Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,358) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
DUKES FACE OLD DOMINION FOR FIRST TIME SINCE `87
This is the second of four consecutive pre-Christmas home games for the Dukes, who trailed WVU by two with 57 seconds left in Saturday's loss. It is also the first meeting between DU and ODU since a 96-85 Monarchs' win on Dec. 5, 1987 at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena.
Old Dominion, which is 1-2 on the road, is 2-0 against Atlantic 10 schools this season with wins at Charlotte (69-68) and at home over Richmond (65-62). ODU's road losses came in double overtime at Bucknell (83-82) and by four at Marshall (68-64). The Monarchs are coming off a 79-54 home win over North Carolina Central on Sunday. ODU, which is outrebounding opponents by a +8.3 margin, outboarded NC Central 46-25 in the win.
Rebounding has been a sore spot for the Dukes who have been outrebounded 103-61 in their past two games (a 94-75 win at Radford and the loss to WVU). Bob Cousy Award nominee (nation's top collegiate point guard) Aaron Jackson averaged 27.5 ppg. on 20-of-25 shooting (.800) in DU's past two games. He was named A-10 co-Player of the Week (12/14) for his effort.
- Duquesne is one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and 12 underclassmen
- DU's three losses have come to teams who are combined 25-3 (Duke is 8-1, Pitt is 10-0 and WVU is 7-2)
- Senior G Aaron Jackson - one of 34 preseason Bob Cousy Award nominees - was named A-10 co-Player of the Week after averaging 27.5 ppg. on 20-of-25 shooting in two games last week ... Jackson followed a season-low six points at Pitt with a career high 36 at Radford ... his 15-of-17 shooting at RU (.882) tied the school record set by Ruben Montanez at Saint Peter's in 1973 ... he added 19 more vs. WVU
- Sophomore F Damian Saunders, who posted back-to-back double-doubles over Thanksgiving week at USC Upstate (20-12) and at Duke (career-high 22-10) led the Dukes in scoring in the four previous games
- Either Saunders or Jackson has led the Dukes in scoring in every game this season
- Sophomore F David Theis, who missed the Pitt and Radford games with a bruised kidney, returned to score a career-high eight points in a career-best 34 minutes vs. WVU
- Promising freshman F Rodrigo Peggau will undergo season ending knee surgery on Dec. 18 ... he played in four games, averaging 5.5 ppg. & 3.3 rpg. in 10 min./g.
This is the fifth meeting between Duquesne and Old Dominion, with ODU holding a 3-1 series advantage ... it is the first meeting since a 96-85 Monarchs' win at the Civic Arena on Dec. 5, 1987 ... the two met in a home-and-home series in 1979-80 and 1980-81 with Old Dominion winning the first game 65-60 at Norfolk, Va. on Jan. 24, 1980 ... ODU also won the return game 73-70 at the Civic Arena on Dec. 9, 1980 ... Duquesne's lone win came on Jan. 25, 1982 at Norfolk by a 79-75 score ... Old Dominion - a member of the Colonial Athletic Association - has made four consecutive post-season appearances: 2005 (NCAA), 2006 (NIT semifinal), 2007 (NCAA) and 2008 (CBI quarterfinal) ... the Monarchs are in their eighth season under head coach Blaine Taylor (140-87 at ODU and 282-152 in his 14th season overall) ... ODU's 94 wins over the past four seasons are the most of any Division I school in Virginia.
Old Dominion is 4-3 on the season including a 1-2 record on the road ... the Monarchs are 2-0 against the Atlantic 10 with a season-opening 69-68 win at Charlotte and a 65-62 home win over Richmond ... ODU's road losses came in double overtime at Bucknell (83-82) and by four points (68-64) at Marshall ... Old Dominion is coming off a 79-54 home win over North Carolina Central on Sunday ... 6-9 junior Gerald Lee leads a balanced ODU attack with a 14.1 ppg. scoring average ... in all, eight different players are averaging six or more points per game ... in addition, six players have 10 or more assists ... ODU was picked to finish third in the 12-team CAA in that league's preseason poll ... Lee was a preseason first team all-conference pick.
