March 9, 2015
THE 2015 A-10 CHAMPIONSHIP
Duquesne (11-18, 6-12) is making its second appearance at the Atlantic 10 Championship under third-year head coach Jim Ferry. The No. 11 seed Dukes face No. 14 Saint Louis (11-20, 3-15) in a first round game on Wednesday, March 11 at 9:00 p.m. (A-10 Network/PCNC locally with Ed Cohen & John Griffin, Kim Adams sideline). The winner moves on to face No. 6 seed George Washington (20-11, 10-8) on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. (NBCSN with Terry Gannon & Ben Howland, Carolyn Manno sideline).
This is the second A-10 Championship meeting between Duquesne and Saint Louis and third meeting this season. The two split home wins during the regular season: SLU won at Chaifetz Arena, 78-69 on Jan. 14 and DU won at Palumbo Center, 79-66 on Feb. 25.
DU head coach Jim Ferry, who coached for 10 seasons at LIU Brooklyn, won Northeast Conference championships in his last two post-season appearances with the Blackbirds in 2011 & 2012. The team he left went on to win a third title under former Ferry assistant Jack Perri. It was the first time in NEC history that the same school won three consecutive tournament titles.
DU associate head coach Brian Nash also has Brooklyn ties. Nash, the son of legendary Brooklyn Bishop Ford head coach Ray Nash, was the head coach at St. Francis Brooklyn for five years from 2005-2010. He was an all-city and all-Brookyn player for his father.
Duquesne finished the regular season 11th in the Atlantic 10 with a 6-12 record. DU went 5-4 at home and 1-8 on the road in conference games.
This is the first time Duquesne has entered the Championship as a No. 11 seed.
FIRST ROUND STRUGGLES
Duquesne has won just two first round A-10 Championship games since 1995 (DU did not qualify in 2006 & 2013). The wins came in 2004 (as the W5 seed over E4 seed UMass, 79-76, in Dayton) and 2009 when No. 7 seed DU defeated No. 10 UMass, No. 2 Rhode Island and No. 3 Dayton before falling to No. 4 Temple in the championship game in Atlantic City.
Duquesne 4-4 against its first three potential opponents in the 2015 A-10 Championship bracket. DU is 0-1 against Saint Louis with the lone meeting coming on March 7, 2007 at Atlantic City, N.J. (a 78-77 defeat, see box score below). DU is 2-3 vs. potential second round foe George Washington and 2-1 against No. 3 seed Rhode Island who will play the winner of Duquesne/Saint Louis vs. GW in the quarterfinals.
VS. SAINT LOUIS
This is the 21st game between Duquesne and 10th-year Atlantic 10 member Saint Louis ... SLU had won seven of eight - including five in a row, before DU's upset win over the No. 10 (AP) Billikens at Chaifetz Arena last season ... SLU won the first meeting this season, 78-69, at Chaifetz on Jan. 14, and DU returned the favor with a 79-66 Palumbo Center win on Feb. 25 ... SLU leads the overall series 11-9 ... in regular season Atlantic 10 play SLU leads 10-6 ... the two have met just once in the A-10 Championship with the seventh-seeded Billikens defeating the No. 10 Dukes 78-77 in the first round in Atlantic City on Mar. 7, 2007..
MORE ON THE BILLIKENS
Saint Louis, which went 1-10 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites, saw its losing streak reach four with a 67-51 defeat at Richmond on Saturday ... 6-7, 240-pound sophomore forward Reggie Agbeko had his first career double-double (13-11) in the loss ... SLU shot 35.2 percent (4-of-18 from 3-point) against the Spiders ... 6-6, 230-pound freshman F Milik Yarbrough (10.3, 4.8) leads SLU in scoring and rebounding ... five of SLU's top eight scorers are freshmen and six are in their first year ... first-year Villanova transfer, 6-4 junior G Ash Yacoubou (9.2, 4.7) had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the first meeting with the Dukes on Jan. 14 and had four points on 0-of-8 shooting in the rematch ... junior G Austin McBroom (6.8 ppg.) is shooting .432 (41-95) from 3-point ... 6-4 freshman guard Marcus Bartley (4.7 ppg.) went 8-of-14 from 3-point in scoring 29 points in the two regular-season games against Duquesne.
