Welcome to SHOO-SHOO, RAH-RAH! The Duquesne Dukes Basketball Fan Message Board!
One of America's Great Message Boards - Any Inappropriate Posts Will Be Deleted!

duke-passing


UPCOMING GAMES:
Thursday - 12/8 Home - Marshall - 7:00 PM
Sunday - 12/11 Home - New Mexico State - 4:00 PM
Wednesday - 12/14 Home - DePaul - 7:00 PM

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



10/12/2021 11:00 am  #1


Your Thoughts On The Dukes

We are now less than 30 days away from the start of the basketball season. In the next week or so we're going to re commence our annual “Get On The Record” contest. So, save your predictions on number of predicted wins and losses until the contest begins. At this point, I would like to know your opinion about what you like about this year’s team, and what are you are concerned about for the coming year? Are you optimistic, pessimistic, or apathetic about what the Dukes chances are this season? Just going on the level of conversation on this board or lack thereof I would say most of you are apathetic, but I could be wrong. There are no right or wrong answers here just opinions.

Personally, I am really high on this team. I've said this many times that I really believe that they are going to surprise a lot of people. I am therefore definitely in the optimistic category; many would probably say I am overly optimistic. Maybe, time will tell.   I think the biggest thing I like about this year's team is that at every position we are capable of shooting the ball at a high percentage. Not only can this team shoot, but they also can drive the ball and create their own shots. This was woefully missing the last few years.  At the guard positions, we will have two point guards on the court at all times.  Many people forget that Leon Ayers played the point when he was in JUCO. Our front court is going to be relatively small with Williams, Easley and Gunn at 6’7”.  However, I think these guys are going to be a nightmare for opponents to guard.  The ability of Gunn and Easley to shoot the ball from beyond the arc, take people off the dribble, as well as their ability to pass the ball make them very dangerous and forces opponents to guard them all over the court.
 
What I am most concerned about is our ability to guard and rebound. It seems that coach Dambrot has switched from his bigger is better philosophy that he brought over from Akron to an NBA style of “position less” basketball. I can see that in this year's team, everyone can pass shoot and drive the ball with interchangeable parts. However, on the defensive side are they going to be able to guard bigger players and rebound effectively. If the Dukes can do this, and I believe they can, I see this team finishing at the top of the league.

What are your thoughts?
 
 

 

10/12/2021 11:22 am  #2


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Somehow, I both agree with every point you make about the personnel & their respective skill sets while also predicting a highest finish of 5th.

Maybe it is a negative-Nancy hangover from decades of mostly disappointing outcomes or a creeping sense that KD will not be the coach to make this program a perennial A-10 contender. I can't say for sure.

The program is obviously in much better shape than it was during the Ferry years. For that, I am appreciative. I also argue that things are better now & have a greater chance of staying that way than the RE era.

I just can't get past the fact that KD hasn't kept a team together. Perhaps the Rotoff hurt/grad assistant in/Hima radio silence today makes me think that sea changes are not in the offing.

 

10/12/2021 2:27 pm  #3


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Excited?  yes.  Optomistic?  ask me again in 2 months.

Last edited by townsonkid (10/12/2021 2:36 pm)

 

10/12/2021 7:07 pm  #4


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Well I just turned 72 and a large number of those years were spent being optimistic about the Pirates, Steelers, Dukes,etc.  It is my nature.  So I go along with CLK as far as being in the optimist column.  Reasons?  Dambrot for one.  I agree with Phil about the turnover but that is hard to avoid with over 1,700 transfers this year.  But what I feel best about is the chemistry I keep hearing about.  Having attended a practice it looked evident to me.  Time will tell.
Optimist or not, for now I can go no higher than fourth because of what improvements I see in several other teams besides ours plus the returning power of the Bonnies snd Spiders.  My hope is momentum come March.  Final thought - these non conference games will be critical like never before.

 

10/12/2021 9:22 pm  #5


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

I was so excited 4 years ago when we had that new class and everybody was talking about how good the dukes were going to be in 3 years. Well that has passed. Sincere Carry was a back breaker. I'm deluded. I think all this player movement is not good. How do you develop loyalty to the program when you don't know players from one year to the next? That being said, maybe we have a little surprise coming.

