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2/01/2023 10:17 pm  #1

GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Next up, GW plays The Dukes.

GW returns home after a week on the road, does GW beat The Dukes and

improve to 6-4 in A10 play???

Last edited by The Dude (2/01/2023 10:51 pm)


2/03/2023 10:23 pm  #2

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Duquesne Dukes

Date/Time: Saturday February 4th @ 2:00 PM ET at The Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, DC.
TV: NBC Sports Washington / ESPN+
Preseason Ranks: 134th (KenPom), 189th (Bart Torvik), 177th (Sports Illustrated)
2021-22 Record: 6-24, 1-16 (14th in A10)
2022-23 Projected Record: 20-11, 10-8 (T-4th in A10)

Head-to-Head: 55-34. GW has won the last three meetings and 4 of 5 overall. In last year's home game, GW won 98-93 in triple overtime. The home contest was one of those games where the team came out flat with virtually no energy but won based on better talent than the Dukes. The lack of energy was disturbing given it was Senior Day - you would think the team would go all out to get the win but as we know GW has a tendency to play up or down to their competition. I had mentioned it after the St. Joe's game, but we had the same problem against Duquesne in defending against dribble penetration on that day. Jackie Johnson played the Lynn Greer role, burning us time after time getting to the hoop and ultimately finishing with 30 points. This Dukes squad is much improved so hopefully that brings out the best in the starters.

GW won in most categories despite the close result. The team shot 48% from the field, 50% from 3, and 85% from the line. They only took 16 threes to 55 twos. Duquesne was outrebounded by 15, and GW had 17 assists compared to just 11 for the Dukes. The only reason the game was close apart from our inability to protect the rim was turnovers - we turned it over 19 times (DUQ was credited with 15 steals and 10 blocks!) while Duquesne coughed it up just 8 times for the game. Joe led the way with 30 points, JB had 23, Ricky had 12 points and 14 rebounds, Hunter had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Brayon had 11 points and 6 assists.

The game played in Pittsburgh was one of the more lopsided wins we've had in quite some time. GW came out on top 73-52 behind some truly atrocious shooting from Duquesne - they shot an abysmal 1-21 from three point land which sounds oddly similar to their WBB's performance a couple days back. The now departed Kevin Easley Jr. went 0-12 from the field. Joe again led the team in scoring with 21 points, BA had 12 points, Ricky had yet another double double (11 points and 12 rebounds), and Bray added 10. There were not many teams that made GW look competent passing the ball last year, but Duquesne was truly dreadful there - GW won in that category 15-7.

Offensive Efficiency: 99th (KenPom), 106th (Bart Torvik)
Defensive Efficiency: 180th (KenPom), 160th (Bart Torvik)
Pace: 170th (KenPom), 162nd (Bart Torvik)
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 63rd
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 269th
Rim & 3 Rate: 77% (192nd)

Strengths (OOC Play):
Offensive Rebounds Per Game (12th)
Assist Turnover Ratio (63rd)
Three Pointers Per Game (T-70th)
Winning Percentage (T-74th)
Blocks Per Game (T-77th)
Turnovers Per Game (T-77th)
Three Point Percentage (82nd)
Assists Per Game (T-90th)
Turnover Margin (T-92nd)
Three Point Attempts Per Game (100th)

Weaknesses (OOC Play):
Free Throw Attempts Per Game (T-278th)
Free Throws Made Per Game (T-288th)
Three Point Percentage Defense (305th)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game (T-308th)

Key Returning Players:
Tre Williams (Junior; Reynoldsburg, OH) 10.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 2.1 bpg; 45% FG, 15% 3-PT, 56% FT
     Last Season @ GW: DNP (knee injury)

Key Losses:
Amir 'Primo' Spears (Transferred to Georgetown; Hartford, CT) 12.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3 apg, 1.3 spg; 37% FG, 30% 3-PT, 75% FT
Kevin Easley Jr. (Entered Transfer Portal; Indianapolis, IN) 10.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.4 spg; 40% FG, 33% 3-PT, 71% FT (3 GP in 2022-23)
Leon Ayers III (Transferred to Bowling Green; Troy, MI) 10 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg; 37% FG, 27% 3-PT, 83% FT
Jackie Johnson III (Transferred to UNLV; Wichita, KS) 9.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.2 apg; 42% FG, 37% 3-PT, 78% FT
Tyson Acuff (Transferred to Eastern Michigan; Detroit, MI) 5.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 45% FG, 39% 3-PT, 74% FT

Keith Dambrot has won - a lot - in his 24 years as head coach, which has spanned both the D1 and D2 levels. He's averaged over 20 wins per season which is highly impressive. His 2021-22 Dukes squad was very unfamiliar territory for him as Duquesne won just 1 conference game and 6 overall. I can't imagine what it was like to win the A10 opener against UMass only to lose 16 straight after that (one game canceled due to COVID). It was only Dambrot's second sub .500 season, which last happened 20 years ago when he was heading the Central Michigan Chippewas.

