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2/16/2022 11:41 pm  #1


Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

He is not a recruiter, can’t retain what talent he does get, he can not develop talent. Apparently he can’t recognize talent, by his statement, this is his best team. After four years he should have realized that he needed a center or at least players that can shoot. His staff recruited neither. His 21 win season was because of the soft out of conference schedule. He is not a defensive coach or an offensive coach. After taking five million from Duquesne, he should resign gracefully. What I would like to know, is how you Dambrot supporters still stand behind him ? Please explain to me, because I really would like to know.

 

2/17/2022 8:52 am  #2


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

Wildwood I am a supporter. Yep he is checked out. No doubt hoping for a buyout. Stubborn, can’t keep recruits, can’t recruit in the portal. Zero flexibility coaching in a game. As I noted in another post. Betting against this team is money money money. Last nights GW game covered within 45 seconds. The outcome was never in doubt.

 

2/17/2022 8:53 am  #3


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I would not be surprised if he resigned. 

 

2/17/2022 8:54 am  #4


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I'm still here.  Very emotional post, I really encourage you to look at the big picture.  As "weak" as you might say that out of conference season was that year, we also broke a school record for A10 wins that same season.  That may have helped us get to 21.  Using partial data can skew the numbers to match any narrative.  Player retention is one thing and this particular class certainly hasn't hit, but did you forget about Eric Williams and Sincere Carry?  Both with no D1 offers, I'd say they are both pretty good examples of finding diamonds in the rough.  Carry posted on his social media "my guy" with a heart with a picture of Dambrot's all-time win banner before his game against Akron last week.  As some suspected at the time of the departure, maybe his leaving truly was for personal reasons and not basketball.  

Last night, I actually thought we got pretty good looks in the first half especially.  We just didn't make anything, it was uncanny.  Coaches create opportunities, players make shots.  This class clearly was a miss, but I think at this level, especially with our 40 years of struggle, you have to take risks on players.  We are not going to be able to get as many "sure things" as other schools based on our plight. 

Any coach that is willing to drive back and forth from Pittsburgh to Akron and back to spend time with his dying father every day for a month straight I believe the articles said, while also being there for his team and running practices/workouts everyday immediately has my respect.  That's sacrifice.  I am willing to endure this year of miserable basketball, something that is certainly not new for us fans.  And something that really hasn't happened since Dambrot took over.  If this continues into next year, I am with you.  But for now, I'm fully on ship.

 

2/17/2022 9:23 am  #5


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

As I said in an earlier post, next year will tell me more about KD and staff than this one will. I too have great respect for him as he spent time with his father. My dad and I were very close so I get that totally. As for the basketball part of it all, I can't overlook KD's body of work at Akron. He had mostly 20+ win seasons, only one that wasn't. That's not easy to do anywhere. Plus his first 4 years here were more than acceptable to me. Sure this year is as big of a surprise to KD as it is to most supporters on this board. If we look anything close to this next year my thinking may do a 180 on the subject.GO DUKES!

Last edited by El Presidente (2/17/2022 9:24 am)

 

2/17/2022 9:35 am  #6


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I'm not giving up either. I was thinking of Ray Meyer at DePaul--HOF coach. His best seasons were at the beginning and end of his career. In between were some .500 seasons give or take and he once went 8-17. If DePaul fired him after that, they would have missed his last 7 seasons which were stellar. He had George Mikan in the beginning and a number of good players at the end.

 

2/17/2022 9:48 am  #7


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

KD didnt get stupid overnight and hes back next year,hes not going to quit and hes not going to be fired.I
believe hes going to fight like hell and find some players this spring.KD isnt Danny Nee,so I try to be 
patient and its extremely difficult watching this season.I worry about KD  because I sense he hates losing
and this is a terribly stressful situation for him. and we all know what stress does when you are older.So I
pray for him and his family and wish him to be focused and have peace in his heart trying to revive this
program.

 

2/17/2022 10:44 am  #8


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I appreciate the responses and admire the loyalty to the coach. As far as me looking at the big picture, I feel I am realistically. The 21 win season started 10-0 against awful competition and finished the season 11-9. Yes he did accomplish the best mark in A-10 at 11-7. But during his five years coaching in the A-10, it has been the weakest A-10 based on conference rankings and teams to make the NCAA’s. 

As far as recruiting, you have to agree his retention rate his horrible, this is not the only year he had a swing and miss in recruiting classes, He has recruited so many players that are not even playing college basketball anymore, plus players that transferred to lower conferences and not even contributing. His best players IMO have been Hughes,Weathers,Dunn Martin, Carey, Steele and Williams. 6 players in five years is not going to make it in any conference. Carey and Williams were definitely diamonds in the rough. But they didn’t stay at Duquesne as well as everyone else except Hughes (pro) and Steele a one year grad student. 

