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Duquesne Basketball Runs on Rozier: ‘His Leadership Ability is Second-to-None’



Kareem Rozier is the smallest player on Duquesne’s roster at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds. But on Friday night in Annapolis, he felt like the Dukes’ biggest.

Rozier had a career night in the Veterans Classic, leading the Dukes to a massive 90-72 win over College of Charleston. The Detroit, Michigan native hit big shot after big shot, leading the Dukes to an early 17-point lead, and then when the Cougars came back, burying them along with his teammates. Rozier played a team-high 37 minutes and 16 seconds in the game, and rightfully so. Keith Dambrot couldn’t take him off the floor. The guard, along with Jimmy Clark III, Dae Dae Grant, and his other teammates, was on a tear.

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Rozier hit six of his nine field-goal attempts in the win, going 3 for 6 from three-point range. He hit all five of his free-throw tries, drew a game-high seven fouls, and dished out four assists to his teammates. Rozier finished with a career-high 20 points for the Dukes, but it wasn’t his scoring that impressed Dambrot the most in the win.

“I told our two hosts, the two guys from the Navy — by the way, I have a crazy amount of respect for what those guys do for our country. But I told them, ‘We have one guy that can probably be in the Naval Academy, and it’s him (Rozier).’


“His grades probably aren’t good enough,” laughed Dambrot, “but his leadership ability is second-to-none. I said it last year, and people looked at me like I was biased. He’s absolutely the best leader that I have ever had. He was 17 years old last year and he was leading a bunch of old guys. So, he may not look the greatest and his stat line may not look the greatest, although it was pretty good tonight, but the intangibles that he has, he should be judged only on whether our team wins or loses So, he’s just a special guy.”

After going just 1 for 9 from the field against Cleveland State in the season opener, Rozier bounced back on Friday night as Dambrot once again gave him an opportunity to come back from a tough offensive game. The Dukes are 2-0 to start the year, and Rozier has been a big reason why.

Check him out in action this week as Duquesne takes on Stony Brook on Monday night at 7 p.m. at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, followed by a Wednesday-night contest against Princeton at home.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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