Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,358) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
DUKES LOOKING TO GO 3-0 IN A-10
Duquesne (11-4, 2-0), winner of six in a row, looks to go 3-0 in conference play for the first time in school history when it hosts George Washington (6-7, 0-1) on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 7:00 p.m. (KQV-AM 1410).
The Dukes, who followed an Atlantic 10 Conference-opening 76-71 win over Charlotte with a 98-80 victory at St. Bonaventure on Saturday, are 11-4 for the second consecutive season. Last year, DU opened 11-4 on the way to posting the school's first winning season since 1993-94 (17-13). The Dukes are also looking to put together the school's first seven-game win streak since 1980-81.
George Washington, which opened 6-2, has dropped five in a row including an A-10 opening 60-48 home loss to Richmond on Saturday. Rob Diggs, a preseason second team All-A-10 pick, leads the Colonials in scoring (12.0 ppg.) and rebounding (7.6 rpg.). Opponents are shooting just .403 against GW which is 2-3 on the road this season.
Duquesne, which has won four in a row at home, is 6-2 at the Palumbo Center. Six different Dukes - led by Aaron Jackson's 19.8 ppg. - are averaging in double figures during the current six-game win streak. Duquesne is averaging 85.8 ppg. and posting a +15.7 point margin of victory during the streak.
The Dukes host Dayton on Saturday in a game that concludes a stretch of eight-of-10 at home. Following the Dayton game, the Dukes hit the road for six of their next nine.
- Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and 12 underclassmen, has won six in a row
- It is the second six-game win streak under current head coach Ron Everhart (DU opened last season 6-0)
- The last time DU won seven in a row was 1980-81
- The Dukes are 11-4 for the second consecutive season
- Senior G Aaron Jackson (18.1 ppg.) - one of 34 preseason Bob Cousy Award nominees (nation's top collegiate point guard) - ranks in the Top 5 in six different A-10 categories: assists (1st), steals (2nd), ast/TO ratio (3rd), scoring (4th), FG% (4th), FT% (4th) ... he and Temple's Dionte Christmas are the only A-10 players with two 30-point games this season
- Jackson & soph. F Damian Saunders (14.7 ppg.) both began the week ranked among the top 25 nationally in field goal pct.
- Soph. G/F Bill Clark, who scored a career-high 21 points vs. Bowling Green, followed that with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds vs. Charlotte then established a new scoring high with 24 at St. Bonaventure on Saturday
- Three of DU's four losses have come to teams that are either ranked or have been ranked this season (No. 1 AP Pitt, No. 2 Duke & WVU)
George Washington, which leads the overall series 42-24, has won 22 of the past 26 meetings ... Duquesne snapped a six-game series losing streak in impressive fashion with a 92-67 win at the Palumbo Center last season ... the 25-point margin of victory was the largest by Duquesne in the 66-game series, one point better than an 84-60 DU win over the Colonials on Dec. 10, 1965 ... Duquesne has won three of the past 10 with all three wins coming at home ... the Dukes are looking to win back-to-back games against George Washington for the first time since 1989-90 ... GW, picked to finish 11th in the A-10 in a preseason poll of league coaches and media, opened 6-2 before dropping their past five, including a 60-48 A-10 opening home loss to Richmond on Saturday.
- A victory over George Washington would:
- Be the first 3-0 conference start in school history.
- Up DU's overall win streak to seven games, which would be the Dukes' longest streak under Ron Everhart in addition to being the longest streak by a Duquesne team since 1980-81 (seven-game streak on the way to a 20-10 NIT finish).
- Move Duquesne's home win streak to six games.
- Mark the first time since 1990 that the Dukes defeated the Colonials in consecutive games.
Notes from Duquesne's six-game winning streak
- Six different players are averaging double figures (Jackson 19.8, Clark 14.3, Saunders 13.3, Bolding 11.5, Evans 10.7 and Duty 10.2)
- As a team DU is averaging 85.8 ppg. and is winning by an average margin of +15.7 ppg.
- The Dukes are averaging 9.8 3-pointers made, 14.8 turnovers and 18.8 assists per game
- DU is also outrebounding opponents by +7.3 per game
Duquesne began the week as one of two schools in the country with two players ranked among the nation's top 25 in field goal percentage. Sophomore forward Damian Saunders started the week ranked 23rd at .596 and senior guard Aaron Jackson was 25th at .590. South Carolina State's Jason Johnson (.660) and Jason Flagler (.597) were the only other teammates that began the week in the Top 25.
