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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne MBB Given Clear Message As Season Winds Down



Before Monday afternoon’s practice, Duquesne Men’s Basketball Coach Keith Dambrot got his team in a halfcourt huddle and warned them that these next two weeks would be the hardest he would be on them so that everyone could get what they wanted at season’s end.

Because of this, Dambrot continuously uttered the same two-word refrain throughout the 90-plus minute practice.

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“F*** it,” he repeatedly exclaimed.

Consider that message received.

“The biggest thing with ‘f it’ is just getting onto the next play,” Dambrot explained. “The thing of it is, if we’re going to win the tournament, we’re going to have to shoot the ball from the three line. We’re going to have to make 10-15 threes a game to win the tournament.”

Dambrot has never been afraid to hold back with the team and his tough love has been consistent throughout the season has resonated across the board.

Each day before practice begins, Dambrot speaks to the team and gives assistants and players the same opportunity to address the group.

Then when play begins, Dambrot is relentless with his team, trying to make the on-court product and chemistry well.

The team will have multiple huddles, led by Kareem Rozier in between drills, where the players repeatedly clap and shout, before attacking the next drill.

Jimmy Clark III understands that this so-called “f it” mantra is important if the team wants to succeed.

“It’s supposed to have the mentality to move to the next play and not dwell on the last play,” said Clark. “If somebody turns it over, misses a defensive assignment, does not make a shot, just f it, onto the next. What are you going to do in the present moment on that next play to get the team win.”


After the team’s recent win against Saint Joseph’s Dambrot went to bat for Clark earning an Atlantic 10 All-Conference Defensive Team nod.

Clark has 64, which leads the A-10, but also ranks among the nation’s best as well.

Dambrot expressed some skepticism of Clark being recognized just because of the program he plays for, but then offered that he would take it personally if one of those five coveted spots did not go to his junior guard.

When asked what his routine is that allows him to find success on the defensive end, Clark determined it was staying on his body, recovering well and keeping both body and mind fresh.

“I feel like my teammates allow me to be in positions to where I can create steals for our defense and still guard the best player, while disrupting what they do offensively,” said Clark. “I definitely feel like they’ve been sleeping on me nationally. I’m going to pick it up for these last three games and in the conference tournament, so everybody is going to see. Our team is going to pick it up too.”


Had Duquesne bested Saint Louis Saturday, it would have been in position to earn a double bye in the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Currently, Duquesne sits in fifth place and has three games remaining in the regular season, with one of those coming at Fordham, a contest which could have major implications for that double bye.

There are certainly pros and cons to having a double bye as Duquesne has its fair share of bumps and bruises, which could be better rested for the final stretch run, but several teams on such a break have historically had troubles in their first game in tournament play, leading to early exits.

During his time at Akron, Dambrot was not a fan of the double bye, but acknowledges that if such a team got past its first game, then it poses a significant advantage.

Duquesne being in such a position has been because of the jumps this team has taken from the beginning of the season and Clark believes that there could be another.

As for the team’s why not us rally cry?

That is still in players minds.

“I feel that was definitely the main focus at the beginning of the season,” Clark said. “We proved that they were wrong for picking us last because we’re top five now. We definitely took that some type of way. We wanted to show the whole conference and college basketball that we have the biggest turnaround, so we’re going to keep working towards that and then I feel like we’re going to take care of that and handle our goals the way we should.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Rob Radich
Rob Radich
1 month ago

Love Coach. Best in the City.

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