Keith Dambrot has been telling anyone that would listen that this year’s team is talented and has a chance to be pretty good.
So far, Dambrot has been spot on as Duquesne is off to their best start (6-0) since 2007 after winning three games in four days to take home the Junkanoo Jam Championship.
The most impressive of the three games came last night as the Dukes overcame a slow start to convincingly beat Loyola Marymount, 71-50.
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Two Dukes were named to the All Tournament Team, Junior center Mike Hughes and sophomore point guard Sincere Carry, who was named the Junkanoo Jam MVP.
Following the game last night, PSN caught up with Dambrot to get his thoughts on his teams performance in the Bahamas and what impressed him the most.
“We showed the ability to get hit in the mouth and come back from it which is one of our best qualities,” Dambrot told PSN. “I think when we shoot the ball well we’re going to be a difficult team to play because we’ve shown the ability to defend.”
”When you have Hughes, Weathers, Steele and if we can get Rotroff going a little bit once he gets healthier, we have a good front line. Obviously we have a really good point guard and both young small forwards are good in Maceo Austin and Ashton Miller. Then we have guys like Tavian and Lamar, who’s played pretty well and Tavian, who hasn’t played to his potential yet but down the line I think he will.”
”We have a chance to have a really good team if we can continue to develop.”
Aside from the components that Dambrot mentioned, another strength of this Duquesne team is how deep it is and the number of players that can fill up the basket. Unlike most teams, they don’t really one or two players to lead them in scoring which makes them hard to prepare for.
”We do have really good depth and I forgot to mention Evan Buckley earlier who’s going to be a good player for us. The other big thing we have is the ability to score inside which a lot of teams can’t. The more you can score inside the more consistent of a basketball team you will be.”
The Dukes are on Thanksgiving break before returning to action on December 4 against VMI.
With how well they’re playing and their upcoming schedule, it’s not inconceivable that Duquesne heads into conference play with a perfect record of 12-0.
“We just need to be more consistent and fluid offensively,” said Dambrot. “I think that at times we’re not very fluid and also have to continue to learn what’s a good shot, what’s a bad shot and really know what good movement on offense is. Playing together and as a team is also going to be something that’s really important for us in order to get better.”
DUQUESNE’S REMAINING NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
December 4: vs. VMI
December 9: vs. Columbia
December 14: vs. Radford in Akron, Ohio.
December 21: vs. Austin Peay in St. Petersburg, Florida.
December 22: vs. UAB in St. Petersburg, Florida.
December 29: vs. Marshall in Cleveland, Ohio.