Do you guys really like the offense he runs, his stubbornness to only play man (when they obviously can’t play it) ? Do you really feel the two guys coming in next year address our needs? Do you guys think he has really developed any of his players from year to year ? If so, name the player he has developed the most during his tenure. That’s a loaded question because he can’t keep players.

No, I don’t think he got stupid overnight, but I do think he is over is head in the A-10. Plus sarcasm is better served with intelligent debate. Yes he was successful at Akron and I like most, thought this was a good hire but then again this is Duquesne and the A-10, a step above the MAC !! Comparing Dambrot to Ray Meyer is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think ?

As far as his father’s passing, I feel bad for coach and his family. If he needed time to step away, I would have had no problem with that. Just let his assistants take over like they cover for him in post game interviews. But, I really don’t think this is the forum to discuss his family situation and it should not even been brought up on this board. Either way I am going to follow the Dukes wether he resigns, stays or gets fired. Also, I am going to keep commenting as I have been following the Dukes for fifty years and I will until the bitter end.

     Thread Starter
 

2/17/2022 1:12 pm  #9


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I have to admit, I was pretty satisfied with the first three years. In year 1, Keith won more conference games (7) with mostly Jim Ferry's recruits than Jim Ferry ever did in 5 years. Years 2 and 3 showed steady improvement and finishes in the top half of the conference, where Duquesne doesn't typically end up. It's a valid point though that the A10 was down in those years. Even in year 3, the conference numbers were a bit skewed by Dayton being one of the best teams in the country. But the A10 in the Dambrot Era is a far cry from its heyday in most of the 1990s and early 2010s. Just the same, you can only be judged against your peers in that given season and in those years, Duquesne did alright.

But even in those mostly positive first three years, cracks were showing. The top two recruits in Keith's first class (Verhoeven and Williams), who both would have had nice careers at Duquesne, left after one and two years respectively. Mike Lewis, a kid Keith tried very hard to retain from the previous regime, saw his playing time drastically reduced in year 2 and wanted out after a year and a half, transferring mid-season. Highly-touted year 2 recruits (Bizeau, Swingle, Wade) were all flops.

Year 3's recruiting class brought in Maceo Austin and one year of Baylee Steele, but also three non-A10 players in Buckley, Ellis and Miller. And some things were clearly beyond Keith's control, like the devastating knee injuries to Rotroff and Kelly. We watched Carry's play decline from freshman to sophomore year, and then he too would leave the program mid-season in his junior year, along with Austin (again, beyond Keith's control) and Norman, and a team that might have contended for a league championship stumbled to a 9th-place finish amid the pandemic instead.

The three cornerstones of the program for the previous three seasons (Hughes, Weathers, TDM) all moved on as did two more promising recruits (Baker, Harris), leaving an almost completely bare talent cupboard and necessitating the now disastrous reboot. That reboot was supposed to give us what Keith promised would be his best team yet, but we're left with a roster that can't really compete in an A10 that still isn't all that strong ratings-wise compared to the rest of the NCAA and prior seasons. 

The most optimistic view is that we're just a true point guard and maybe true center away from all the pieces falling into place, players not playing out of position and a sudden turnaround. That would be wonderful. But I think Wildwood makes a pretty valid point that this season can also be seen as the chickens coming home to roost after four years of poor recruiting and player development and retention, along with some bad luck. Keith's outlandish claims about this roster in the preseason have made him seem much less credible and it's hard for me to see right now that he's the one to turn this around.

Whether he stays or goes, I suspect we'll be looking at a drastically retooled roster once again next year. Who would be best to oversee that? A new coach with fresh ideas and approach or a veteran coach at the end of his career with one year left on his contract who just presided over a colossal failure of a season after claiming it would be his best yet? 

 

2/17/2022 1:33 pm  #10


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I think that, if I looked at this season in a vacuum, I would come to the same conclusions as Wildwood. It sure looks like the game has passed KD by.   But how do I reconcile that with what I observed 2 years ago?  Yes, the OOC schedule was weak, but our Dukes were playing their best ball as the season came to a close.  Even upsetting Dayton seemed remotely possible.  Without Covid cancelling the post season, maybe we make some noise.  I suppose, to me, the biggest problem is that he has failed to "recruit-over" the 3 Akron transfers that were integral to that team.  At the end of that season he had the best A-10 record of any Duquesne coach in recent memory and I thought that would make recruiting next level players a possibility.  For whatever reason(s) his recruits have not developed into the players he needs.  I imagine he did enough with the program those first years to merit 1 more season, but I don't see a scenario where he turns it around.  Please KD, prove me wrong. Go Dukes.

