Duquesne made history today but not the way you want to handing George Mason their first Atlantic 10 win and losing 74-68 at the AJP. Once again the Dukes got off to a sluggish start and never really recovered. When they crept into the game, George Mason took control again. It was a back and forth contest of mini – runs until the Patriots took control in final five minutes.
LG Gill. I thought Gill easily played his best game as a Duke today. It’s nice to see some of these freshmen come along to show that they’re making progress before next season. He still plays out of position, but at the moment the Dukes don’t have better options inside to move him to the wing.
FT shooting. The Dukes probably didn’t lose the game because of poor free shooting, but they would have played with the lead for longer stretches. They could have but more pressure on George Mason who stayed loose for the entire forty minutes.
The Moment I Knew I Was Over
The Sherrod Wright jump shot with 3:45. George Mason went up ten and the lights went out. That shot sent a lot of people for the exits.
Play of the Game
I’m getting tired of Ovie Soko making big plays in losing efforts but his dunk over Erik Copes and another Patriot was my favorite. Thought it might spark the Dukes but alas, a jet engine couldn’t spark them today.
Honorable mention – The Sherrod Wright dunk and one or Jeremiah Jones.
Player of the Game
Sherrod Wright. This was the Sherrod Wright I had heard about and expected. He hasn’t made the impact I thought he would this year but he was deadly today.
Credit Where It’s Due
The Dukes did squander their best chance to win the rest of the way and if they hope to stay out of last place and avoid the play in game, they’re probably going to need to steal two now. I still like their chances of splitting with George Mason. I didn’t see anything that made me conclude that the Dukes can’t beat them anywhere the game is played. However, they really need to break out of this slump and fast if they want to capitalize on their decent start in league play.
For the first time this season, I’m a little concerned about the handle Jim Ferry has on the team when, in his post game interview, he said he couldn’t quite figure out what was troubling them right now. That’s not a great vote of confidence when the man in charge isn’t sure what is going on with his team’s psyche. Hopefully, the issue reveals itself in tape.
However, I think it’s important to distinguish between a slumping team and a terrible one. Heading into the La Salle game we were talking about a team that was gelling and maybe even turning the corner. Three games later where they just couldn’t get over the hump doesn’t mean much in my overall evaluation of the team. Clearly, they’re not a great team, but it’s going to take a lot more than three games for me to say they’re terrible. Terrible was last year. They’re not a bad team, but they’re not good enough either.