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1/30/2021 1:38 pm  #1


Requiem for Palumbo

I read this board regularly without posting.  But the passing of John Chaney got me thinking. I was reminded of the game in January 1991 when the Dukes beat Temple in OT when Mark Macon missed a foul shot at the end. The US had gone to war that day and I can still see Coach Chaney--about an hour before the game--sitting in the last row of red seats opposite what would be the Temple bench just staring into space contemplating the much more important issues of that day. That was the first big win of John Carroll era. Unfortunately, it would be a lie to say it was the first of many big wins in the John Carroll era.

My next thought was that Tuesday night will begin a new chapter in Duquesne basketball and of the most memorable games at AJ Palumbo Center. If you will indulge me here is a list of 3 more games that still stand out to me--that I can remember as if they happened yesterday. I suspect that many of you have a list of favorites substantially like mine:

12/19/88--Dukes beat Pitt in our new home. Still the most gratifying game as far as I'm concerned. I didn't have high hopes when I entered the building and the loudest noise I could hear was from the Pitt band playing their fight song. I remember thinking (wishing) that the Dukes could shut those m&$%#$*@#$ers up. A couple hours later, my wish came true. Near the end Shawn Kelly blocked a shot by Brian Shorter and I think Collins Dobbs sealed it with a couple free throws. I had a raspy voice the next day at work.

12/15/92--Dukes came roaring back to beat #9 Florida State. Bob Sura was FSU's hotshot freshman after it looked like he might be coming to the Bluff. I kept the article I cut out of the USA Today. I can still see Efrem Whitehead (one of my all-time favorite Dukes) knocking down multiple three pointers from the corner in front of the Dukes bench.

2/7/09--Dukes beat #9 Xavier 72-68. I think we made our first 10 or 11 shots and kind of hung on at the end to win. AJax had a big game and kept making foul shots in the last minute. I remember Damian Saunders making a 3 and David Theis taking a charge to help hold off X.

Would love to hear the thoughts/memories of others.



 

 

1/30/2021 2:45 pm  #2


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Good post, JPG and nice to see you here again. I think all four of these games you mentioned made my list of classic Dukes games I'd like to watch on TV while locked down for the pandemic (which I posted here last spring), though I only attended the Pitt game in person. Do remember watching the Temple game on TV as well as Chaney's press conference afterward. He didn't want to talk about the game, only how distracted his team was because they knew so many people who had just gone off to war. Of course the ground invasion of Iraq would last but a few days with minimal US casualties though that wasn't the expectation at the time, at least in media coverage. Still a big and rare win for the Dukes, stopping a 13-game losing streak against Temple. Chaney's Temple teams were 31-7 against Duquesne. Temple's dominance of us ended when he retired.

And who did John Chaney coach his final game against? That's right, Keith Dambrot. Akron won in OT at Temple in the 2006 NIT. OK, I just checked to see if there were any photos of Keith with John Chaney during that game, but learned that Chaney actually didn't coach that game. Though he was announced as head coach one last time, he left one of his assistants in charge while tending to his wife who was recovering from surgery. 

Last edited by DennisC91 (1/30/2021 2:59 pm)

 

1/30/2021 3:44 pm  #3


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Hopefully we can open the new place with a win over Dayton and it can lead to years of good memories. Sadly as a student during the Porter and Nee years, even my good memories of Palumbo are losses. Three stick out in my mind: 

2001 against George Washington. The game was on ESPN, which ironically meant people actually showed up. I don't know if it was quite a sellout, but Palumbo was packed for a change. Especially rare in my years was a full student section, but it was for this game. Now I have no idea if there was any factual basis for it, but one of the students had a sign about GW's star SirValient Brown only having one nut. The sign got taken away, but that just started the chants. Any time he had the ball a "one nut" chant would start. It angered him enough that there just may have been some truth to it. Unfortunately he was a good enough player that angering him was not a good idea. He went off for like 30 points, hit a game winning layup, and then ran off the court flipping off the student section (I don't remember any references to the Red & Blue Crew in my years).

