sDecember 11, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers forward Deniz Kilicli (13) shoots against Duquesne Dukes forward Kadeem Pantophlet (22) during the second half at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Duquesne Dukes won 60-56. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down Duquesne's Schedule Kenpom Style

I noticed that NCAA basketball statistical guru Ken Pomeroy released his preseason team ratings for 2013-14. While he doesn’t always get the rating right he normally does a pretty good job of getting them in the realm of where the team should exist. He rated Duquesne 173, a 54 position improvement over where they finished in the RPI last year. While the rating might disappoint some, I actually see it as pretty aggressive and if I had the capacity to rate the 351 teams the way Pomeroy can, I think 173 would fall in the upper range of my possible predictions for the Dukes. Based on his Pythagorean number, he has us winning 14 or 15 games with the 128th most efficient offense. The overall rating sags on 230th rated defense. His adjusted tempo number looks a little low placing the Dukes 38th.

All that said, let’s have a look at the schedule:

Bob Huggins

Bob Huggins loves his Kenpom rating and only wishes his team would do that well.
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

11/09/13  vs Abilene Christian – 327

11/13/13 vs New Hampshire – 290

11/17/13 @ West Virginia – 85

11/20/13 vs Albany – 199

11/30/13 vs Pitt – 20

12/4/13 vs UMBC – 321

12/11/13 vs Penn St. – 79

12/14/13 vs. Robert Morris – 167

12/17/13 @ St Francis (PA) – 311

12/21/13 @ UMass – Lowell – 323

12/29/13 @ Texas – Pan American – 344

1/2/14 vs Appalachian St. – 230

1/8/14 vs Fordham – 198

1/12/14 vs LaSalle – 55

1/15/14 @ St Joe’s – 74

1/18/14 @ VCU – 21

1/22/14 vs St Louis -31

1/25/14 vs St Bonaventure – 146

Charlon Kloof

Surely, the season looks dim if Bona needs to depend heavily on Kloof to score.
Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

1/29/14 @ NJIT – 316

2/1/14 @LaSalle – 55

2/5/14 @ George Washington – 120

2/8/14 vs George Mason – 89

2/12/14 vs Richmond – 66

2/15/14 @ Rhode Island – 132

2/19/14 @ St Bonaventue – 146

2/22/14 vs Dayton – 68

2/27/14 @ St Louis – 31

3/05/14 vs UMass – 60

3/8/14 @ George Mason – 89

So the schedule breaks down like this,

Games against:

0-25 – 2

26-50 – 2

51-100 – 10

101 – 200 – 7

201 – 300 – 2

300 + – 6

Based on Kenpom’s ratings and his ratings alone, I would argue that the Dukes have four games they won’t compete in at all, and six games that they should win regardless of venue. They play four games against opponents rated between 195-300 that they should have a strong have a strong chance of winning since they host all four of them. Among the remaining fifteen games, a top 175 team should compete at home against 50-100 teams and on the road against those in the 130 + range. While they certainly won’t win all of these games, they should win some.

I take exception to a hand full of Pomeroy’s ratings. I don’t see Penn St or WVU as top 100 teams. In fact, I’m not sure if WVU is better than Duquesne especially if the NCAA rules Elijiah Macon a partial qualifier. Penn St should sit in the 120 range though the return of Tim Frazier and a strong freshman class makes me wonder if they could go higher. I would also rate St Bonaventure about 50 places lower than he has them. I just don’t see enough returning for him to rank them as the 145th best offensive team. I might rate their defense higher but I’d guess their offense finishes solidly into the 200’s. I’d rank Robert Morris about ten to fifteen places higher but now that’s getting nitpicky.

Also, I’d note that Pomeroy rated zero A-10 teams higher than 200 as I expected.

All in all, 173 for the Dukes represents a huge improvement over where they finished last year and encourages me as I would have expected the Dukes to come with a lower number. Pomeroy likes the offense and there is loads of room for the defense to improve. Based on his rating, the conference schedule though still tough doesn’t look as daunting. While I don’t entirely agree with it, I’ll take his ratings as a beacon of hope and that maybe this team has the potential to overachieve.

Tags: Duquesne Kenpom

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