Newstand: Duquesne at Rhode Island

Sunday 2:00 p.m., Duquesne will take on nationally ranked Rams at URI's Ryan Center. Links and excerpts from media stories include the "battle" between the James brothers (Shawn and Delroy), couple prep teammates will be facing each other again (A Jackson & J. Baron), both coaches want a tough, up-tempo game, Shawn James' decreasing block per game numbers may be a very good thing ...

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Duquesne Jan. 13, 2008 Newstand

MEN'S BASKETBALL Duquesne: Dukes at Nationally Ranked Rhode Island Sun.

  • Rhode Island: #22/20 Rams Look to Get Back on Track Vs DU

  • PG: Dukes not likely to forget debacle
      At this time a year ago, Duquesne('s Palumbo Center) ... was buzzing with excitement. The Dukes had scored 111 points in each of their previous two wins and were hoping to run the Rams ragged with a two-platoon substitution system. But Rhode Island spoiled the party by whacking Duquesne, 111-87, to start the Dukes on a season-ending eight-game losing streak.

      Rhode Island, which has started the same lineup in every game, has a potent inside-outside game with 6-foot-8 Will Daniels (18.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and 6-3 Jimmy Baron (16.3 ppg), the son of coach Jim Baron. Jimmy Baron is one of the premier 3-point shooters in the country, making 58 of 126 (46 percent).

    • Everhart has Dukes doing chameleon act
        Duquesne basketball coach Ron Everhart keeps re-inventing the Dukes to find different ways to win games now that they are playing a steady diet of Atlantic 10 Conference opponents.

        The Dukes illustrated their new look in a 74-62 victory against Fordham in the league opener Wednesday.

        "We're embracing a physical, grind 'em out type of game. Now we're understanding how to play like that. I don't know if they could have handled that a month ago," said Everhart, whose Dukes (11-3) (have) a five-game win streak.

        Duquesne has dramatically cut down its number of turnovers with Reggie Jackson evolving into a steady point guard. During the win streak, Jackson has averaged 12.0 points, 5.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 23.4 minutes per game. He has turned the ball over just 10 times.

        Jackson was limited by an ankle injury and nearly invisible at the outset of the season, when he had just 17 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 7 turnovers in 51 minutes in the first six games.

        An illustration of Duquesne's more physical play was the way 6-foot-10, 225-pound Shawn James defended Fordham's 6-8, 245-pound Bryant Dunston in the post. "Shawn always has been more of a finesse guy, blocking shots away from his opponent. ... Shawn challenged Dunston and pushed him off the block," said Everhart.

  • Trib: Duquesne looking for marquee victory
      The reborn Dukes perhaps are only a signature victory away from meriting consideration for the national rankings, where three A-10 teams already reside.

      The Dukes wasted an opportunity to crack the Top 25 in December, when they stumbled against Drake and then-No. 12 Pitt in succession by a combined nine points.

      ESPN.com's popular Bracketology feature, which maintains updates for a potential 65-team NCAA Tournament field, doesn't include Duquesne. But the Dukes are listed in a group labeled "also considered."

      The Rams, who dropped their A-10 opener Wednesday to No. 17 Dayton, 92-83, are led by senior forward Will Daniels (18.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and junior guard Jimmy Baron (16.3 ppg), the coach's son, who is shooting 46 percent (58 for 126) from 3-point range.

    • Duquesne's chaos packs a counter-punch this season
        Last year, they were a freak show, relatively speaking. This year, they're a basketball team.

        But this season, the Dukes have higher aspirations.

        They'd like to register a winning season at the very least, and in the Atlantic 10, that means they're going to have to get their hands dirty on occasion. Everhart knew there would be nights such as Wednesday night, when teams such as Fordham would take the floor determined to "keep us in the 70s."

        Understanding that it would take more than 10 players combining to play 40 frenetic minutes to combat such a strategy, he and his staff began working to make the Dukes a little nasty.

        (They've done a lot of t)hings such as having the assistant coaches beat on players with pads, and having lids put on the rims to ensure plenty of rebounds will be forthcoming in yet another rebounding drill.

        (Duquesne has) out-rebounded nine of 14 opponents confirms that strides have already been taken.

        Solving Duquesne's second-worst-in-the-A-10 .316 shooting percentage from beyond the arc remains on Everhart's agenda.

  • Ticker: Rhode Island, Duquesne put fast starts on line

  • CSTV: No. 22 Rhode Island Hopes To Bounce Back Against Duquesne
      While Duquesne (11-3, 1-0) isn't ranked, it doesn't figure to be a pushover for the Rams. The Dukes' 74-62 win over Fordham in their conference opener on Wednesday gave them 11 wins - one more than they had a season ago.

      he Rams will be hoping for a stronger defensive effort against the Dukes after allowing Dayton to score more points and shoot a higher percentage (62.0) than any other opponent this season. Duquesne leads the Atlantic 10 with 87.2 points per game.

      Rhode Island is 7-0 at home, where it is averaging 87.3 points and outscoring opponents by nearly 22 points per game.

  • Providence Journal: URI's Delroy James' big brother poses big threat
      "My mother's coming, my older brother, my sister, a lot of our friends. Everybody's coming," Delroy James said after finishing practice Friday with the Rams. "It's going to be the first time my mother has seen us play against each other. It's going to be the first time she's ever seen me play."

    • Cothran, Ulmer are playing key roles off bench for URI
        Keith Cothran and Lamonte Ulmer could be complaining right about now. The two sophomores from Connecticut have emerged as major factors for the URI basketball team this season. They are two major reasons the Rams have gotten off to the program's best start in modern history and earned a ranking among the top 25 teams in the country.

        Still, even as well as they have played, Ulmer and Cothran have begun every game on the bench. They perform like starters once they get in, though, and they produce numbers that make them, as coach Jim Baron says, "two of the most valuable guys we have."

        The system has worked out nicely. Baron has no plans to make changes. "We've committed to play flat-out, absolutely up-tempo attack mode," he said. "We've got to be aggressive at all times. You have to manage your bench to do that.

        The Atlantic 10 presents a Sixth Player Award each year to be best non-starter in the conference. Cothran and Ulmer both are leading candidates for that award if they continue to play as they have so far. The only problem is deciding which one. Right now, that would be hard to do. Both have played that well.


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