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Q&A submissions 11/29/09: Playing at the new arena?

Written by Colin Dunlap on .

By Colin Dunlap | 8:55 a.m. Sunday

Three questions this morning from Abdul Rahman who hails from Parts Unknown (which I am guessing is not in Allegheny County, so as to avoid the property tax).

QUESTION: What is the future scheduling philosophy ?  There has been some informal talk of securing home games at the new Consol Arena with BCS member schools ( i.e. Maryland / Louisville ).  Has anything been agreed to that you are aware of at this time ?

DUNLAP: There is nothing official, from what I know, at this time. But I do know this -- the Dukes will play some big time, non-conference opponents over there. I have spoken to several people associated with the basketball program and the athletic department who have all brought it up in conversation. And, yes, look for them to bring in a BCS level school to play at the Consol. Also, I have been told there is a curtaining system at the arena, so as to block off some of the seats, thus making the capacity smaller if you'd like to. So, long story short, and to get to your answer: Yes, look for Ron Everhart to play a couple big time opponents up the street at the new place.

QUESTION: Why is the halfcourt offense so stagnant for long periods of time? Why are the cuts off the high post so lax? The players do not regularly cut hard to the goal and present themselves for the ball aggresively, but rather round off their cuts and more often than not drift towards the baseline / sideline?

DUNLAP: Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments. When you are accustomed to running up and down the floor, in a pretty much wide open manner, it will take some time to refine the halfcourt game. This is a Duquesne team going through a transition from last year to this year, wherein the halfcourt game -- and we saw this at Iowa -- is going to be pivotal at times. That said, it is something Ron and his staff is working on in practice. The best analogy is this: If you go 5-wide and are a spread offense in football, and then you want to implement just a little bit of the power running game, it is going to take personnel and patience. So, Mr. Abdul Rahman, wherever it is you reside, give it a little time to develop. 

QUESTION: I know coach Everhart believes strongly in the 3 guard offense. This makes rebounding a bit problematic especially given the size limitations of Eric Evans and Jason Duty.   Do you sense that at some point coach Everhart will be a bit more likely to play 3 true front court players for more extended periods of time ?   I realize the college game is becoming more and more guard oriented but perhaps the matchup advantage to going "Big" ( at least occasionally ) may be something DU can exploit.  

DUNLAP: Going "big"? With who? At this point, Duquesne lacks a true 5-man who has shown a consistency to get it done on this level. It is as simple as that. There is no knock in making that statement, it isn't a slap or an insult, but rather a fact. In saying that, in my eyes, it would be silly to try to manufacture something when it truly isn't there. Instead, you simply play into your strengths. We will see later today against Radford what not having a 5 can do, as they will bring into the Palumbo, quite possibly, one of the best two or three big guys you will see in that building all season. But, by going with the personnel Ron does, there are obvious advantages. For example, if it gets going up and down today (and in subsequent games when the opponent has a laboring 5-man) how will they keep up with a pace that Evans and Duty can set? How will such a big guy be able to run? Sure, there are spots that I am certain Ron and the staff would love to have a traditional big guy in there to be able to get a halfcourt bucket, or stop an opposing big guy on a possession, but the truth right now is that one -- on this roster -- has yet to be cultivated.

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