A while back, my family and I had dinner with one of the old white men that ran the show at Duquesne. He was a jolly, stuffy old man who oversaw everything from finances to admissions to discipline and was well respected on campus in general. About halfway through the dinner I finally asked him the one question that’s been on my mind since the day I started following the UD program as a kid from Pittsburgh. “Why does Duquesne have a dogshit basketball program?” (I didn’t have very eloquent speech as a high schooler)

Jokes aside, this old bastard looked me straight in my boyish eyes and said this: “We put enough money into basketball already.” I was stunned. Somehow he had told me everything I didn’t know and everything I did know, all in one sentence. Duquesne, from the administration all the way down to the athletic department, just cannot force themselves to give a real shit about the basketball program. Since the day I was put on this earth 26 years ago, Duquesne has seen FIVE winning seasons, only once going over 20 wins. If you go back 10 more years, you would find only two more winning seasons. Duquesne has not been to the big dance since 1977, they haven’t won a game in the tournament since 1969. (nice)

When you demonstrate this level of apathy year after year, and decade after decade, these are the results you choose to live with. As Blackburn mentioned in his recap, DUQ doesn’t have a single recruit from the state of PA. Not a single recruit from the WPIAL hot bed that routinely puts 5-10 guys in big boy ball every year. Seven years ago, Duquesne was able to dupe a high school sophomore named TJ McConnell into a scholarship commitment. One season on campus and Sean Miller came knocking and carried his bed to Tucson overnight to save him from the basketball mediocrity on the bluff in Pittsburgh. He plays in the NBA now.

Now why did I write all that? Because it truly takes two paragraphs to emphasize the flaming trash heap that is Duquesne basketball…and I bring you to today’s ballgame, Flyer fans. In what was a JAM PACKED house at PPG Paints Arena (my dad calls it the Paint Can, like most yinz) the Flyers jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the first eight minutes and never trailed, nor were they truly threatened at any point in the game.


After those first eight minutes, you could have turned the game off and anything you did besides watch this game would’ve been just as productive. Duquesne never cut the margin closer than 6, and the Flyers got it up to 20 or so late in the second half. The arena was mainly quiet, so Duquesne was able to sneak up on the back porch a couple of times, only to be swatted away by the giant nut sack of Scoochie. Don’t read much into this one. Flyers 76, Dukes 57.

Just a couple quick thoughts, I won’t be long:

X Man Williams continues his steady climb up the mountain of basketball relevance. Dude turned in a stellar first half and finished the game with a career-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. This should please you. Imagine the possibilities of KP and X sharing the dinner plate each night.

 

Charles Cooke was back to form. Archie said in the post-game he felt like Chuckie just needed to get back into the rhythm of things. He did. He clocked in 29 minutes of solid work, 6-of-11 shooting and 2-of-3 from downtown. Bucky mentioned he didn’t take a bad shot all night. It’s easy to be choosy against Duquesne.

Kyle Davis went down with an ankle injury falling over a group of cheerleaders. Smooth, man. Nothing to see here…


Marshmallow Man Miller was useful, I guess. John Crosby was still terrible. I could honestly go through and find other things to talk about with this game, but why? There were like 1000 people there, the game was never close, Duquesne is dogshit terrible, and we have to play them again. Duquesne, Fordham and SLU will continue to simply be in the way the rest of the year, and this kind of dirty work will be necessary. It won’t be pretty, but you already know we have to sit through it.

In more exciting news, Richmond went on the road to St Joe’s and beat the Hawks to improve to 5-0 in conference play. They will bring their #1 A10 spot into The Arena on Thursday evening, and you have five full days to get LOWD. Something tells me 13,455 red sweaters (and the FINALLY returned students) won’t let the Spiders come out unscathed. Today was just an inconvenience, but things are just heating up. Bring your LOWD pants on Thursday. He scared.