2003 vs. Xavier. Xavier came into Palumbo with their most talented team, ranked in the top 10 and running roughshod over the conference. We played them even the whole way and actually led by 3 with like 20 seconds left. The student section was it's typical smattering here and there for most of the game but coming out of the timeout the front row was shoulder to shoulder and we were preparing to rush the court. David West made an and one to silence the crowd as we felt the expected gloom setting in, but he missed the foul shot. Xavier got the rebound, but then we got a steal. A hush fell over the Palumbo Center again as we went to the line, but only made one. We rose to our feet again still hoping to rush the floor. Of course Xavier went to West again. He missed, but they got a tip in to send it to overtime. We hung with them in overtime too, but trailed by 2 with 20 seconds left. Xavier had two foul shots to try to seal the deal, but missed both. Jimmy Tricco missed a 3 and then we missed what must have been five layups and tip attempts. Finally West pulled down the rebound as time expired. 

Pitt in 2003. This was not only our first home game vs. Pitt in many years, but also the first time the City Game wasn't played over Christmas or Thanksgiving break in a long time. It was bizarre to see a Duquesne game be the hottest ticket in town; and scalpers selling tickets on campus is something I had never seen before and still haven't again since. Pitt had a young team, so they weren't highly ranked to start the season, but would finish in the top 10. The sellout crowd rallied the Dukes and we actually led at the half. Pitt went on a big run to start the second half to put us away. We may have only lost by 10 or so because it was a low scoring game, but it was never really competitive after that.
 

 

1/30/2021 4:29 pm  #4


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Don't forget Saturday March 6, 1993 against top 25 ranked Xavier. The place was full and the crowd was rocking as the Dukes downed the Musketeers by 16 points  88-72. Probably John Carrol's greatest moment as a side line coach! Watching Pete Gihlen and the boys trudge off the floor to our vocal roars of "OVER............RATED................." was my happiest moment in Palumbo history!


Vicimus Atlanticum decem
 

1/30/2021 4:33 pm  #5


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

JPG-DU81 wrote:

I

12/15/92--Dukes came roaring back to beat #9 Florida State. Bob Sura was FSU's hotshot freshman after it looked like he might be coming to the Bluff. I kept the article I cut out of the USA Today. I can still see Efrem Whitehead (one of my all-time favorite Dukes) knocking down multiple three pointers from the corner in front of the Dukes bench.
 

I have told this story before on here, but some new people may never have heard it. I was supposed to go to this game, but that turned out to be the first night of the viewing for my Mother, (a die hard fan who bled blue and red)  who had finally succumbed to her brain tumor. After the viewing I went to my favorte neighborhood bar in Sharpsburg, and while sipping on a bourbon, looked up and saw the score on ESPN! I yelled out a cheer and raised my glass heavenward! "Thanks Mom!"
 


Vicimus Atlanticum decem
 

1/30/2021 5:27 pm  #6


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

I remember the great raucous atmosphere at Palumbo when the John Carroll era Dukes with Derrick Alston, Whitehead, and others played two home games in the NIT.  The Dukes beat up on a good UNC-Charlotte team in the first round then took on Villanova in the 2nd round. The Dukes lead most of the way; and just had to knock down some FTs to close out the victory;,but let it slip away at the foul line.  Still two great crowds and it looked like the Program was in good shape for the future. 
Certainly the win over Pitt mentioned above, was a great evening.

 

1/30/2021 5:45 pm  #7


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

I also wanted to mention two of my favorite players from the John Carroll era at Palumbo, Mark Gilbert from Aliquippa and James Hargrove a JC transfer from New Jersey.  These guys were both talented players but also great teammates and above all played with TOUGHNESS that we have seen too little of during our down years!

