Duquesne has had visions of achieving point totals that eclipse 70 but in three of its last four games including Friday night’s nationally-televised defeat to St. Bonaventure, it could not achieve more than 48.
Indeed Duquesne had troubles putting the ball in the basket once again and it cost them.
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“We just can’t score right now,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said. “I was pleased with how hard we tried, but have to shoot the ball better. We’re having a hard time with that.”
Previously, there would be some teams who would double team the post and dare Duquesne to find other ways to score and only when that happened would it sag off and allow for the Dukes to score in multiple ways.
With Duquesne without Sincere Carry and Lamar Norman Jr for good and Maceo Austin for the time being, opposing teams are much more aggressive utilizing this double-team approach.
Duquesne fired 21 of its 53 shots from deep and if the doubles persist then that will not change any time soon. While the intent was there and the looks were largely clean, they still did not go in.
“I would just like to see a few more go in they’re not going to let us get shots in the paint right now,” said Dambrot. “Until we knock a couple down from outside, that’s not going to end.”
As for whether there are players who can step up Dambrot singled out Tyson Acuff and Chad Baker.
With Acuff, Dambrot feels he is trying his best not to make mistakes but the leadership piece is absolutely there to where the team can build off of it. All Acuff really needs to add is the ability to score and then do so consistently.
Right now Dambrot feels Duquesne is what it is right now.
“At this point in the year we have to look for little victories until we’re all the way where we want to be,” he said. “What we’ve asked our guys to do is hard. We had a bad four minutes against Dayton and tonight we were right there to win. We needed to make a couple. We’ll be in every game playing that type of defense now the question is can we make anything? We were much better tonight with how we played versus how we played at Dayton. We tried to make the right play on a consistent basis tonight. The more times you make the right play eventually good things will happen unless you are not good enough.”
Given Duquesne’s current lack of offensive prowess, the biggest task is making sure the team commits even more to defense while not getting discouraged by the ball not routinely going into the basket.
Dambrot acknowledged that there always is a risk of being discouraged and frustrated but that it is important not to splinter.
Duquesne’s current situation resembles Dambrot’s first season to an extent where the Dukes are not going to win games if the score eclipses 70 just because the offensive ability is not there currently.
Unlike Friday’s affair with St. Bonaventure, there will be time to practice with Duquesne’s next contest not coming until Wednesday and it appears that this is sorely needed.
HE SAID IT
“I think we’ve been tired in the second half of almost every game. This one was almost unreasonable. I don’t know if there is much else we can do other then play more people which isn’t great for you either. I think we’ll play ourselves into better condition, we just have to keep our attitude right. They’re not used to it and getting adjusted to play with different people. I thought our young kids did some good things but they have to take more pride in guarding the ball. We just got beat off the dribble tonight.” – Dambrot