Because I am at Rutgers covering football today, and will not be at this game, feel free to use this thread as the substitute for the normal gameday thread and comment below, as there will not be a gameday thread for this game.
By Colin Dunlap | 12:17 a.m. Saturday
Venue: A.J. Palumbo Center
Time: 3:30 p.m. (or right after that first game in the Chuck Cooper Classic is over)
Probable starters for Duquesne:
- No. 32 B.J. Monteiro 6-5 G/F So. 13.3ppg 6.3rpg
- No. 30 Bill Clark 6-5 G/F Jr. 19.0ppg 6.9rpg
- No. 25 Damian Saunders 6-7 F Jr. 15.1ppg 14.4rpg
- No. 13 Jason Duty 6-1 G Sr. 6.6ppg 3.3rpg
- No. 3 Eric Evans 5-11 G So. 7.9ppg 2.7rpg
Probable starters for Savannah State:
- No. 2 Tracy Rankins 5-10 G Sr. 13.8ppg 3.0rpg
- No. 34 Arnold Louis 6-7 F So. 8.3ppg 8.6rpg
- No. 1 Preston Blackmon 6-0 G Fr. 4.0ppg 1.4rpg
- No. 22 Rashad Hassan 6-7 F So. 8.6ppg 4.6rpg
- No. 5 Andrew Anderson 5-10 G Fr. 1.1ppg 0.6rpg
In my estimation, here is what the Dukes need to do to win this game: Understand they are the better team and play like it. Savannah State is a team that, frankly, the Dukes are better than. Duquesne might not be as deep, but -- and we saw this in the first 23 minutes against Pitt -- when the Dukes get going, they can run past teams, simply run the legs off teams. Now, Savannah State is deeper, they play a rotation of something like 11 guys, but they don't have anything in the way of talent like Duquesne has, particularly when you match up the starters. Also, bouncing back from the Pitt loss, it is very important that the Dukes, if they get an early lead, step on this team's throat. If Ron Everhart gets up 10, he must look to get up 15. If his team gets ahead by 15, they must want to make it 22 ... and so on. A blowout win would do a lot for Duquesne's mental state right now, and if these guys -- particularly Clark and Saunders -- understand they are simply better than the men attempting to guard them, it could go a long way.
In my estimation, here is what the Tigers need to do to win this game: Go right at the Dukes, especially Saunders and Clark, and hope that the game is called tight. If Savannah State can get Duquesne into some foul trouble, it could lead to big, big trouble for the Dukes. We all saw what happened against Pitt when the Dukes began to get saddled by the accumulation of fouls in the second half -- it turned out to be absolutely deadly. If the whistles come in bunches, especially against Duquesne's key guys, it will be in direct concert with Savannah State's chances in this game.