 

1/30/2021 5:50 pm  #8


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

I've got a few that I witnessed in person.  The good, the bad, & the random:

It was Porter's 2nd year as coach when we upset Xavier before a packed house, with a team that had no business beating anybody.  I remember Wayne Smith & Devone Stephenson crashing the boards like madmen, & Simon Ogunlesi getting into a scrap with Xavier's bad boy Kevin Frey.  When I think of Ogunlesi, I think that we had 3 consecutive 6-10 centers - Eriq Mason, Kevin Shand, & Ogunlesi - who were thrown out of, in order, school, the team, & the country.  I feared for our next center.  Under the next logical progression, he woulda been thrown out of the world.

In Everhart's first year, the big win over Temple when he'd instituted the 10-man press-&- run scheme.  I don't believe we even had the lead until the final seconds.  I can still see Robert Mitchell's jumper from the corner to put us ahead & the fans leaping from their seats, going crazy.  A few weeks later, the big game against Rhode Island before a huge crowd.  Lost decisively that day, but it was cool that that team was even in that kind of position at that point.

Too many great women's games to list, but I'll mention the WNIT game vs. Richmond with Duquesne ahead by 1 in the final seconds.  It looked like Richmond won it with a lay-up at the buzzer - but no, Amadea Szamosi took the big charge!

Danny Nee screaming at Jamal Hunter - "JAMAL, RUN MY OFFENSE, NOT YOURS!!!"

Either late in the Porter years or early in Nee's tenure - I only remember Kevin Forney playing in this game - but it was a loss to Akron.  Dambrot was not yet their coach.  They a kid - Bosley, I think? - who set a Palumbo record for going 24-24 at the foul line.  Tavian Dunn-Martin woulda looked like Wilt Chamberlin standing next to this Bosley kid.  A fan in front of us spent the whole night screaming, "Get Shorty!"

Coming from more than 20 points behind at halftime to beat Radford in Scott Edgar's final year.  Not a game that's on most people's radar, but I think it was the biggest Dukes comeback that I ever witnessed in person.

Taking my Mom to a game.  She looked up at the banners & said, "Dick Ricketts!"  Turned out that when she was in high school, she & a friend went on a double date with 2 DU students & the friend's date was Ricketts.  Mom had no idea that he was a famous basketball player till that day at the game.  She remembered that Ricketts drove & the front bench was waaaayyyy back - no bucket seats in those days - & she & her date were crushed in the back.

The lowest point ever for me was in Nee's last year, the holiday Thanksgiving tournament.  A great idea but not well-publicized nor well-attended.  Dukes went 0-2 & finished last in their own tourney.  I was there for all 4 games.  So was some woman who sat at the very top row in one of the end zones, reading a book throughout all 4 games.  I felt like climbing up there & asking what her deal was, but she probably woulda thought I was trying to hit on her.  She seemed to personify the lack of interest in the team & how far we descended during that year.

The exhibition game against St. Vincent.  Not a big deal to most.  I'm an alumnus of St. Vincent & Duquesne Law, & a Duquesne fan since childhood.  It was cool to see both schools on the floor at the same time.

At the refreshment stand at a women's game, in line behind Ron Dokes.  Never felt so small in my life.

 

1/30/2021 6:41 pm  #9


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Had front row seats for the Akron game. The kid you mentioned ( if I am thinking of the same game) was a chubby white guy who kept flopping all over the court. In warm ups I said to my Bubby that guy won't see the court. It was the same game one of our players air mailed a lay up. I said to a guy nearby he missed a 2 footer by 2 feet and he replied he sure did. When he headed to the bench he talked to the guy by me who turned out to be his dad. For the rest of the game I gave the kid a standing O if he came close to doing something. His dad was a big fella.

 

1/30/2021 6:56 pm  #10


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

WashPaRick wrote:

Had front row seats for the Akron game. The kid you mentioned ( if I am thinking of the same game) was a chubby white guy who kept flopping all over the court. In warm ups I said to my Bubby that guy won't see the court. It was the same game one of our players air mailed a lay up. I said to a guy nearby he missed a 2 footer by 2 feet and he replied he sure did. When he headed to the bench he talked to the guy by me who turned out to be his dad. For the rest of the game I gave the kid a standing O if he came close to doing something. His dad was a big fella.

