The last time Duquesne men’s basketball played in a game with serious implications was on March 15th, 2009 when they lost in the championship game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament against Temple. Duquesne has been trending up since the hire of Keith Dambrot in the spring of 2017. So is it realistic to think that this may be the year they play another relevant game in March? Maybe, maybe not, but they will assuredly outplay the preseason 11th place pick in the A10.
I usually try to stay away from record and individual game predictions but I got a request from two separate readers to take a stab at it, so here we are. Full disclosure: it’s exceedingly difficult for me to be objective and unbiased about this so keep that in mind.
Also keep in mind that this team only returns 3 players with significant experience in Mike Lewis, Eric Williams and Kellon Taylor. With a brand new roster growing pains and bumps are to be expected. Let’s dive right in.
Nov 10th vs William & Mary: Win
November 12th vs Illinois-Chicago: Win
November 17 vs Radford(in Akron): Win
November 20th at Notre Dame: Loss
I have a hard time seeing a win in this game with guys playing their first road game in a hostile environment.
November 25th vs Umass Lowell: Win
November 30th vs Pitt: Win
Honestly, this one could go either way but I have a special type of vitriol for Pitt so I’m picking a victory.
December 5th vs Marshall: Loss
Marshall returns much of their NCAA tournament team and their run and gun style will be a hard guard for Duquesne. This one could go either way as well.
December 9th vs Longwood: Win
December 13th vs Maryland Eastern Shore: Win
December 16th vs Maine: Win
December 20th vs Penn State: Loss
Jim Ferry makes his return to Pittsburgh with the defending NIT champs. PSU is not being thought of very highly by the experts but nonetheless this will still be a difficult game.
December 22nd vs Eastern Kentucky: Win
December 31st vs NJIT: Win
Final non-conference record: 10-3
Atlantic 10 Conference Play:
January 5th at Davidson: Loss
To say Davidson has owned Duquesne since joining the conference would be a massive understatement. The Wildcats will be very good again this season and especially difficult to beat at home.
January 9th vs Fordham: Win
January 12th vs St. Joes: Win
Another tough game to predict as St. Joes is thought of very highly, but I think the home court gives Duquesne a win.
January 16th at Richmond: Loss
Duquesne always has a tough time with Richmond. This being on the road gives Richmond the edge.
January 20th at George Washington: Win
January 23rd vs Saint Louis: Win
Saint Louis is expected to be the class of the league this year, but I think is a game Duquesne sneaks up on the Billikens(what’s a billiken?) and steals a win.
January 26th vs VCU: Win
VCU looks to be down this year, but will always be a tough out no matter what.
January 30th vs Rhode Island: Loss
Rhode Island is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance and while losing several key players they will still be formidable.
February 2nd at Dayton: Loss
UD Arena is going to be tough no matter how good the Dayton team is.
February 6th vs St. Bonaventure: Win
Dukes beat Bonnie’s in Palumbo. Olean will welcome the Bonnie’s back with open arms.
February 9th at Fordham: Win
February 13th at LaSalle: Loss
This one could go either way but I’m trying to be objective.
February 16th vs George Washington: Win
Dukes get a Colonials team at home and sweep the season series.
February 23rd at George Mason: Loss
Mason looks to have a very good team and this will be one of the tougher conference games.
February 27th at St. Bonaventure: Loss
Tim Horton’s is good in February I heard.
March 2nd vs Umass: Win
Preseason rankings not withstanding, Umass looks to have a very good team on their hands. All that said I give the Dukes the win at home.
March 6th at Saint Louis: Loss
Travis Fraud gets his win back from earlier in the year.
March 9th vs Dayton: Win
Senior day with a young team. Win.
Final conference record 10-8
Final season record: 20-11
20-11 would be considered a huge success for a team with a brand new roster and will give fans hope for an NCAA Tournament berth in 19-20. Actual results will more than likely be very different but I tried!