Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Duquesne Preview....MEEP MEEP

It will be a very interesting contrast in styles on New Year's Eve in Pittsburgh, when the Falcons play Duquesne. See, the Dukes are all about the fact according to, they play the 16th fastest pace in Division I basketball.

The Falcons, meanwhile, are more likely to play like this cute little fact, we play at the 272nd fastest pace in D1 hoops.

That contrast will likely define the game. Last year, it certainly did, as the Dukes came into AA and hung 95 on the Falcons. Even on a possession basis (tempo-free), the Dukes are pretty effective, scoring 105.7 points per 100 possessions, while BG scores 99.4. The Dukes also give up 102.2 points per 100 possessions, so they can theoretically be scored on.

They are 40th in FG%, and put up a bunch of threes--in fact, they are 48th in threes per game, but not especially good in terms of % (33.8%).

Their season looks pretty good. They are 8-4, but the losses were @Duke, @Pitt, WVU and Old Dominion. Three good losses, and the OD team isn't too bad, but you don't want to lose by 26 at home to a team like that. They don't have any great wins either, but their body of work this year has to be seen as pretty good. They are 6.5 point favorites, whatever that means.

Their top scorers and rebounders are Aaron Jackson (17/6 and 70 assists) and Damian Saunders (15/7). The latter is a very long 6'7" player. Obviously, these are pretty good players.

This is a big test for our team. It is hard to say, but given the state of the MAC this year, it is possible Duquesne would be a pretty good MAC team, and we're playing them on the road. They also probably move and score as well as anyone we will play this year, so it will be a nice test of our defense's ability to close down the opposition when they are committed to running and shooting.

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