Yep!  You've described the kid who kept getting fouled.  That's a hilarious story.  I've tried to be aware that there could family around but the only time I was aware that I was sitting next to any player's family, it was Chauncey Duke's dad during his son's first game.  He told me that his son would take us to 2 NCAA appearances by the time he graduated.

 

1/30/2021 6:59 pm  #11


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Two Games

ONE year DU was playing CARLOW in one of those "pre season games"  Ray Goss was entering the building at the same time as me --  I turned to Ray and asked "SEVENTH GAME OF WORLD SERIES OR DUQUESNE VS CARLOW??  Tough Choice??  Ray just laughed and said "Lets Go Dukes"

Other game was that CBI game when Ferry let the other team Roll the Ball up the court the entire second half -- the Opposition scored 81 points in the SECOND HALF --  DU still won comfortably!!

 

1/30/2021 11:01 pm  #12


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

JPG-DU81 great post idea.  I hope we get all of us to submit an AJP memory.

Mine ...
I was a Junior in ‘88.  That December win vs Pitt was epic.
Tony Petrarca’s 3’s early in the second half started the run & the Dukes hung on to win by 4.
Only time I ever rushed a court .... sober.

We were 4-4 then & hopes were high after that win, only to go 7-11 in conference and 1-1 in the A-10 tournament.
Stalin sacked.

For Non Dukes Games -
The Administration had some agreement with non-school events where students had limited access to Presale tix. 
I saw Andrew Dice Clay, The Cult, & Elvis Costello perform.  All 2nd row floor seats.

My John Cheney reference .... the 83-84 season.  18-0 in A-10 conference.
Upset in the A-10 Championship game by 2 to WVU.
But gets the 8/9 seed in the NCAAs.
Beat St Johns on a buzzer beater by Terence Stansbury.
(Went on to lose to UNC & Michael Jordan)
Some names in that game - Stansbury, Ed Coe, Granger Hall, Nate Blackwell, Chris Mullen, Mark Jackson, Bill Wennington.
Classic Chaney coaching antics - tie pulled down, working the refs, gamesmanship, acting like a walking heart attack ... & add in Carnesecca - watching the coaching boxes was as much fun as the players on the court.

R.I.P. Coach.

 

1/30/2021 11:52 pm  #13


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Box & One wrote:

J
For Non Dukes Games -
The Administration had some agreement with non-school events where students had limited access to Presale tix.
I saw Andrew Dice Clay, The Cult, & Elvis Costello perform. All 2nd row floor seats.

R.I.P. Coach.

I was at that Elvis Costello concert too. Nick Lowe, one of my all time favorites opened for him. Great show.
 

Last edited by Tejas_Duke (1/30/2021 11:53 pm)


Vicimus Atlanticum decem
 

1/30/2021 11:56 pm  #14


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

levon1975 wrote:

I remember the great raucous atmosphere at Palumbo when the John Carroll era Dukes with Derrick Alston, Whitehead, and others played two home games in the NIT. The Dukes beat up on a good UNC-Charlotte team in the first round then took on Villanova in the 2nd round. The Dukes lead most of the way; and just had to knock down some FTs to close out the victory;,but let it slip away at the foul line. Still two great crowds and it looked like the Program was in good shape for the future.
Certainly the win over Pitt mentioned above, was a great evening.

I think you are mis-remembering that Vilinova game in the NIT. Dukes lost by 16.  I remember watching V's quickness and thinking they are going to be a force next year in the Big Dance, and sure enough they were.
 


Vicimus Atlanticum decem
 

1/31/2021 8:03 am  #15


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

The concerts at Palumbo were interesting; I was at the Elvis Costello show; but also saw Steve Winwood during his comeback tour; a true professional and one of the best voices in the business.  I recall another show with Blondie aka Debbie Harry opening for Tears for Fears.  Blondies closing number was memorable.