 

2/17/2022 1:44 pm  #11


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I was firmly a KD guy but these last 4 weeks have really turned me around.  I think his great track record at Akron, without looking too deeply into the numbers, has has actually set him up for failure here.  He's never had to handle this type of adversity?  He's never had to turn over a roster to this extent?  Perhaps KD became so entrenched in his way of doing things that these new variables (portal/transfers, extended losing streaks, better competition, recruiting to a perennially losing program) are just something he does not have the knowledge/experience to handle?  He was on cruise control for the several previous seasons at Akron.  He had players that stayed in his system and had the luxury of learning slowly then eventually taking over as the older guys graduated.  He recruited players into a program that was winning 20+ games a year so he had an easier time getting them to commit.  The challenges that Duquesne as a program present to him are ones that he has no experience dealing with.  Maybe he turned Akron around 15 years ago but he hasn't had to do that since.  From what I've seen of him, I do not see him doing it over the next 13 months.  It's time to move on with a coach who has experience either as an assistant or as a head coach dealing and succeeding with the challenges stated above.

 

2/17/2022 4:30 pm  #12


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

Very good points, Styles. And Tony84, how do you reconcile two years ago with today? That's pretty simple. All the key players from that team are gone and their replacements have failed miserably to live up to the standards they set. Hughes and Steele turned pro; Carry, Weathers, TDM and Norman transferred and all are excelling in their new surroundings. Maceo Austin walked away from the game. That's the 7-man rotation that got the lion's share of the minutes on that team. The only one remaining is Rotroff. Ashton Miller's struggling to get playing time at Wagner (a good NEC team but still), Evan Buckley is out of basketball last I heard, and James Ellis is attempting to restart his career at CCBC. Recruiting and retention (but mostly the former) failures have taken this team from 5th place with a shot at an NIT bid if they can win 2-3 games in a pandemic-doomed conference tourney to dead last in the conference in just two seasons. Keith brought us a winner by year 3, but it wasn't sustainable and it's not clear he knows how to get us back to that level. 

 

2/17/2022 7:45 pm  #13


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I felt that coming in, KD was a plus in that he may just bring better recruits. But his approach to offense would require him to out-recruit the top teams in the A-10 for his kind of half court game.  That's turning out to be unlikely.  His defense doesn't generate points from pressure, steals, press, nor traps.  He doesn't seem to appreciate the transition game that generates points off of turnovers. We seldom score on transition and when we do, it is an individual effort, not the kind of 2 or 3 player pattern you see our opponents run down the court on us.  Hima was effective to a point last game, but he should have been in the mix all season to have an experienced "Big" coming back next season. I would play him at least 20 minutes or more in the remaining games. I would also play an aggressive defense and traps because we can't win if we don't score off of defensive plays too.  Maybe it's a tall order, but the best KD could do the rest of this season is generate more offense and make an attempt to play aggressive defense.  I see no way to keep starting over with a big turnover of players with this coach. I have my doubts that KD can coach up inexperienced players each year.     
 

 

2/18/2022 8:05 am  #14


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I think one thing among many that is sad is that here you have a guy with that Duquesne connection through his father. What a story it would make. I can remember sitting in Palumbo in year 2 talking to a fellow fan who was more or less stating that in 3 years they were going to be something. I think a lot of people felt that way at that time. I really haven't had the time to pay attention all these comments and I know this has probably been addressed but last year with covid and the transfer of sincere carry was a huge blow. Yes, everybody had to deal with covid but I think that the Duke's really were knocked off by the virus and that kind of set things up for where we are now. Obviously, let's not forget the two years ago they played dating on to the wire at the Consol and then a few weeks later covid came in and that was the end. The following year just never got any traction.

 

2/18/2022 8:07 am  #15


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

1111 Vickroy wrote:

I think one thing among many that is sad is that here you have a guy with that Duquesne connection through his father. What a story it would make. I can remember sitting in Palumbo in year 2 talking to a fellow fan who was more or less stating that in 3 years they were going to be something. I think a lot of people felt that way at that time. I really haven't had the time to pay attention all these comments and I know this has probably been addressed but last year with covid and the transfer of sincere carry was a huge blow. Yes, everybody had to deal with covid but I think that the Duke's really were knocked off by the virus and that kind of set things up for where we are now. Obviously, let's not forget the two years ago they played dating on to the wire at the Consol and then a few weeks later covid came in and that was the end. The following year just never got any traction.