Aaron Jackson, a career .518 shooter who is converting at a .590 rate this season, started the week as the second-best shooting guard in the nation behind Jason Flagler of South Carolina State (22nd at .597). Jackson enters the GW game needing seven assists to reach 100 in a season for the third time in his career. Only five other players in school history: Norm Nixon & Clayton Adams (4 times) and Kenya Hunter, Tony Petrarca and Mike James (3 times) have posted three or more 100 assist seasons (Jackson had 97 assists as a freshman).
IN GOOD COMPANY
DU, which began the season as one of three Atlantic 10 teams (Fordham and St. Bonaventure were the others) without a player named to the A-10 preseason first, second or third teams, is one of just two schools to produce two different A-10 Players of the Week this season. Sophomore Damian Saunders was honored the week of Nov. 30, while senior Aaron Jackson has been honored twice (Dec. 14 & Jan. 4). The only other conference school to have two different players named Player of the Week this season is nationally ranked Xavier (B.J. Raymond and Derrick Brown).
QUICK PLAYER NOTES
- Freshman Melquan Bolding, who was named to the A-10 preseason All-Rookie team, joined the starting lineup on Dec. 3 at Pitt ... he has scored in double digits in four of his past six games including a career-high 16 set at Robert Morris and matched at St. Bonaventure ... averaging 11.5 ppg. over that span ... scored 14 in 22 minutes vs. Rice for his first double-digit game ... scored all of his nine points in the first five minutes of his second start, a win at Radford ... also recorded three assists and three steals at RU ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc and matched his steals high (3) at Robert Morris ... added 10 points vs. Bowling Green ... has pulled down a season-best six rebounds four times ... had a career-high four assists in the A-10 opener vs. Charlotte ... is fourth on the team with 22 offensive boards
- Sophomore Bill Clark, who has started all 14 games, has eclipsed his career scoring high in two of DU's past three games ... scored 18 of his then career-high 21 points against Bowling Green in the second half to help Duquesne erase a 10-point deficit in a 76-65 win ... was 7-of-8 from the field - including 4-of-4 from the 3-point in the second half vs. BGSU ... the four 3-pointers tied his career high set last year against USC Upstate ... topped his career scoring high two games later with 24 at St. Bonaventure (4-of-7 from the arc) ... in between he posted 15 points and a career high 14 rebounds in the A-10 opening win over Charlotte ... the double-double vs. Charlotte was the second of his career (first this season) ... is second on the team with 48 assists, including a career-best six in a game three times ... had 41 assists in 30 games last season ... five of his top six high scoring games this season have come at home (21 vs. Bowling Green, 15 vs. Charlotte, 14 vs. High Point & Furman and 13 vs. WVU) ... has scored in double digits 10 times ... has hit three or more 3-pointers in a game four times ... leads the team in 3-pointers made with 28 (.389) ... has scored in double digits in DU's past five games ... averaging 16.6 ppg. over that five-game span
- Junior Jason Duty, who entered the season with two career double-digit scoring games, has reached double figures in five of DU's past six outings (six total this season) ... entered the Nov. 25 USC Upstate game averaging 4.7 ppg. before scoring all of his career high 17 points in the first 13 minutes ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc vs. the Spartans ... his previous scoring high was 13 set as a freshman vs. Dayton ... added 13 points and five rebounds at St. Bonaventure, 12 points, six rebounds and four assists vs. NC Central ... is 22-of-24 from the foul line this season and 43-of-50 (.860) for his career ...made his first 14 free throws of the season before missing his first attempt vs. NCCU ... has started all 15 games, and hit at least one 3-pointer in 13 of them ... broke out of a four-game 2-of-15 3-point shooting slump to hit 16-of-34 from the arc in DU's past seven games ... is second on the team lead with 25 3-pointers (.397) ... has hit at least three 3-pointers in a game five times this season ... made 14 3-pointers in each of his first two seasons at DU ... has 25 assists and just 11 turnovers ... had 31 assists in 45 career games entering this season
- Freshman Eric Evans has come off the bench to win or share Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors three times ... has scored in double digits seven times with a career high of 19 vs. North Carolina Central (10-of-12 from the line) ... was named ROW for the third time after the Dec. 22 NCCU game ... earned rookie honors for the first time (11/23) after scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting at Saint Francis, Pa. ... named ROW for a second time (12/21) after averaging 14.5 ppg. on .733 shooting (11-of-15) in games against Old Dominion and Rice ... followed his first scoreless game of the season (vs. West Virginia) with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting vs. ODU ... scored all of his 11 points vs. Rice in 16 second-half minutes ... leads DU's eight freshmen in minutes/g. at 23.2 ... has hit at least one 3-pointer in 12 games with a season high three (3-of-6) vs. NC Central & at St. Bonaventure (3-of-4) ... also had five steals against NC Central ... became the first player other than Aaron Jackson or Damian Saunders to lead the Dukes in scoring when he posted the 18 points vs. Old Dominion ... broke out of a three-game 2-of-12 3-point shooting slump by going 3-of-4 from the arc at St. Bona
