I’m going to do things a little differently this year. I won’t give a narrative recap of games, but rather some thoughts on a number of categories. I apologize that some of it’s incredibly trite.
The first half. What wasn’t to like about it. The Dukes pretty much scored at will, played excellent defense and drew a ton of fouls.
Offense vs 2-3 zone. The Dukes didn’t play as poorly against the 2-3 as they have in the past, but I really thought it slowed them down tonight more than I’d like. They had a very difficult time getting the entry pass to the FT line and as a results they needed to set screens or find a way to get into Dominique McKoy to penetrate. They mostly resorted to chucking.
The amount of fouls called. I get that the NCAA has committed to opening up the game by calling more fouls for hand checking and changing the definition of a charge, but an otherwise exciting first half lost all of its flow in the final seven minutes thanks to the zebras.
The Moment I Knew It Was Over
When I saw Duquesne vs Abilene Christian on the schedule. No disrespect to Abilene Christian, but I really knew they would have a very difficult time today and that the odds of them winning were worse Dino Gaudio making an appearance.
Play of the Game
Desmond Ridenour’s Stuff. Everything about this play was solid. The outlet, the move to get past the first defender and the emphatic, athletic finish.
Dirty Moment That Eastern Pennsylvania in Me Enjoyed
Ovie Soko’s Foul On Harrison Hawkins. Due to the Dukes working through screens less in the second, Ovie found himself one on one with the much smaller Hawkins. Ovie did a decent job staying in front of him but put a forearm into him for the unnecessarily hard foul.
Credit Where Its Due
Abilene Christian Taking Care of the Ball. How few mistakes Abilene Christian made in their first D-I game impressed me. I thought they looked well coached.
Player of the Game
Derrick Colter. Strangely I had a hard time with this one, but I thought Colter played the most complete game for Duquesne today. He took twelve shots making eight. In general, he looked more efficient and made better decisions than last year.
I wouldn’t take much away from this win other than the team has the skill to play defense. The consistency, effort and toughness remain the question. They need to fight through screens better and switch less. When they did that in the first, they successfully defended their weaker opponent. When they softened in the second, they leaked a lot of water. That said, an all around impressive performance.
Credit to the fans and students. This was probably the best opening day crowd since Howard. Looking forward to Wednesday.