in-season games. Both teams were balancing in mediocrity. For Dayton, mediocrity was a death sentence. For Duquesne, mediocrity was an elevation of a program that had been moribund since the late 70’s. So what happened? Dayton passively waited for the Georgia Institute of Technology to take their underachieving coach off their hands, and Duquesne fired their overachieving coach. Do you believe in Karma? Dayton has been rewarded with a team that is now sitting atop the A-10 standings, and Duquesne is tied with George Mason (!) and Fordham (!!!!) just one game above last place St. Louis. They are sinking faster than both Whitney and Bobbi Christina taking a bath.

[Is it just me? Does no one else question that the women in Bobby Brown’s life keep pulling “the Lucca Brazzi?” This would make a great B-movie or a horrible A-movie. Is Bobby Brown drowning his women with love and/or with hate? Is Ralph Tresvant setting BB up because he’s pissed that he can’t do a reunion tour with New Edition (Or Bell-Biv-DeVoe) because Bobby Brown can’t reach the high notes of “Candy Girl” anymore? Is there a mysterious force killing these women; or is it a divine grace saving them from Bobby’s incessant phone calls to “get more Fritos and Diet Pepsis” from the Supermart? Really, I know they’re not supposed to be great swimmers and all, but something is definitely fishy here. I mean… even the black chick from “Saved by the Bell” has managed to survive the bathtub.]

bobby-brownThe Dukes suffer from a schizophrenia that would make the black chick from ‘Saved by the Bell” appear normal. On the road, they are god-awful. They are 0-7 on the road in conference, with their only single digit losses to St. Louis (!) and UMass. They are 3-3 at home in conference, with one loss coming in OT. At home in conference, they are net +20 points. On the road in conference, they are net -118.

Can this translate to a win at home vs. Dayton? Who knows? I just watched you guys eke out a win vs. St. Joseph’s. Duquesne did lose to GW by 16 on the road and then- three weeks later – beat them at home by 15. So anything is possible…

However, Duquesne plays to Daytona’s strengths. They will pack in their 2-3 zone. While they have been more aggressive in challenging shooters at home, their 3-point defense is still allowing opponents to hit at a 38% success rate. That sucks. Their total defensive efficiency rating is 334 of all D-1 teams and – of course – 14th out of 14 A-14 teams. This is really nothing new for Dukes coach Jim Ferry, who has never in 13 years as a head coach, had his team rank within the top 200 in terms of defensive efficiency.

So, expect plenty of open looks and then defensive closeouts as the ball either tickles the twine or bounces to another Daytona player for an offensive rebound. With the exception of senior Dominick McKoy, the front court is characterized by a raw 6’11” sophomore, Darius Lewis, a raw 6’7” freshman, TySean Powell, and a raw, curiously underplayed 6’8” redshirt freshman Jordan Robinson. Did I mention that they were raw? You will see this on both ends of the court, but it really stands out on the defensive end. Especially against a team of cutters and slashers like Dayton. They will show some rushed hook shots and tepid drives on the offensive ends, but most of the offensive sets consist of them craning their necks and watching yet another 3 point attempt get hoisted into the stratosphere.

As of late, the only wrinkle to the Dukes offense has been the aggressiveness of Micah Mason. Mason is “only” hitting threes at a 423 rate this year, which brings his career total down to 50%. Over the past three games, he has been running off of high screens and either taking a three pointer or driving down the lane. He is a multi-functional player, but offensive sets have not generally been run beyond the first pass.

One last non-sequitur. My four takeaways from watching the Dayton – St. Joes’s games are these:

  1. DeAndre Bembry is a beast.
  2. The Dayton cheerleader on the far left was smoking hot.
  3. Lots of raw-dogging with the old-school Marianist blue jerseys in the student section. (By the way, is “Marianist” a politically correct term for “gay?”)
  4. Saw the kids with the blue face/body paint. Do they ever get laid? Are there girls who do the walk of shame the morning following a game with face/body paint smeared all over them? If so, I’m picturing some freshman from the band trying to elevate her social status. I can just see her with blue streaked all over her face and arms as she drags her tuba behind her on the way to Marycrest.

 

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[column size=”col-3″]

micahmas
Micah Mason • G (6’2″/180) • Jr.
11.6 ppg, 43% 3fg

Am I nuts or do these girls look way young? Not young enough?

[/column]
[column size=”col-3″]

dc1
Derrick Colter • G (5’11″/180) • Jr.
12.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg

Dude’s bounced back from cancer.

[/column]
[column size=”col-3″]

maxresdefault
Jeremiah Jones • F (6’3″/190) • Jr.
6.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg

This was the dude that got in a drunken brawl with cops last year.

[/column]
[column size=”col-3″]

maxresdefault (1)
Dominique McKoy • F (6’8″/215) • Sr.
6.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg

This is what Steve McElvene’s tutor’s face looks like all the time.

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[column size=”col-3″]

20150211mfdukessports07-1
L.G. Gill • F (6’7″/210) • So.
6.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg

His first name has to be atrocious, only reason to go by “L.G.” (Just looked it up — first name is Charles. Apparently “L.G.” stands for “Little Gill.” So his name is Little Gill Gill.)

[/column]
[column size=”col-3″]

003_13
TySean Powell • F (6’6″/215) • Fr.
7.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Powell could be a keeper, only a freshman.

[/column]
[column size=”col-3″]

Sports-bball2-zb
Darius Lewis • C (6’11″/255) • So.
4.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Big body, does the simple things.

[/column]
[column size=”col-3″]

10679193
Eric James • G (6’5″/205) • Fr.
4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg

A freshman with size, like a girl that returns home for Thanksgiving during her first year in college.

[/column]
[/row]

[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Numbers Game[/title]

dukesstatssssssssss

[fullwidth_section text_color=”dark” background_type=”color” bg_color=”#C4D8E2″]

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[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Prediction[/title]

I almost want to pick the Dukes for UD’s annual letdown game, but that would contradict everything I wrote to start this Recon. Not gonna do that, Flyers win, 71-63.

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Have your say!

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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