With dense fog of negativity hanging over the 2013-14 Duquesne season following their loss to New Hampshire, I think some of that could lift should the Dukes get favorable result in Morgantown. That doesn’t even mean winning at this point as a single digit loss will uplift many. I’m not among them as I don’t see a strong West Virginia team and really, anything short of game where Duquesne has a solid shot to win would disappoint me. Here’s what I think the Dukes need to do to give themselves a chance.
Keep West Virginia At Bay Early
In their first two games, WVU has gotten out to great starts and even built a 17 point first half lead at Virginia Tech. Problem is they needed to build a 23 point advantage. If the Dukes can keep it close early, I’ll feel a lot better about their chances later.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Joneses at the Expense of Colter and White
Jerry Jones dressed but didn’t play against New Hampshire, but I hope he’ll make his season debut today. Bob Huggins has two bigger guys who like to shoot from three point land, Remi Dibo and Nathan Adrian. While I’m not as concerned with guards shooting over Derrick Colter and Tra’vaughn White, I don’t think they have much chance against either of those two if they get switched off. I’d spend a lot of time with the Joneses on the wing and one of Colter or White playing point especially if Duquesne takes the lead.
Get to the Rack
WVU big men haven’t blocked a ton of shots this year and they’ve been slightly below average at grabbing defensive rebounds. If Duquesne can create some pressure inside, they could find some easy baskets, put backs and trips to the free throw line.
Share the Ball
When the Dukes struggled against the UNH, they looked like they wanted to beat the Wildcats by themselves. Normally, this shows inexperience, but Duquesne’s most veteran player, Ovie Soko, was also the most guilty. Duquesne needs to play smarter and look for the open man.
Play Smarter Defense, Too
At times, I thought defensive effort was suspect against New Hampshire, but I mostly thought they didn’t play smart. A lot of the UNH makes were contested but quite a few happened after badly blown assignments. No team plays perfect defense, but this can’t happen often against certain WVU players or they’ll kill you.
WVU vs Duquesne Links