 

1/31/2021 8:08 am  #16


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Tejas_Duke wrote:

levon1975 wrote:

I remember the great raucous atmosphere at Palumbo when the John Carroll era Dukes with Derrick Alston, Whitehead, and others played two home games in the NIT. The Dukes beat up on a good UNC-Charlotte team in the first round then took on Villanova in the 2nd round. The Dukes lead most of the way; and just had to knock down some FTs to close out the victory;,but let it slip away at the foul line. Still two great crowds and it looked like the Program was in good shape for the future.
Certainly the win over Pitt mentioned above, was a great evening.

I think you are mis-remembering that Vilinova game in the NIT. Dukes lost by 16.  I remember watching V's quickness and thinking they are going to be a force next year in the Big Dance, and sure enough they were.
 

Perhaps the final score; but the game was very competitive until Villanova started fouling Whitehead and he missed a bunch of FTs at critical points of the game.  That was how Villanova took control of the game.
I thought that Carroll just rode Derrick Alston too hard that year; he often had him chasing the ball in his half/court trap defense which contributed to some turnovers but wore out Alston. He had 7’0”” Rickey Lopes who seldom saw the court; but as we found out the following year, Lopes wasn’t bad; and could have been used to rest Alston

Last edited by levon1975 (1/31/2021 8:15 am)

 

1/31/2021 8:15 am  #17


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Tejas_Duke wrote:

levon1975 wrote:

I remember the great raucous atmosphere at Palumbo when the John Carroll era Dukes with Derrick Alston, Whitehead, and others played two home games in the NIT. The Dukes beat up on a good UNC-Charlotte team in the first round then took on Villanova in the 2nd round. The Dukes lead most of the way; and just had to knock down some FTs to close out the victory;,but let it slip away at the foul line. Still two great crowds and it looked like the Program was in good shape for the future.
Certainly the win over Pitt mentioned above, was a great evening.

I think you are mis-remembering that Vilinova game in the NIT. Dukes lost by 16.  I remember watching V's quickness and thinking they are going to be a force next year in the Big Dance, and sure enough they were.
 

Perhaps the final score; but the game was very competitive until Villanova started fouling Whitehead and he missed a bunch of FTs at critical points of the game.  That was how Villanova took control of the game.

 

1/31/2021 9:43 am  #18


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

levon1975 wrote:

Tejas_Duke wrote:

levon1975 wrote:

I remember the great raucous atmosphere at Palumbo when the John Carroll era Dukes with Derrick Alston, Whitehead, and others played two home games in the NIT. The Dukes beat up on a good UNC-Charlotte team in the first round then took on Villanova in the 2nd round. The Dukes lead most of the way; and just had to knock down some FTs to close out the victory;,but let it slip away at the foul line. Still two great crowds and it looked like the Program was in good shape for the future.
Certainly the win over Pitt mentioned above, was a great evening.

I think you are mis-remembering that Vilinova game in the NIT. Dukes lost by 16.  I remember watching V's quickness and thinking they are going to be a force next year in the Big Dance, and sure enough they were.
 

Perhaps the final score; but the game was very competitive until Villanova started fouling Whitehead and he missed a bunch of FTs at critical points of the game.  That was how Villanova took control of the game.

Villanova had a comfortable lead most of the game. The Dukes went on a run in the second half, cutting the lead to 4 points, before the Dukes faded down the stretch.

 

1/31/2021 12:36 pm  #19


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

levon1975 wrote:

The concerts at Palumbo were interesting; I was at the Elvis Costello show; but also saw Steve Winwood during his comeback tour; a true professional and one of the best voices in the business.  I recall another show with Blondie aka Debbie Harry opening for Tears for Fears.  Blondies closing number was memorable.

We were at that Steve Winwood concert as well. His performance was top rate but what I remember most about that concert was how awful the accostics were at the Palumbo. It put a damper on the night for my wife and I.
 

 

1/31/2021 1:22 pm  #20


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

I'll echo my old friend JPG-DU81's comments on my favorite basketball games.