WHAT A NIGHT
Duquesne's lone senior - guard Aaron Jackson - nearly had basketball's version of a perfect game in his career-high 36-point performance at Radford on Dec. 10. Jackson, whose previous career best was 22, went 15-of-17 from the field (5-of-6 from 3-point), 1-of-1 from the foul line and had five assists with just one turnover in 38 minutes. His .882 field goal percentage was the best by a Duquesne player in 35 years (tying Ruben Montanez' school record set in 1973 at Saint Peter's). "I can't remember having a game like this," said Jackson who did recall a 31-point game in high school. "Lucas Newton [his roommate on the trip to Radford] and I were watching highlights of Stephen Curry in the hotel room and we were just amazed at how effortlessly and confidently he shot the ball. Lucas said to me, `there is no reason you can't shoot it like that, you just need to shoot with confidence.' After the Pitt game [a season-low six points] I didn't leave the gym until I made 100 `threes' and it paid off." Jackson added a game-high 19 points in a five-point loss to West Virginia on Saturday to earn A-10 co-Player of the Week honors for the third time in his career (first this season). Only two other players in DU history have been named A-10 Player of the Week more than three times: Bruce Atkins (six times from 1979-82) and Tom Pipkins (four times from 1994-97). Atkins competed in a eight-team Eastern Eight and when Pipkins was in the A-10 there were both nine (freshman and sophomore) and 12 (junior and senior) schools. Jackson competes in a 14-team league.
Of the six current Atlantic 10 players who have been named league Player of the Week more than once in their career, only one player - Duquesne's Aaron Jackson - was not named to any of the three A-10 preseason All-Conference teams:
PLAYER, SCHOOL A-10 POW PRESEASON Dionte Christmas, Temple 9 times 1st Team Aaron Jackson, Duquesne 3 times NONE Jimmy Baron, Rhode Island 2 times 3rd Team Ricky Harris, Massachusetts 2 times 2nd Team Kevin Lisch, Saint Louis 2 times 1st Team Ahmad Nivins, Saint Joseph's 2 times 1st TeamQUICK PLAYER NOTES
- Freshman Melquan Bolding joined the starting lineup at Pitt ... scored all of his career-high nine points in the first five minutes of the win at Radford ... also recorded season highs for assists (3) and steals (3) at RU ... has scored seven points four times including at both Duke and Pitt ... he has also pulled down a season-best six rebounds twice ... is tied for second on the team with 12 offensive boards ... played a season-high 28 minutes at Pitt and 23 more at Radford ... did not score (0-of-5) in six minutes vs. West Virginia
- Sophomore Bill Clark has started all eight games ... second on the team with 25 assists, including a career-best six at Saint Francis ... his three high scoring games of the season have come at home (14 points each vs. High Point and Furman and 13 vs. WVU) ... broke a streak of three consecutive single-digit scoring games with 10 at Radford and followed that by hitting 3-of-10 3-pointers in scoring 13 in a career-high 40 minutes vs. West Virginia ... has hit two or more 3-pointers in a game five times
- Junior Jason Duty, who entered the USC Upstate game averaging 4.7 ppg., scored all of his career high 17 points in the first 13 minutes ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc in posting his third career double-digit scoring game vs. the Spartans ... his previous scoring high was 13 set as a freshman vs. Dayton ... is 12-of-12 from the foul line this season and 33-of-38 (.868) for his career ... has started all eight games, and hit at least one 3-pointer in six of them ... is 2-of-20 from the field (2-of-15 from 3-point) in his past four games
- Freshman Eric Evans has scored in double digits three times (16 at Saint Francis, Pa., 15 at Radford and 14 vs. Furman) ... was named A-10 co-Rookie of the Week following the SFU game ... leads DU's eight freshmen in minutes/g. at 23.0 ... broke out of a three-game, 6-of-23 (.261) shooting slump by hitting 5-of-8 shots in scoring 15 at Radford ... followed that with his first scoreless game of the season in 19 minutes vs. WVU ... hit at least one 3-pointer in six consecutive games before going 0-of-2 from the arc against the Mountaineers
- Lone senior Aaron Jackson leads team scoring (18.0 ppg.), assists (46, 5.75 apg.) and steals (21, 2.6 spg.) and is second in rebounding (5.5 rpg.) ... shooting .588 from field ... was 2-of-13 from the 3-point arc before hitting 5-of-6 in scoring a career-high 36 points at Radford ... went 15-of-17 from the field vs. RU for the best shooting performance by a DU player since Ruben Montanez went 15-of-17 in a win over Saint Peter's on Feb. 17, 1973 ... followed that with 19 vs. West Virgina to earn Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Week honors (12/14) ... has a 2-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (46-23) ... has made nine more free throws (36-of-46) than any other DU player has attempted (Damian Saunders is 15-of-27) ... has flirted with a triple-double twice (20 points, 7 assists & 7 steals at Saint Francis, Pa. and 20 points, 10 rebounds & 6 assists in 28 minutes vs. Furman) ... his seven steals at SFU tied the second-highest total in school history ... became the 13th player in school history to post 10 or more assists in a game with a career-high 10 at USC Upstate ... averaging a team-high 35.1 minutes/g.