Correction Dayton

 

2/18/2022 8:25 am  #16


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

1111 Vickroy wrote:

1111 Vickroy wrote:

I think one thing among many that is sad is that here you have a guy with that Duquesne connection through his father. What a story it would make. I can remember sitting in Palumbo in year 2 talking to a fellow fan who was more or less stating that in 3 years they were going to be something. I think a lot of people felt that way at that time. I really haven't had the time to pay attention all these comments and I know this has probably been addressed but last year with covid and the transfer of sincere carry was a huge blow. Yes, everybody had to deal with covid but I think that the Duke's really were knocked off by the virus and that kind of set things up for where we are now. Obviously, let's not forget the two years ago they played dating on to the wire at the Consol and then a few weeks later covid came in and that was the end. The following year just never got any traction.

Correction Dayton

I thought about Covid playing a part, but then I have to say that all teams were dealing with it too. Taking this year's team and record and no improvement as the year has progressed really has me wondering if  KD can keep enough players each year and can he coach up new players. I would have really like to see Dayton two years ago in the NCAA. That was bad luck for them and the A-10.

 

2/18/2022 10:48 am  #17


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

I think Tony84 really makes a crucial point about KD's recruiting -  "he has failed to "recruit-over" the 3 Akron transfers....."  The only correction Tony is I think that Marcus Weathers transferred from Miami of Ohio - another MAC school, but again your point is well taken.  It is even more evident when one considers the nice recruiting history provided by DennisC91.  Once again I will point out that Harper has said with the commitment provided by the University (budget, facilities, housing etc.) KD would be recruiting on a higher level, but that clearly hasn't happened.  My belief is that Harper should be telling KD that he and his staff have failed to get the job done on the recruiting front and changes are necessary to shake things up.  The proof is in the pudding boys and if KD is too stubborn to make some staffing changes then Harper should mandate that he does.  We need a recruiter added to this staff, plain and simple.

 

2/18/2022 6:42 pm  #18


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

The million dollar question is what’s different at Duquesne than Akron. Akron may not have quite been in the depths that Duquesne was, but before his arrival the Zips had one  NCAA bid (a first round loss 18 years earlier) and was 0-2 in the NIT in the program’s history. They hadn’t had a winning season in the previous four years and hadn’t won 20 games for 15 years. He won 19 games in his first year and at least 20 every year after that. Akron is no more a fertile recruiting ground than western Pennsylvania. He still found a way to build his best teams around 6’10” Isiah Johnson and 7’0” Zeke Marshall. So what is different? Is it all his age? Is it the portal? Is the A-10 really that big a step up from the MAC? Is it the curse of Dudey Moore?

Last edited by luckymcd (2/18/2022 6:44 pm)

 

2/18/2022 8:55 pm  #19


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

IMO the A10 is not that big a step up from the MAC. There are years the top tier A10 teams are better than anyone in the MAC. But I don’t think any difference in the conferences or coaching is enough that Dambrot is over his head.  I do think recruiting to DU is tougher than recruiting to Akron once he got Akron rolling. So maybe, maybe, the recruiting has been tougher than Dambrot expected. But I disagree with the “his staff can’t recruit, he can’t evaluate players” line. He had too many good players and teams at Akron and found enough good players  that he got here for me to buy into that. Yes too many guys have left for my liking. But I’m not sure what Dambrot could have done about that.  I have heard the same rumors others have but have no inside info to know why certain guys left. Maybe Dambrot had good reason to part ways with some. One thing cannot be disputed  transfer numbers are all over D1 basketball and the portal has to be a big part of why. I think there’s reasons why more guys leave the DUs than more established programs. If a guy is good enough to go to a tourney bound team, how do you stop him? If a guys a role player or clearly behind a guy, why would he stay? He can transfer down and play right away. And, maybe if your Dambrot you want a bench guy to go so you can use the schollie.  I think it’s fair to question why DU didn’t have guys ready to step in for Hughes, Weathers, and TDM. Maybe the guys expected to were problems. Based on the way this team has played I understand questioning whether this staff will be able to use the portal well enough to replace guys the way teams are going to have to. But I’m not ready to conclude they won’t be able to. So, I’m still here supporting Dambrot. 

 

2/19/2022 4:31 pm  #20


Re: Knock knock are you Dambrot supporters still there ?

The game, recruiting rules, portal, P-5 dominance have all changed things significantly since KD took over the Akron program 20-years ago.  Akron also had a track record with Bob Huggins as a previous coach.  Dambrot was also already a Head Coach in the MAC at Western Michigan when he took the job at Akron; so he was comfortable with the League and knew what took to win in the MAC.  I think it took some time for him to understand what it would take to win in the A-10. He apparently underestimated the league and what level of talent he needed to win.

Last edited by levon1975 (2/21/2022 8:32 am)

 

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