And I'll add 2 concerts to the list, Phil Lesh & Friends in April, 2001 and again in November, 2005.  Great shows and great times at Palumbo.

 

1/31/2021 3:26 pm  #21


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

VBC wrote:

I'll echo my old friend JPG-DU81's comments on my favorite basketball games.

And I'll add 2 concerts to the list, Phil Lesh & Friends in April, 2001 and again in November, 2005.  Great shows and great times at Palumbo.

I didn't go, but I remember the Phil and Friends show being pretty big. If you were there for those I have to ask if you were also there when Phish played in 94? I wasn't there because it was before my time, but I've listened to recordings and it was a pretty good show.

 

1/31/2021 5:09 pm  #22


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

I was at the Phish show & at least one of the Phil & Friends gigs. Bare Naked Ladies drew the biggest crowd I ever saw there in 98 or 99. The Squeeze was excellent & packed them in. I also saw Katrina & the Waves open for a headliner that I can't recall. Her performance was noteworthy because she had a broken leg with a full cast. There was a Dylan show in there some time in the early 2000s. That was a big deal but it was the worst performance from him I ever witnessed in at least a dozen tries. I travelled from Atlanta to see CSNY there with some old DU friends. They too struggled but I saw them later in the tour & they were great. Maybe I saw Rusted Root there? The Cranberries put on a great show there as well but I recall having to endure Duran Duran as a co-headliner.

I am quite partial to the late non-con/early conference schedule games of AJax's senior year. Nobody I know would have predicted how great his season was going to be & opponents were not ready for him yet. He seemed to constantly be converting and-1 opportunities.

I was at the Florida State, Xavier, Unc-Charlotte, & Temple games referenced by others. They were all highpoints for sure but I will always be an Ajax man. His senior season created real hope & had a bit of magic to it. Even his final game, a defeat, was the stuff of legend.

I will also be forever haunted by some member of Courtney Wallace's family bellowing, "bend your knees, bend your knees",  before EVERY, SINGLE, FOUL SHOT THE GUY TOOK in a generally quiet & sparsely populated Palumbo.

I also feel lucky to have seen Mossie do his thing at Palumbo as an undergrad, grad student, & alumni fan. There wasn't very much to cheer about in his last season or two but, that guy's legend endures for a reason. 


 

 

1/31/2021 5:14 pm  #23


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Thanks for all of the concert memories.  I was in the crowd for a number of the concerts mentioned; and agree that the acoustics in that place left a ton to be desired.  Has anyone heard anything about the Cooper Fieldhouse being available for concerts or anything built into the design to accommodate them?

 

1/31/2021 6:34 pm  #24


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

Thought I would weigh in on the Palumbo concerts. I don't know how many on this board are familiar with the jazz vocal group Manhattan Transfer. They were very popular back in the seventies and eighties and I had the pleasure of playing sax in the backup band when the group appeared there. It was a fun gig but I can attest to the fact that the acoustics were a nightmare for musicians as well even with stage monitors.

 

2/01/2021 10:13 am  #25


Re: Requiem for Palumbo

I saw a few concerts in the AJP, cant say they were memorable, Gin Blossums played on campus for like $2, it was decent, probably cause we partied up before.   I'm not a concert person tho.
Being there in the early 90s, it was fun, the good teams brought out a lot of fans, Mosey Murphy leading the cheer, the NIT year, UNCC and Villanova(Kerry Kittles), were fun games, but that whole season was good times.   Seeing legends like John Chaney and Calipari.   And other than me putting my handprint on the backboard a few hours before the UNCC game, my other non Dukes memory of that place will be Marcus Camby completely dominating with UMass.   I swear he dunked at least 10 times that night.   
My high school bball team on its state title run, played at AJP a few times, those were great, place was packed full, those were my first times in the place, we all thought it was first class back in 1990.   Geez that was a long time ago.   
I hope the wpial considers moving back to the Coop for their title games, cause the other place they play now looks empty and cold, the Coop is perfect size for wpial games.

 

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