- Lone senior Aaron Jackson, who leads team scoring (18.1 ppg.), assists (93, 6.2 apg.) and steals (32, 2.1 spg.) and is second in rebounding (5.5 rpg.), has been named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week twice this season ... has won the honor four times in his career, two shy of the school record set by Bruce Atkins from 1979-82 ... shooting .590 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 Virginia to earn Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Week honors (12/14) ... added 30 points and six assists in the A-10 opening 76-71 win over Charlotte and followed that with 25 points and eight assists at St. Bonaventure ... with the Charlotte game tied at 69-69 Jackson scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:22 to go, then stole the ball and fed Damian Saunders for a layup to put the Dukes up four ... he then hit 3-of-4 free throws over the final 24 seconds to seal the win ... has a 2.2-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (93-43) ... has made nine more free throws (63-of-78) than any other DU player has attempted ... has flirted with a triple-double on four occasions (20 points, 7 assists & 7 steals at Saint Francis, Pa., 20 points, 10 rebounds & 6 assists in 28 minutes vs. Furman, 8 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists vs. Old Dominion and 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists vs. Rice) ... his seven steals at Saint Francis, Pa. 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 ... added nine assists vs. Bowling Green ... earned A-10 Player of the Week for a second time (Jan. 4) after averaging 16.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in wins at Robert Morris and vs. Bowling Green ... his 6.2 assists per game average is on pace to challenge the school record of 6.0 held by Norm Nixon ... Jackson is averaging a team-high 34.5 minutes/g.
- Freshman Oliver Lewinson has played in 11 games ... has logged double digit minutes four times with a career high of 15 at St. Bonaventure ... had four points and three boards at Radford ... grabbed a season high six rebounds in seven minutes vs. NC Central ... 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 Theis, bruised kidney & Rodrigo Peggau, sore knee - were both not in uniform at Pitt) ... has played in seven games
- Freshman B.J. Monteiro started the first five games of the season ... posted season highs for points (7) and rebounds (4) in the opener vs. High Point ... his opening day start marked the fourth consecutive season at least one true freshman was in DU's opening day starting lineup ... current Dukes Aaron Jackson (2005-06) and Bill Clark (2007-08) also started the first game in their freshman year ... came off the bench to score 27 points in 70 minutes seven games prior to seeing his consecutive games streak snapped at 12 against Bowling Green also DNP vs. Charlotte ... had four points in six minutes at St. Bonaventure
- Freshman Shawntez Patterson has played in three games
- Freshman Rodrigo Peggau played in four games before his season was ended prematurely by Dec. 18 right knee surgery ... originally underwent surgery on the 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 nine games with a season-high 13 minutes vs. Furman ... scored five in the opener vs. High Point ... 2-of-7 from the 3-point arc
- Sophomore Damian Saunders leads the team in rebounding (8.1 rpg.) and blocked shots (33) and is second in scoring (14.7 ppg.) ... has a team-best 44 offensive rebounds ... has scored in double digits in 13 of 15 games (season-opening streak of eight-straight ended with nine points vs. Old Dominion) ... 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 and vs. Bowling Green ... added five steals at St. Bonaventure ... is shooting better from the field (.596) than he is from the foul line (30-of-54, .556) ... has four double-doubles (20-12 at Upstate, 22-10 at Duke, 18-10 vs. NC Central & 12-11 vs. Charlotte) ... 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 11 times ... has a team-high 23 dunks
- 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 then career-high 27 minutes at Duke before experiencing discomfort ... had seven points at Duke and tied his career high 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 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 ... added a new career-high nine points and career-best five rebounds vs. Rice ... is scoreless with four field goal attempts in his past three games (27 total minutes) ... shooting .457, including 4-of-10 from the 3-point arc