ON THE DUKES
LEFTOVERS FROM DAVIDSON
Leftovers from Duquesne's regular season-ending 107-78 loss to Davidson: the loss ended a four-game home win streak ... Micah Mason led Duquesne with 17 points (5-of-7 from 3-point) ... Dominique McKoy had 15 and TySean Powell 12 ... Tyler Kalinoski scored 21 of his game-high 32 in the first half for Davidson ... the game was tied at 30-30 with 7:43 left, before Davidson went on a 25-3 run to close the half ... the Wildcats, led by Kalinoski's 8-of-10, hit an Atlantic 10 record-tying and Palumbo Center record-tying 20 3-pointers (20-of-36) ... Davidson, which shot 61.5 percent overall, assisted on 35 of 40 field goals ... the 35 assists were one shy of the A-10 record ... Duquesne shot 8-of-20 from the arc (40.0%) against a Davidson defense which entered the game second in the A-10 in 3-point field goal defense at 28.6 percent ... Davidson's 107 points were the most scored in regulation against the Dukes since a 111-87 Rhode Island win at Palumbo Center on Feb. 11, 2007 ... Virginia Tech defeated the Dukes 116-108 in double overtime in an NIT game at Blacksburg, Va. on March 18, 2009 ... Davidson's largest lead was 34 (103-69) with 1:25 left.
Duquesne has averaged 77.5 ppg. - and not scored under 72 - in its last eight games ... DU is 133-of-183 (.727) from the foul line in its past 10 games (.629 for the season) ... despite its 11-18 record, Duquesne has been outscored by an average of just 2.7 points per game ... in conference play, DU averaged 74.7 ppg. at home and 67.7 on the road ... the Dukes are outscored A-10 opponents by +1.3 ppg. at home and were outscored by 14.7 ppg. on the road ... DU is 1-4 in games decided by three or fewer points (1-3 in conference play) ... DU held A-10 opponents to .411 shooting at home ... on the road, A-10 foes shot .490 ... junior guard Derrick Colter, who had five games with four or more 3-pointers in his first two seasons (60 g.) has six this year ... the 5-11 guard, who has scored 20 or more a team high four times, has two four-point plays this year ... he leads the team with 21 double-digit scoring games ... Colter, who has had two or fewer turnovers in 21 of 29 games, topped the 100 assist mark for the third time in three seasons at Fordham ... Colter, who scored 10 or more in 13 of 18 A-10 contests, is averaging 36.1 minutes in DU's past eight games ... he has 23 assists in his past four games (5.8 apg.) ... senior forward Dominique McKoy, who shot .364 (12-of-33) in his first nine games, is shooting .601 (89-of-148) in his past 19 ... he has scored 197 of his 225 points over that span ... he has scored in double digits in seven of his past nine games with a career high of 20 at St. Bonaventure ... he has led the team in rebounding a team-high 12 times and also has a team-high three double-digit rebound games (career-high 16 vs. George Mason, 15 at St. Bonaventure and 12 at Saint Louis) ... in his last three games, McKoy is averaging 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds on .667 shooting (24-of-36) ... Micah Mason is averaging 37.4 minutes per game with just eight turnovers in his past nine outings ... he saw a streak of two consecutive 20-point games (career-high 24 vs. GW & 20 at UMass) snapped with 16 at La Salle ... he followed that with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals in the win over Dayton and added 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals vs. Saint Louis ... he was held to six points in 39 minutes at St. Bonaventure before bouncing back with 16 (7-of-7 from the foul line) at Fordham ... he followed that by hitting five 3-pointers in scoring a game-high 17 vs. Davidson ... Mason, who is second on the team with 100 defensive rebounds, is 38-of-42 (.905) from the foul line this season (.843 for his career) ... Jeremiah Jones, who has scored in double digits in seven of DU's past nine games, scored a career high-tying 16 (including a career high-tying three 3-pointers) in the win over Saint Louis and followed that with 13 at St. Bonaventure and 13 more at Fordham the 42 points were the highest