 

10/13/2021 8:40 am  #6


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Good to see some conversation on this Board again.  Regrettably, I agree with the points about player retention.  However, as we all know the world has changed.  I applaud Coach Dambrot for being able to adapt.  There are a lot more changes coming in college basketball that I am sure most of us won't like it.

     Thread Starter
 

10/13/2021 9:34 am  #7


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

What kind of rule changes?   Its been a free-for-all the last year for rosters, its cant get any more liberal in that regard, can it?

On a side note, who has left Duquesne in the Dambrot era, and gone on to have a solid college career?   Mike Lewis really didnt.   I saw Swingle left wherever he went.   What about that Veerhoven kid?   Obviously too soon to tell about last years departures.

 

10/13/2021 10:28 am  #8


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

townsonkid wrote:

What kind of rule changes?   Its been a free-for-all the last year for rosters, its cant get any more liberal in that regard, can it?

On a side note, who has left Duquesne in the Dambrot era, and gone on to have a solid college career?   Mike Lewis really didnt.   I saw Swingle left wherever he went.   What about that Veerhoven kid?   Obviously too soon to tell about last years departures.

Yes it can.  There is a move to give college athletes the right to unionize.  That is just too much for me to get my head around.

[url=https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/10/college-athletes-pay-unionizing-nlrb]College Athletes Can Finally Unionize (jacobinmag.com
)[/url]

 

     Thread Starter
 

10/13/2021 1:10 pm  #9


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Changes to the landscape of college sports are inevitable; but we can't stop change; so just focusing on the 2021-22 Dukes, I'll throw in my two cents. 

I don't trust "coach speak" any longer.  We've had the ball pulled away just as we tried to kick it too many times.  Those guys are always going to sell us an optimistic outlook for the team; so I don't put any stock in statements about the team pulling together, or having this great talent-level, not seen in the last 5 years.  CLK's preview is quite optimistic but I would temper this with the fact that we have so many unknowns on this team.  We literally know next to nothing about any of the transfers, some of which weren't starters for their previous teams.  "Buying in" sight unseen requires a leap of faith.  Secondly, the team doesn't have a proven D-1 scorer.  Other than Gunn's numbers at D-2 none of the others were big scorers; so why would we expect one or two if them to explode in the scoring column in the A-10?  It's hard for me to expect a guy who averaged about 7-ppg last year to be a guy who can close out games.  My second concern is size along the baseline.  As CLK mentioned there isn't much size or depth along the frontline, and that always gives me an uneasy feeling.  Even if Williams is better than expected, he is only 6'7" and will be at a height deficit playing in the paint.  Fouls will always be a concern, due to the lack of depth and now with Rotroff on the shelf; who is the viable backup to Williams?  Unless Hima is going to contribute, I see a red flag along the frontline. 

At guard we have only two or three returning players, Acuff and Bekelja and swingman Toby Okani. None of those players has shown the ability to score at this level.  Granted they have had only one year, but we just haven't seen the traits of a scorer in these guys.  The team will apparently rely on two freshman guards to play significant minutes; and that is a concern for any team.  So it looks to me that a lot of things will need to fall into place for this team to be successful, and we know from experience that this rarely happens.  The more likely scenario is that a starter at our thinnest position suffers an injury in practice, decides to transfer, or leaves the team for personal reasons!  Sorry, it's just what I've come to expect.  

To be fair, this team defies evaluation on our part until we see them play a few games.  So, as usual, I plan to be there on opening night half-expecting disappointment, but hoping I'm underestimating the team.  

 

10/13/2021 3:32 pm  #10


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Levon that is certainly the safe view and a lot of it is true, but does not tell the whole story.  First I do not believe that Dambtrot is using "coach speak" when he said that he feels this is his best team at DU.  I have spoken to several people who have attended practice and have talked with Dambrot.  They have all told me the same thing: Dambrot really believes this is his best team. You know what, Dambrot has always been straight with the media, andI believe him. I don't think I am having a case of blind faith, and I will explain.  I will summarize some of my reasons below by position:

Center:  For the last three years this spot was anchored by Mike Hughes listed at 6'8".  Mike was a solid defender and shot blocker.  Mike numbers were underwhelming when he came to DU as a sophomore.  When Dambrot recruited Williams from ISU (a sophomore) he was on the Horizon League all defensive team, and one of the leading shot blocker in that league.  I remember a PSN video where Dambrot made the statement that Williams will be as good or better player for DU as Hughes.  I see no loss in this position.  