- Freshman Oliver Lewinson has played in five games ... has logged double digit minutes three times including twice in DU's past three games (11 at Pitt and 12 at Radford) ... had four points and three boards at RU
- Freshman Aleksandar Milovic logged a total of 11 minutes in two games before playing a season-high 19 at Pitt ... saw the added time due to injuries to two fellow forwards (David Thies, bruised kidney & Rodrigo Peggau, sore knee - were both not in uniform at Pitt) ... did not play at Radford or vs. WVU ... has scored two points and has three rebounds in three games played
- Freshman B.J. Monteiro started the first five games before providing a spark off the bench for the past three ... posted season highs for points (7) and rebounds (4) in the opener vs. High Point ... has come off the bench to score 11 points in 22 total minutes in Duquesne's past three games
- Sophomore Lucas Newton has played in two games ... hit one of two free throws at Duke
- Freshman Shawntez Patterson has played in one game (one minute vs. High Point)
- Freshman Rodrigo Peggau played in four games before his season was ended prematurely due to knee surgery ( scheduled for Dec. 18) ... underwent surgery on his right knee in May and had a scope done Sept. 15 ... looked to be coming around, scoring five points in 19 seconds at Saint Francis and following that with eight points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes vs. Furman before knee pain took its toll ... will apply for a medical hardship waiver at the conclusion of the season
- Freshman Chase Robinson has played in four games with a season-high 13 minutes vs. Furman ... scored five in the opener vs. High Point ... has yet to commit a turnover ... 1-of-4 from the 3-point arc
- Sophomore Damian Saunders leads the team in rebounding (7.0 rpg.) and is second in scoring (16.4 ppg.) ... has a team-best 23 offensive rebounds ... has scored in double digits in all eight games with a low of 11 at Saint Francis, Pa. & at Radford ... has scored 20 or more three times (21 vs. High Point, 20 at USC Upstate & a career-high 22 at Duke) ... had a career-high six steals vs. High Point and tied his career high with four blocks at Pitt ... is shooting better from the field (.609) than he is from the foul line (15-of-27, .556) ... has two double-doubles (20-12 at Upstate and 22-10 at Duke) ... named A-10 co-Player of the Week following the Duke game (11/30) ... has led the team in scoring four times and in rebounding six times
- Junior Jimmy Sherwood has played in two games ... hit a 3-pointer in six minutes at Saint Francis, Pa. ... had two points and three rebounds in 11 minutes of the opener vs. High Point ... has not played in DU's past six games, the last four due to a wrist injury
- Sophomore David Theis was averaging 14.2 minutes in DU's first five games before being sidelined with a bruised kidney ... suffered the injury at USC Upstate and played a career-high 27 minutes at Duke before experiencing discomfort ... scored a career-high seven points at Duke also tied his career best with two steals vs. the Blue Devils ... missed the next two games at Pitt and at Radford ... was cleared to practice on Dec. 10 ... scored a career-high eight points in a career-best 34 minutes in his return game vs. WVU ... went 2-of-2 from the 3-point arc against the Mountaineers ... shooting .500 from the field