So where did things go wrong? Well first of all, they lost three veterans in Weathers, Hughes, and Dunn-Martin the previous year which is asking a lot to replace in one offseason. Per Bart Torvik, Duquesne returned just 33% of minutes entering last season which ranked 327th nationally. Chemistry was going to have to be developed and it didn't help that two of their key guys in the backcourt - Amir 'Primo' Spears and Jackie Johnson III - were freshmen.

Given that, it is significantly less surprising that the young guards struggled to be impact playmakers. Although ball security was surprisingly not an issue, Duquesne ranked 342nd in assists per game - one of the worst marks nationally. Their inexperience also showed in shot selection - the Dukes took way too many shots in the midrange. Not only are those poor shots analytically, but they weren't making them at a high clip either. To be fair, they weren't making threes either (315th in percentage) but this was clearly a team that needed to drive to the hoop a lot more and get to the line, yet they were 335th in attempts. The only thing they did right was offensive rebound, but that bricky shooting needed more than two attempts in a possession. Spears is a talented player, but the times I've watched Georgetown this year I get flashbacks to last year's Duquesne squad. Decision making and shot selection are spotty at best which caps the ceiling on offense.

Things weren't much better defensively either. It turns out not making shots coupled with the other team not missing is not a formula for success! The Dukes had a bit of rim protection (top 50 in blocks per game) and they didn't foul, but I'm sure looking back Dambrot wouldn't have minded more fouls committed as Duquesne just wasn't as physical - a stark contrast from the Weathers and Hughes teams. It was a bit of Murphy's law with Duquesne last year - everything that could go wrong did go wrong. They were also 349th in 3-PT field goal defense which is honestly partly bad luck. The law of averages suggested the defense was going to improve by default this year.

Dambrot promised the Duquesne fanbase that last year was an anomaly, and to his credit the Dukes showed improvement right away with a renovated roster. The Dukes went 10-3 OOC with losses to Kentucky, Marshall, and New Mexico State (only NMSU is a somewhat bad loss as the Aggies have had a tough year both on and off the court). There was some good wins in their slate including wins over Colgate by 5 (how is Langel not at a better job by now?) and UC Santa Barbara by 11. They have also defeated VCU in conference by 9.

Dambrot knew the first thing he had to address in the offseason is playmaking, an area where it was evident that Duquesne sorely needed a more experienced backcourt. The Dukes brought in not just one piece there but three to not only provide some friendly competition during practice but have fallback options in case one or two didn't pan out:

Dae Dae Grant ranked top 50 nationally in assist to turnover ratio last year with Miami (OH). Grant provides versatility on offense that Duquesne just simply did not have last year - he was 85th nationally in points per game and is a strong FT shooter (57th in NCAA) which helps in close games. He leads Duquesne in scoring this year while shooting 41% from 3 on a team-high 66 makes and provides some good on-ball defense on the other end.

Tevin Brewer also posted a top 100 assist to turnover rate at Florida International and was 15th in assists per game. His stats were somewhat inflated because the Panthers run, run, run with no desire to slow things down but Brewer showed strong playmaking chops down in Miami. Brewer missed time earlier in the year due to complications after an appendectomy but is healthy now and shooting 41% on the year while pacing the team with 3.8 assists per game. He is less efficient when you run him off the line.

Jimmy 'Tre' Clark III led a 31-5 Northwest Florida State College (JUCO) squad in scoring last year while shooting 37% from distance. Clark has familiarity with the league having started his career at VCU (he put up 26 points on the Rams in a revenge game - you think he had that game circled on his calendar?) Coming from the VCU system, he is a very good on-ball defender as well averaging over 2 steals per game which leads the A10. Unlike Grant and Brewer, he's just 29% from 3 on the year. He will look to drive to the hoop and we need to try our best to take that away.

There is more continuity in Duquesne's frontcourt as Indiana State transfer Tre Williams, Austin Rotroff, and D2 Lenoir-Rhyne transfer Rodney "RJ" Gunn Jr. return from last year's squad.

Williams was one of the few bright spots on last year's squad. He plays bigger than his 6-7 height, allowing Dambrot to play him at the 5 for stretches when Duquesne elects to go small. Williams ranked 39th nationally in blocks per game and has a good face-up game offensively. He is not particularly efficient beyond a few feet from the basket but when he plays to his strengths he is a good player.

Rotroff will likely continue to play his role from off the bench. That is, to rebound the heck out of the ball on both sides at a high level and provide a bucket or two inside when his number is called. It was on a small sample size, but Rotroff somehow managed to go 2/13 from the FT line last season. I would imagine he's a bit better than that this year.

Gunn played just four minutes last year before being sidelined the rest of the year due to an ankle injury. He was a big-time scorer in the D2 ranks for Lenoir-Rhyne (the team that made headlines by beating Louisville in the preseason this year) averaging nearly 20 points per game while shooting 38% from three. His return from injury should help Duquesne tremendously especially as the Dukes struggled to shoot the three last season. It comes as no surprise that he shoots a team best 43% from distance.