Point Guard:  The last couple of years the play at this position has been inconsistent at best.  Carry's freshman year was in my opinion his best year at DU from an overall perspective.  His sophomore season was at best disappointing.  He had some really good games but at times he looked so bad it was almost like he was playing for the mob.  Certainly not deserving of #10.  His backup was TDM who  was wildly inconsistent at the point.  I loved the guy but at times would drive me crazy.  Now it is true that this year we will be relying on two freshman to step into this role like Carry did when he was a freshman.  But both come in after terrific prep school seasons.  Many have described both Johnson and Spears as "steals" for the program.  I am sure most of us have all seen the videos and read the accolades on Johnsons shooting ability.  However, the most intriguing aspect of both of their games is their ability to drive the ball and pass.  I will be shocked if one or both do not outperform what Carry did his freshman year as a starter.

Shooting guards:  The past three years were very frustrating to me with our inability to drain wide open shots, and the inability of our guards (maybe with the exception of Baker) to create their own shots.  You made the comment about Ayers not being a starter.  That is true, but he was the one who finished in most of Mercer's games.  I have watched all the youtube full game and individual clips on Ayers and Mercer.  In my humble opinion he is better than any shooting guard we had including the head case Baker.  This kid has the skill set to do it all and is a team player.  

Leon Ayers on Twitter: "Few clips from the season 😅😅 https://t.co/R9xzxPDwmZ" / Twitter

Small Forward:  I believe Okani will start.  In my opinion he was one of best players at the end of last season.  I look at him and see driven to be great.  He is a top notch defender and rebounder.  His offensive game is improving and certainly was better than Maceo Austin who held this position before him.  I also see Ayers being able to get minutes.

Power Forward:  I see Easley and Ayers here.  Both I think are capable of putting up big numbers and being a match up problem for other teams.  We won't see the ball hogging one on four moves like our previous power forward was known for as both of these guys not only have the skills to score inside and outside but are also team players willing to share the ball.  I think I have watched all of the Lenoir Rhynes full game videos and Gunn is the real deal.   

I actually do see a lot of depth on this team given the new position-less approach by Dambrot. For example both Gunn & Easley can play the 3,4 &5.  No matter who plays the guard position we will have two point guards on the court at all times.

I really believe we will be a very much improved scoring team than we were for the past several years.  I would be shocked to see the extended scoring draughts that we have known and hated for the past three years.  

To end my rambling,  all I will say is time will tell.

     Thread Starter
 

10/13/2021 9:43 pm  #11


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

CLK wrote:

Levon that is certainly the safe view and a lot of it is true, but does not tell the whole story.  First I do not believe that Dambtrot is using "coach speak" when he said that he feels this is his best team at DU.  I have spoken to several people who have attended practice and have talked with Dambrot.  They have all told me the same thing: Dambrot really believes this is his best team. You know what, Dambrot has always been straight with the media, andI believe him. I don't think I am having a case of blind faith, and I will explain.  I will summarize some of my reasons below by position:

Center:  For the last three years this spot was anchored by Mike Hughes listed at 6'8".  Mike was a solid defender and shot blocker.  Mike numbers were underwhelming when he came to DU as a sophomore.  When Dambrot recruited Williams from ISU (a sophomore) he was on the Horizon League all defensive team, and one of the leading shot blocker in that league.  I remember a PSN video where Dambrot made the statement that Williams will be as good or better player for DU as Hughes.  I see no loss in this position.  

Point Guard:  The last couple of years the play at this position has been inconsistent at best.  Carry's freshman year was in my opinion his best year at DU from an overall perspective.  His sophomore season was at best disappointing.  He had some really good games but at times he looked so bad it was almost like he was playing for the mob.  Certainly not deserving of #10.  His backup was TDM who  was wildly inconsistent at the point.  I loved the guy but at times would drive me crazy.  Now it is true that this year we will be relying on two freshman to step into this role like Carry did when he was a freshman.  But both come in after terrific prep school seasons.  Many have described both Johnson and Spears as "steals" for the program.  I am sure most of us have all seen the videos and read the accolades on Johnsons shooting ability.  However, the most intriguing aspect of both of their games is their ability to drive the ball and pass.  I will be shocked if one or both do not outperform what Carry did his freshman year as a starter.