three-game total in his career ... Jones ranks second on the team with 92 assists and has led the Dukes in single-game assists nine times (two fewer than team leader Derrick Colter) ... Jones has shot 50 percent or better in five of his past 11 games ... he shot 33.6 percent (36-of-107) in his first 18 games ... Jones leads the team with 49 offensive rebounds ... six-eleven sophomore center Darius Lewis, who averaged 9.4 min/g. in his first 10 games, has averaged 16.6 in 19 games as a starter ... Lewis had seven points, a career-high 12 rebounds and two blocks in the rematch with GW ... he has fouled out a team-high five times, including four in conference play ... forward L.G. Gill has scored in double figures off the bench in six of his past nine games ... Gill followed his first scoreless game this season, vs. George Mason on Jan. 31, with a team-high 13 at Davidson and added 10 second-half points vs. GW ... he scored exactly 10 in the three games prior to totaling five at St. Bonaventure ... he bounced back to hit a season-high four 3-pointers in scoring 16 points in 18 minutes at Fordham ... the Dukes are 6-4 when Gill scores in double figures ... 6-8, 250-pound freshman Jordan Robinson tied his career high with 10 points in a career-best 25 minutes at UMass and followed that with six in 12 minutes at La Salle ... in his past eight games, Robinson shooting .652 (15-of-23) .... he is 10-of-13 from the foul line over that span ... TySean Powell posted his second double-digit game since Dec. 30 in the first meeting with Davidson (11 points) ... he was suspended for the GW game and played one minute at UMass before scoring seven in 11 minutes at La Salle ... he added seven points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes in the win over Dayton ... he came off the bench to score 12 points in 15 minutes in the regular season finale vs. Davidson.
2014-15 QUICK HITS
Duquesne's roster consists of one senior, six juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen. The Dukes have four first-year scholarship players (Eric James, TySean Powell, Jordan Robinson & Jordan Stevens).
Duquesne, picked to finish 11th in the 14-team Atlantic 10 in the annual poll of league coaches and media, finished 11th. National media outlets pegged the Dukes to finish anywhere from 7th (Basketball Times & College Basketball Madness) to 12th (Athlon).
The Dukes return four starters - junior guards Derrick Colter & Micah Mason, junior forward Jeremiah Jones and senior forward Dominique McKoy - from last year's 13-17 team (5-11 in the Atlantic 10, tied for 10th place).
Three of DU's A-10 games - all at home - came down to the last possession: a 71-68 win over Saint Joseph's, a 61-60 loss to Rhode Island and a 100-97 OT loss to St. Bonaventure (the Dukes led Rhody by 13 and the Bonnies by 15 in the second half). In addition, DU had the ball down two with under two minutes left in a 70-64 "home" loss to No. 17 (AP) VCU at CONSOL Energy Center on Jan. 17. The Dukes were also tied with UMass with under three minutes left at Mullins Center on Feb. 14.
DU's top two active scorers are guards: Derrick Colter (13.2 ppg.), Micah Mason (12.2 ppg.) A guard has either led, or tied for the team lead in scoring, in 26 of 29 games. The lone non-guards to lead the Dukes in scoring outright are L.G. Gill (twice) and Jeremiah Jones.
Colter, who ranked in the top 3 nationally in 3-point shooting percentage (currently 58-of-132, .439) for over a month prior to dropping out of the NCAA rankings a last month (he does not meet the NCAA minimum of 2.5 made per game), became the eighth player in school history to hit seven or more 3-pointers in a game when he went 7-of-8 from the arc in scoring a career-high 26 points in the opener vs. Bluefield State. Colter's seven makes were one shy of the school record shared by three players (last by Aaron Jackson who went 8-of-13 in scoring 46 points in a double-overtime NIT 116-108 loss at Virginia Tech on Mar. 18, 2009). Colter has six games with four or more 3-pointers this season (he had five in 60 career games entering this year).