Former Bowling Green/Old Dominion transfer Joe Reece and JUCO transfer Quincy McGriff also enter the fold.

Reece joined the team as a walk-on after being dismissed by BGSU (not sure on the reason but I think Huger had to make some moves after the Falcons absolutely fell apart last season - talk about not playing any defense). He has played a key role offensively in the frontcourt averaging 9 points per game on the year and can hold his own defensively having played in a defense-first system originally at ODU.

McGriff played on a 35-2 Salt Lake Community College squad and was second in scoring. In case Gunn didn't come back fully healthy, Dambrot added the Los Angeles native partly due to his three point shooting - he made 86 at SLCC at a 37% clip. That efficiency has not quite carried over to the D1 level but McGriff plays a key role from off the bench. He has missed the past three games due to injury and is questionable tomorrow.

Finally, true freshmen David Dixon, Kareem Rozier, Matúš Hronsky, and Abdou-Halil Barre will see any remaining leftover minutes. Dixon is a good finisher near the basket and rebounder. Rozier is a speedy 5-9 guard who has a bright future as both a facilitator and scorer (38% from 3 on the year). Hronsky was a former GW target who has good positional size along the wing. He can really shoot the ball although he hasn't had the full opportunity to do so yet. Halil Barre is a bit raw at this point of this career but is an effective post presence that has rebounded at a good rate in limited time.

It's a tall task, but in order to get a win the team has to be able to show more defensive resistance against one of the better offensive squads in the A10. Duquesne has a number of strong shooters from the perimeter so we can't be going under screens but they are well-balanced with guys who can also score at a high clip in the post. I'm hopeful that being back home will help the offense but it will be a repeat of the SLU game if we can't get stops defensively. Duquesne is not particularly good at defending the three again this year but unfortunately that's not an area where I think we can make them pay. They still don't really get to the line either so foul trouble is hopefully less of a concern. Rebounding has been an important factor all year, but Duquesne will be a big test. The Dukes are great at rebounding on the offensive end but are terrible at rebounding on the defensive end. The biggest worry tomorrow will be our inability to secure a board after a stop. Duquesne won't have to worry about us rebounding on the offensive end because we aren't particularly inclined to do so - Max may be our best rebounder on that end. JB has to be more assertive down the stretch and hopefully Ricky can turn in a good game having had two double-doubles against the Dukes last year.

Projected Score: GW 77, Duquesne 76. 52% chance to win (Bart Torvik). ESPN gives us a 46.2% chance to move to 6-4 in conference.


2/04/2023 2:08 pm  #3

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Well, starting with turnovers galore again. 9-3. SOS.


2/04/2023 2:11 pm  #4

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Easily the worst 3 minutes of basketball I've ever seen, right out of the tip. 4 possessions, 4 turnovers. 0-2 FTs


2/04/2023 2:13 pm  #5

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

On the plus side, must have been a good tailgate as the students seem happy nonetheless


2/04/2023 2:18 pm  #6

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Someone needs to change out JBIV's batteries


2/04/2023 2:19 pm  #7

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

We need more turnovers. Have to set a new record for unforced turnovers.


2/04/2023 2:21 pm  #8

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

This is hideous. When Edwards gets cold it’ll be a blowout.


2/04/2023 2:21 pm  #9

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

59% fg for D.


2/04/2023 2:23 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Patsos's very nice appreciation of MJ during the GW Hall of Fame and Homecoming mention was especially nice against the backdrop of an 8-0 Duquesne run fueled by 3 more TOs.


2/04/2023 2:23 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Well. down 29-17. Bad. Just bad.


2/04/2023 2:26 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Nice homecoming gift. 


2/04/2023 2:27 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Duquesne figured out what others may have missed - if you take 2 guys and cover Bishop we can not score


2/04/2023 2:30 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Well, at least the game is over fast, I can quit watching now


2/04/2023 2:32 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Duquesne figured out what others may have missed - if you take 2 guys and cover Bishop we can not score


2/04/2023 2:34 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Um, nope. Unwatchable. Second straight game.


2/04/2023 2:34 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Last few games seems like team doesnt give a shit. Sad team. Useless.45-17. A team that has given up or in revolt. Sickening. See ya next year when these guys are gone.


2/04/2023 2:54 pm  #18

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

No excuse for this but don’t think Adams is healthy. Lacks explosiveness.


2/04/2023 3:01 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Tennessee Colonial wrote:

Last few games seems like team doesnt give a shit. Sad team. Useless.45-17. A team that has given up or in revolt. Sickening. See ya next year when these guys are gone.

Not sure what there’s to revolt against when most if not the entire team won’t be back. I think this is just a team playing 5 guys 35 mins a game crashing back to reality. 


2/04/2023 3:13 pm  #20

Re: GW vs Duquesne Game Thread

Just teams game planning for our limited team.  If you have the players work us full court to wear us down.  Overplay Bishop and Adams and dare the rest of the team to beat us.


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