Shooting guards:  The past three years were very frustrating to me with our inability to drain wide open shots, and the inability of our guards (maybe with the exception of Baker) to create their own shots.  You made the comment about Ayers not being a starter.  That is true, but he was the one who finished in most of Mercer's games.  I have watched all the youtube full game and individual clips on Ayers and Mercer.  In my humble opinion he is better than any shooting guard we had including the head case Baker.  This kid has the skill set to do it all and is a team player.  

Leon Ayers on Twitter: "Few clips from the season 😅😅 https://t.co/R9xzxPDwmZ" / Twitter

Small Forward:  I believe Okani will start.  In my opinion he was one of best players at the end of last season.  I look at him and see driven to be great.  He is a top notch defender and rebounder.  His offensive game is improving and certainly was better than Maceo Austin who held this position before him.  I also see Ayers being able to get minutes.

Power Forward:  I see Easley and Ayers here.  Both I think are capable of putting up big numbers and being a match up problem for other teams.  We won't see the ball hogging one on four moves like our previous power forward was known for as both of these guys not only have the skills to score inside and outside but are also team players willing to share the ball.  I think I have watched all of the Lenoir Rhynes full game videos and Gunn is the real deal.   

I actually do see a lot of depth on this team given the new position-less approach by Dambrot. For example both Gunn & Easley can play the 3,4 &5.  No matter who plays the guard position we will have two point guards on the court at all times.

I really believe we will be a very much improved scoring team than we were for the past several years.  I would be shocked to see the extended scoring draughts that we have known and hated for the past three years.  

To end my rambling,  all I will say is time will tell.

I'm with you CLK. This team is loaded in my opinion. Ayers, Easley. Williams, and Gunn came here for a reason. Chips on shoulders. I believe Dambrot and his staff have worked the transfer portal beautifully. Spears and Johnson are great pick ups and I think Okahni and Acuff are all league when said and done. Barba, a healthy Rotroff, and perhaps a secret weapon in Hima. Looking forward to the season.
 

 

10/13/2021 10:31 pm  #12


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

I am very hopeful for this upcoming season.  All I have is some second and third hand information like most of us here, but from what I am hearing Keith really likes this group.  The injury to Rotroff has to hurt, but if he can get these guys on a roll early maybe this can be the season we've been waiting for.  

 

10/14/2021 11:22 pm  #13


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

I like this team a lot.  Shooting will be much improved from the last few years, and with the exception of Center, depth is otherwise solid. Still, this team is young and the top of the conference is strong. I'm thinking 6th-8th in A10.

More important than W-L record is whether they can avoid the mass exodus after this season. The transfer rules make this a problem everywhere, but hopefully these guys develop a chemistry and want to stay. If departures are minimal, then I think we are looking at a top 4 finish next season.

Last edited by wharfrat58 (10/14/2021 11:23 pm)

 

10/15/2021 9:05 am  #14


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

I'm generally an optimistic person.so I am looking forward to this season as I look forward to all seasons - with the idea that an A-10 championship is possible. 

First positive:  In-game coaching.   I don't believe we will get outcoached especially in the last 5 minutes of a game.  I know others on this board disagree with me (yes, I'm looking at you Phil95,) but KD has proven that he knows what to down in crunch time with clock management, defensive sets, and play calling to win a close game.  Execution has been the only complaint I have in that area and that's not on KD.  Under Ferry and even RE, to a smaller extent, I always felt like the other coach was gonna beat us in the end.  I don't feel that way with KD.

2nd positive:  Point Guard play.  The Dukes will be better this year at the 1.  I know we haven't seen them play yet but it has to be better right?  Even before Sincere left he was trending downward and after he was gone the play at the 1 was weak at best and the Dukes were still able to compete and win games.  All reports indicate that these 2 new guys, Johnson and Spears, can handle the role so I think we will be improved there.

