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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne MBB Seniors Success Has Been Critical To Team’s Success



Sunday, the Duquesne Men’s Basketball Team will celebrate senior day by honoring five players and one student manager for their contributions towards the team.

These players are Tevin Brewer, RJ Gunn, Jake Harper, Joe Reece and Austin Rotroff, in addition to head student manager Colin Bucenec.

Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting young men on the path to a better future.

Setting young men on the path to a better future.

Brewer (7.4 ppg/team-leading 82 assists) has started 21 of the 24 games he has played in, while shooting 46.1% from three-point range.

It has been a challenging year for Brewer as his season began with being sidelined with severe complications stemming from an appendectomy.

Brewer also would suffer a shoulder injury towards the tail end of non-conference play he had to work through.

Watching Brewer perform in a preseason practice, there were 15 shots where all that was heard was the ball falling through the basket. His desire to get on the court was fantastic and that served him well as the season went on. Brewer hit one game-winning floater shot against North Florida and nearly had another against Richmond.

Duquesne Dukes guard Tevin Brewer (0) November 21, 2022 David Hague/PSN

Gunn (9.2 ppg) was hampered by another foot injury throughout the season, but he was determined to prove coach Keith Dambrot’s prognostication of having success translate from Lenoir-Rhyne proved accurate.

Despite not fully being 100%, Gunn scored 26 points at Saint Joseph’s, connecting on five of his seven three-point attempts.

During Atlantic 10 play, Gunn has led the Dukes with a +86 overall and has shot 41.2% from the field.

Prior to the conference-opening contest at Dayton, Gunn was putting up shots, knowing he might play and the entire time, his infectious smile never left his face. There was an excitement in the grind of recovery and his work ethic would not leave him denied.

That drive has served him well throughout his basketball career.

RJ Gunn (21) – October 21, 2021 David Hague/PSN

Harper has had multiple stints with the basketball team and has been a two-sport athlete on the Bluff, also competing for the football team.

It was his freshman season where Harper had the most impact appearing in five games and scoring six points. Harper’s impact has been on the practice court whether a part of the scout time or helping out in drills.

Reece (9.9 ppg/50.6% FG) has made an impact in his time with this program, starting in 23 of 24 games, while becoming a force downlow.

It was Reece’s “they picked us last” remark in the season-opening press conference, which became a rallying cry for the team and fans alike.

Reece has always been well spoken during media interactions, but whether on the floor making a pass for an and-one play or being a physical presence down low, there has always been a place on the court for him.

He is coming off a Saint Joseph’s game in which he scored a career-high 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting, as his play has rounded into form at the most important time of the season.

Duquesne Dukes forward Joe Reece (20) December 11, 2022 David Hague/PSN

Rotroff (5.2 ppg/62.9% FG) has finally been healthy and has earned the respect of everyone both in and around the program.

The biggest change this season has been Rotroff’s vocality, which has been consistent whether on the practice court, game or bench. Rotroff has also grabbed 70 offensive rebounds and made the most of limited minutes early on in the season.

Rotroff’s resiliency has proven motivating for many on the team and was one of the few players who returned following the previous campaign.

Throughout his time with the program, Rotroff has been a dependable team player who will do whatever is needed to get the team a win.

Austin Rotroff (34) of Duquesne Basketball December 11, 2021 — David Hague/PSN

Last but not least, head student manager Colin Bucenec has brought his unique humor to the court on a daily basis.

Bucenec is known for hitting the practice-court horn whenever a guest in practice or one of assistant coach Rick McFadden’s daughters shoot and also making exaggerated tennis-sounding screams when he makes his traditional left-handed pass to a fellow manager.

Jokes aside, Bucenec has a critical role, being consistently present and seen while not being heard while the team practices, but also travels with the team to ensure everything is set up whether it be a practice or gameday.

As Duquesne’s regular season draws closer to its conclusion, the potential for something special happening is very much real. The Dukes will be favored against Davidson, while celebrating all of these individuals who have been with the team for various lengths of time, but have instilled culture, belief and energy in a program which needed it.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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