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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne MBB Looks To Regroup Tonight At Saint Joseph’s

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The Duquesne Men’s Basketball Team is looking to regroup, and also earn its first road victory in over a year as it faces Saint Joseph’s Wednesday evening.

Leading up to the game, PSN’s Zac Weiss met with coach Keith Dambrot following practice in his first public comments since a Saturday setback in which it lost a 22-point lead and ultimately the game against Richmond.

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On Saturday’s loss as a whole: “It’s a tough deal no question about it at all. That’s why the road is so hard, you’ve got 8,000 fans, big free throw differentiation, you play really well, and then you have a rough spell. We battled back just like we have all year. We had a great chance to win the game and then lose on a broken play, when a guy trips and fumbles it, so that’s hard. We’ve played three out of the top four preseason picks and we’ve shown we can play with all of them, so we just have to make sure we continue to get better.”

Did you want that loss to hurt? “It hurt in the locker room and then what we stressed with them is that when we left the locker room, we have to move forward and get onto the next one. It’s unfortunate, we played with great effort. We didn’t always play great, but we were good enough to win the game. That’s the hard part.”

What was going on with the foul situation, specifically Joe Reece? “They had problems with the book the whole game. Not just that, but with R.J. Gunn another unfortunate deal.”

What was it like in that first half making 12 straight field goals and nine straight from three-point range and then not being able to make in the second half? “We’ve had our issues maintaining and sustaining, being consistent. When you play a good team, you know they’re going to make runs at you. We had a bad four-minute stretch offensively and other then that, even in the second half we got good shots, we just didn’t make. In the last four minutes we had three open threes and didn’t make any. If we make one, we win, we make two we probably win by four or five. You just have to continue to make shots. We’re not as dominant on the inside, especially with Reece out and Tre didn’t play, so you have to make shots and we didn’t make enough.”

How is Tre Williams projecting? “I think he’ll play tomorrow night, but we’ll have to see if he passes the next test. It’s a series of progressions in order to be able to play.”

On how the team remained composed when Richmond made its run: “When they made their run and went up five on us, we battled. We showed tremendous resiliency, we just can’t let that game take the wind out of us. That’s the hard part. Saint Joe’s hasn’t been great, but they have enough good players where they can beat you. They have arguably one of the strongest athletes in the league. We’ve got to be careful it’s going to be a tough game, but all of the games are going to be the same.”

On the first three road games being sell outs and this one not necessarily being one: “Road games are difficult for a bunch of different reasons. As far as the crowd goes, it’s difficult when a lot of crowd is there and really difficult when a lot of crowd isn’t there, because you have to self-energize. Some ways not having a crowd is worse than having a crowd.”

Scouting Saint Joseph’s: “Not much different. They haven’t played (Ejike) Obinna as much, which we anticipate because Richmond had success on the inside against us, that they are going to play him a little more against us. He likes spreading it out more, so he hasn’t played quite as much.”

On the team’s current temperature: “I think we’re confident. We have moments where we don’t play very well but having Tevin Brewer at a high level is huge for us. He has terrific understanding of what we’re trying to do. He’s probably the best passer we have. You could tell last game he played pretty well, so his conditioning is going to be key for us as well. We’ve had to integrate R.J. too which changes our style of play. We had to integrate without Tevin and then bring him back when he wasn’t 100% and then we brought R.J. back but he’s not 100% yet as far as great conditioning, so all of that stuff slows you but it’s good for you in the long run.”

Balancing a deck and the ‘yeah but’s’? “It’s hard. The center spot is the hardest. The other spots other than trying to get Matus in the game have been relatively clear cut. At the four spot it’s not as hard because you have Tre and R.J. When Tre or R.J. don’t play, then it becomes difficult.”

On balancing minutes for Matus Hronsky and Quincy McGriff: “We didn’t think Q practiced really well for the couple or so days before. He didn’t play great the one game. Matus on the other hand, his was straight confidence. I thought he just didn’t play good for a two-week stretch both in practice and not much of a chance in game. We already are playing too many guys. Those guys have good ability, you just can’t self-destruct.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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