Micah Mason, who led the nation in 3-point shooting percentage in 2014 (65-116, .560), hit a career-high six 3-pointers in seven attempts vs. NJIT on Nov. 29. He broke out of a four-game, 6-of-26 3-point slump by hitting all five of his 3-point attempts (17 pts.) in the Dec. 20 win over UMass Lowell. He has hit five or more "3s" in a game eight times (six at Duquesne and two as a freshman at Drake). For the season, Mason is shooting .432 from the arc (79-of-183). In four career games vs. Saint Louis, Mason is 15-of-24 from the arc (.625)
DU's lone senior, forward Dominique McKoy, made his first start of 2015 vs. UMass Lowell on Dec. 20. McKoy is averaging 9.6 ppg. (202 pts.) and 6.6 rpg. (138) and shooting .583 (91-of-156) as a starter. McKoy is a .559 career shooter.
Junior forward Jeremiah Jones has emerged as one of DU's top facilitators. Jones, who had 77 assists in his first two seasons (60 g./1.3 apg.), has 92 in 29 games this season (3.2 apg.). Jones has nine games with four or more assists with a career high of eight in 36 turnover-free minutes vs. St. Bonaventure on Jan. 22. He had one of his top games of the season with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists (one turnover) in 35 minutes vs. GW on Feb. 11 and followed that with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 38 minutes at UMass. He scored a career high-tying 16 points (with a career high-tying three 3-pointers) vs. Saint Louis on Feb. 25.
Six-six freshman TySean Powell, who is shooting .580, leads the team in dunks (20) and conventional three-point plays (10 in 11 attempts). Powell is second on the team in free throw attempts (47-of-72).
Building quality depth has been a priority of head coach Jim Ferry since his arrival at Duquesne. This season, DU's bench has outscored the opponent bench 759-517 (an average of 8.4 ppg.). The DU bench, which posted a high of 67 points at Abilene Christian on Nov. 22, has outscored its opponent in 20 of 29 games.
DU's 11.0 turnovers/g. last season was the lowest mark in school history (previous was 11.5 in 1995). The Dukes, with four first-year players playing prominent roles, are averaging 12.3 turnovers per game this season.
DUKES BY THE NUMBERS
.258 Shooting percentage by George Mason in its 62-53 loss to Duquesne on Jan. 31. It was the lowest field goal pct. by an Dukes opponent since Rutgers shot .245 (13-53) in a 65-54 A-10 loss at DU on Dec. 6, 1986.
.435 Combined 3-point shooting percentage of the starting backcourt of Derrick Colter (58-132, .439) and Micah Mason (79-183, .432).
.487 Career 3-point percentage for guard Micah Mason (184-378). Mason's percentage ranks second only to the NCAA career record of .497 set by Green Bay's Tony Bennett who went 290-584 (.497) from 1989-92.
(NCAA min. to qualify is 200 makes and 2.0 made/g.)
1 Number of seniors on the Dukes roster (second-year JC transfer Dominique McKoy).
3 Number of different players who have hit six or more 3-pointers in a game this season (Derrick Colter, Jordan Stevens and Micah Mason). A fourth, sophomore L.G. Gill, hit six in DU's exhibition win over Shippensburg on Nov. 7.
5 Players who posted 40-plus inch running vertical jumps in July testing: Jeremiah Jones (42.0"), Derrick Colter (41.0"), Eric James (41"), L.G. Gill (40") and Desmond Ridenour (40.0").
7.9 Number of 3-pointers Duquesne is making per game.
16 This is just the second time since 1972 that the Dukes had 16 regular-season home games (7 non-conference and 9 A-10). DU went 9-7 at home (8-6 at Palumbo Center & 1-1 at CONSOL Energy Center).
17 Size shoe worn by 6-6 freshman TySean Powell.
17-1 Duquesne's record under Jim Ferry when shooting 50 percent or better.
18 Number of turnovers guard Micah Mason committed in 622 minutes of conference play. The junior guard had 56 assists over that stretch for a 3.1-to-1 ratio.
26.2 Points per game Duquesne is getting from its bench (759 points in 29 g.).
99th This is the 99th season of Duquesne men's basketball.
1,067 Career points for junior guard Derrick Colter. Colter's total is 285 more than his nearest teammate.