3rd positive: Athleticism.  I'm looking forward to the scrimmage to see how all these "swing men" look but I feel like there will be more scoring from all these 6 foot 7 athletes.  The Dukes were almost one dimensional last season.  If Chad Baker wasn't pouring in shots, we were getting the ball to Marcus and watching him go to the hoop.  Once teams locked that down we didn't have anyone to knock down shots or create offense.  I'm thinking these new guys will create shots for themselves with their athleticism and actually knock down shots.  

Wildcard: In the paint.  I actually think the season hinges on how well Williams can handle the the big men of the A-10.  I know he will have help but the task in his charge is to bang bodies every night with bigger, more experienced guys (at least A-10 experience) than him and get rebounds and put backs as well as defend in the paint.  It is a tall order.  KD knows the A-10 by now.  I'm guessing he will put Williams in the best possible situation to succeed but does that situation exist?  

The Dukes are firmly in the top half of the league - 7th or better.  But ever the optimist, I'm predicting a first place finish and trip to the NCAA tournament.  "for only in their dreams can men be truly free - twas always thus and thus will always be." .... John Keating, Dead Poets Society

 

10/15/2021 10:27 am  #15


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

I hope you all are correct.   I am cautiously optimistic.  

 

10/15/2021 11:49 am  #16


Re: Your Thoughts On The Dukes

Styles1229 wrote:

I'm generally an optimistic person.so I am looking forward to this season as I look forward to all seasons - with the idea that an A-10 championship is possible. 

First positive:  In-game coaching.   I don't believe we will get outcoached especially in the last 5 minutes of a game.  I know others on this board disagree with me (yes, I'm looking at you Phil95,) but KD has proven that he knows what to down in crunch time with clock management, defensive sets, and play calling to win a close game.  Execution has been the only complaint I have in that area and that's not on KD.  Under Ferry and even RE, to a smaller extent, I always felt like the other coach was gonna beat us in the end.  I don't feel that way with KD.

2nd positive:  Point Guard play.  The Dukes will be better this year at the 1.  I know we haven't seen them play yet but it has to be better right?  Even before Sincere left he was trending downward and after he was gone the play at the 1 was weak at best and the Dukes were still able to compete and win games.  All reports indicate that these 2 new guys, Johnson and Spears, can handle the role so I think we will be improved there.

3rd positive: Athleticism.  I'm looking forward to the scrimmage to see how all these "swing men" look but I feel like there will be more scoring from all these 6 foot 7 athletes.  The Dukes were almost one dimensional last season.  If Chad Baker wasn't pouring in shots, we were getting the ball to Marcus and watching him go to the hoop.  Once teams locked that down we didn't have anyone to knock down shots or create offense.  I'm thinking these new guys will create shots for themselves with their athleticism and actually knock down shots.  

Wildcard: In the paint.  I actually think the season hinges on how well Williams can handle the the big men of the A-10.  I know he will have help but the task in his charge is to bang bodies every night with bigger, more experienced guys (at least A-10 experience) than him and get rebounds and put backs as well as defend in the paint.  It is a tall order.  KD knows the A-10 by now.  I'm guessing he will put Williams in the best possible situation to succeed but does that situation exist?  

The Dukes are firmly in the top half of the league - 7th or better.  But ever the optimist, I'm predicting a first place finish and trip to the NCAA tournament.  "for only in their dreams can men be truly free - twas always thus and thus will always be." .... John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Listing question marks as "positives" is an interesting way of expressing your optimism; but I'm not here to dampen anyone's hopes. I hope we all get what we want from Santa! 
 It's just that we have no evidence that the team will be any better off than last year.  Let's assume, the reports are true that Williams will be as effective as Mike Hughes at the "5" spot. Well that wasn't good enough to get us where we want to go; so is that improvement?  

We hope that point guard play can't be as bad as last year and that should be a safe bet; but I just recall Brandon Wade as a previous KD point guard recruit, and I have to be cautious about jumping to conclusions on the two freshmen that I've not seen.  

KD does seem to have a team of swingmen.  We'll see how that works out when bigger teams try to pound the boards and play volleyball on the glass until they score.  I just can't lose the image of Osunniyi from St Bonaventure swatting shots and keeping misses alive on the boards against the Dukes, and can't help but wonder how this team of swingmen and an undersized post player will deal with bigger power forwards and post players that they will face during the season.  

 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

uLINKS


DUQUESNE SITES



  • Pittsburgh Sports Now