February 8, 2013

Scouting the Duquesne Dukes

Record: 7-15 Overall (0-8 Conference), (6-5 Home)

Key Wins: West Virginia, Western Michigan
Key Losses: Close ones to Pittsburgh and Georgetown, all eight league losses

Starting Personnel

#1 Derrick Colter - 5'11 freshman PG: Leads in team in scoring at 13.0 points per game while also pacing the team in assists at over 5 per game. Colter is a solid shooter from the three-point line, at 33% on the year.

#32 Sean Johnson - 6'2 senior SG: Duquesne's best player is second on the team at 12.7 points per game, but is not seeing as many shots fall this year as he has in the past; mainly as a result of increased defensive attention.

#5 Jerry Jones - 6'5 junior SF: Shooter loves the long ball, and averages a solid 8.3 points.

#22 Kadeem Pantophlet - 6'7 sophomore PF: Another shooter, averages 4.9 points and is second on team with 5.1 rebounds per contest.

#0 Andre Marhold - 6'8 senior C: Seldom used big on the offensive end, Marhold averages team high 5.5 rebounds, as well as 5.5 points per game.

Bench Personnel

#23 Jeremiah Jones - 6'3 freshman SG: 6th man averages 7.8 points a night.

#21 Quevyn Winters - 6'6 freshman SF: Instant offense off of the bench is scoring 8.2 points per game.

Xavier Defensive Keys

• Find the shooters: Duquesne isn't the most prolific offensive team from behind the arc, but a lot of that is due to their inability to create looks for each other. Believe it when we say that this team does have quality marksmen. Playing on their home floor the Dukes will have a little more comfort than normal, and that will make it even more important for Xavier to find those shooters, especially in transition, and contest every shot.

• Dominate inside: Duquesne is only being out-rebounded by about two boards per game, which is semi impressive considering their lack of size and interior depth. The Musketeers have been very good in conference on the defensive boards. There's no reason that they should allow more than about five offensive rebounds to a Duquesne team that doesn't crash often. With the rate that the Dukes shoot three-pointers the Xavier guards will also have to be ready to grab long rebounds.

• Pressure on the wing: Duquesne only has one true ball-handler, in fact, the Dukes are a wing heavy team that wants to pass instead of dribble. If Semaj Christon can slow down leading scorer Derrick Colter, than Xavier's wings will have an excellent opportunity to create turnovers by pressuring wings and guards who aren't overly comfortable putting the ball on the floor.

Xavier Offensive Keys

• Get lots of shots up: The Dukes are flat out terrible defensively, giving up almost 75 points per game on average. Xavier isn't the best offensive team, but they need to be able to take advantage of weakness and opportunity when it comes. If the Musketeers play a little faster on the offensive end then they'll get more possessions, more shots and will probably eclipse the 80 point mark.

• First priority, second chance: As we said, Duquesne doesn't have a lot of rebounders. This should make the eyes of Philmore, Robinson, Martin and especially Taylor open wide as they'll have chances to get easy buckets after offensive boards. This will come down to effort, and coming off of a week of preparation and a loss we don't expect this to be a problem area at all.

• Play together: The more that Xavier passes the ball the more efficient that they've been this season. We don't want to see the Musketeers settling for early jumpers off of just one pass. When the ball moves, and Christon or Davis eventually get a driving lane, Xavier scores more often than not. In this game, one where the defense shouldn't provide a huge challenge, the Musketeers need to target getting assists on over half of their non-offensive rebound baskets.

Overall: This is an easy one to predict. If Xavier plays their game and plays with energy then they'll wipe the floor with a rebuilding Duquesne team. Xavier is on the road, a place they've struggled in conference, but this is an absolute must win to move forward in the Atlantic 10 standings.

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