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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:31 am 
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 6:00 p.m.
UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, Pittsburgh, Pa.


After finally snagging their first A-10 win on Saturday against St. Bonaventure, the Ramblers (7-12, 1-6 A-10) head east to the Steel City in search of their first A-10 conference road victory. The Duquesne Dukes have rebounded from their miserable 2021-22 season (6-24 overall, 1-17 in the A-10) to the middle of the pack this season. Loyola enters the game at 237 in KenPom, while the Dukes are 128.

The last time Loyola faced Duquesne-- way back in 1993-- was also as a conference rival. Duquesne interrupted their tenure as a founding member of the A-10 with one unfortunate year in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (along with future A-10 members Xavier, Dayton, Loyola, and LaSalle). LaSalle and Duquesne joined the MCC in 1992-93, and in less than a year from their announcement, Duquesne was suing new MCC Commissioner Jon LeCrone and the seven other teams in the league to get out of the conference. Dayton also left in 1993; LaSalle and Xavier bailed in 1994 and 1995, while the MCC added a half dozen public schools to keep the league afloat. When Loyola played Duquesne in 1993 it was at the A.J. Palumbo Center; after a $45 million re-imagining in 2018 (similar to the Gentile Center's transformation to Gentile Arena in 2011) it became the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

The Dukes (13-7 overall, 3-4 A-10) are coming off a 65-58 home loss to Fordham; they’ve also lost at home to Marshall and New Mexico State. Except for their 25-point loss at Kentucky in the second game of the year (and maybe the losses to Marshall and New Mexico at home), they’ve been close in all of their losses. Because they were so terrible last year, I think teams like DePaul and VCU might have underestimated them—Duquesne has also had wins against UC Santa Barbara (top 100 KenPom), Colgate, and Indiana State.

Duquesne Head Coach Keith Dambrot is in his sixth year at Duquesne, after 13 years at Akron, and coaching LeBron James in high school before joining the college ranks. His 2022-23 lineup is nearly all new to the team, but experienced. Tevin Brewer (a Florida International transfer) is a 5'8" point guard who averages 6.4 ppg while leading the team in assists with 3.7. The other two guards are 6'2" junior Dae Dae Grant (a Miami of Ohio transfer) and Jimmy Clark III (a VCU transfer). That shooting guard pair leads the team in scoring with 15.1 and 12.3 points per game respectively.

In the frontcourt are 6'8" senior forward Joseph Reese (on his third team in three years), and Indiana State transfer Tre Williams. The 6'7", 250-pound Williams left ISU Blue two years ago when Greg Lansing was canned, and played last year for the Dukes. Reece averages 9.4 points, Williams 7.4.

You may have noticed that Duquesne's starting lineup doesn't have a lot of height. Their offense depends mostly on speed, ball movement, and outside shooting (36.9% as a team on threes). As a team, they are very good passers (four players averaging more than two assists per game), and their lack of size means it's all hands on deck for rebounding. Tre Williams is a very skilled offensive rebounder (more offensive than defensive rebounds!), and with the quickness of the guards, Duquesne is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in D-I.

But the Dukes also have some height coming off the bench: 6'10" senior forward Austin Rotroff, 6'9" freshman David Dixon, and 6'7" senior forward R.J. Gunn get significant minutes. Gunn averages 10.4 ppg and shoots the three at a sizzling 43.4% on the year. Dixon leads the team in blocks while picking up 4.8 points and 3.4 boards. Rotroff leads the team in rebounding at 5.9 per game (another player more offensive rebounds than defensive!), chips in 5.0 points, and is their second best shot blocker. Freshman Kareem Rozier is a 5'9" freshman point guard off the bench; 6'6" sophomore forward McGriff did not play last time out against Fordham with an undisclosed ailment.

Loyola will have to limit Duquesne’s second-chance points and defend the three hard. In Duquesne’s home loss to Fordham on Saturday, the Rams let the Dukes get to 17 offensive rebounds, but limited Duquesne to 31% shooting from the field and only 19% from three. Despite their great three-point shooting, Duquesne is 14th in free throw shooting percentage, even worse than Loyola—so put Williams, Dixon and Rotroff on the line if you have to (all under 60%). The Ramblers need to go inside—Alston, Welch, Hutson, and Golden should be able to score against their smaller lineup. Finally, when Dae Dae Grant scores 12 points or less, the Dukes are 1-6; they’re 12-1 when he scores 13 or more.


Loyola game notes: https://loyolaramblers.com/documents/20 ... quesne.pdf

Duquesne game notes: https://goduquesne.com/news/2023/1/24/m ... icago.aspx

TV/Streaming video: ESPN+ https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/eve ... =401484447

Radio/Streaming audio: https://loyolaramblers.com/watch/?Live=138&type=Live

Live stats: https://goduquesne.com/sidearmstats/mbball/summary

Vegas odds: Duquesne by 8


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:54 pm 
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As happy as I was with the win on Saturday, I was extremely surprised that we didn't see the Bonnies come at Loyola hard with a press to try and force turnovers. If memory serves me correct, they didn't try to apply a lot of pressure in the backcourt, and we didn't have to worry about pressure. If the Dukes apply backcourt pressure, I hope our backcourt can take care of business. It seemed like a poor coaching strategy by the Bonnies last time out.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:59 pm 
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Pretty solid first half. 13 assists is a good sign. Need to limit Duq's second chance opportunities and cut down on our fouls. Hutty looks good...again. A road win would do a ton for the squad's confidence.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:17 pm 
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Bryce with an absolutely brutal start to the second half. Hutty needs to play a lot down the stretch


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:26 pm 
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Blers haven't scored in the second half after 6.5 minutes. Sensing a classic 2nd half melt down

Why Drew hasn't called a time out is baffling


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:28 pm 
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kato669 wrote:
Blers haven't scored in the second half after 6.5 minutes. Sensing a classic 2nd half melt down

Why Drew hasn't called a time out is baffling


Drew has a lot to learn, but taking time outs to stop bleeding is high on the list.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:33 pm 
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2 points in the first 9 minutes of the half. Absolutely atrocious. How is that even possible?!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:58 pm 
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Quise is no where near 100% and it hurts to watch. Poor guy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:01 pm 
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Gave this one away. Brutal second half


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:02 pm 
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What a brutal 2nd half. How do we collapse so bad so often in the 2nd half of games? This would have a huge win to avoid the Tuesday night pillow fight. We are right back on track for that.

Where would we be without Alston this year?

Not sure why Golden is getting more minutes than Hutty. He doesn't bring much to the table, other than experience. Hutty seems to do just about everything better.

Free throw shooting on this team is bad.

We need more from Norris on offense. He needs to keep shooting 3s.

The long season continues.


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