Duquesne tips off against Pitt Friday in the annual City Game, with the Dukes (3-1) hoping to snap a 13-game losing streak against the Panthers (4-3).
Duquesne coach Jim Ferry met with media Wednesday to preview the matchup. I've posted the video above, via GoDuquesne.com, and here are some highlights.
On Pitt-Duquesne matchup: "It's two young teams trying to find themselves right now." Duquesne has been inconsistent defensively, must be more disciplined and, especially, be able to compete on the glass. "The last time Duquesne beat Pitt, we ourebounded them. That's what it's going to take to win this basketball game." ... "We're not here to compete. We're here to win."
On only playing four games so far: "It’s less than ideal." Dukes were supposed to have a game prior to NJIT but the opponent had to pull out because of a tournament commitment. Can’t focus on that, though. Duquesne has had a longer time to practice. Every Tuesday, the team came in and faked as if it were a game day. Treated it like a game day, played a full 40 minutes. "It's not the same experience. It's not against somebody else. There's no crowd. And my coaches are awful officials."
On how Duquesne matches up on the boards: "Not well rebounding, not well. I just challenged my team with that. I don't think we're playing physically enough yet. I don't think we're playing tough enough yet. I think we do it in spurts. I'm not sure if we're tough enough to complete on the glass tomorrow. We're going to find out. ... We might be, we just have to do it. And have to do it for 40 minutes. That's what my concern is."
On Pitt's rebounding: "They're getting 50 percent of their misses back, which is outrageous.”
On 3-point percentage (.490), which is No. 2 nationally: "We don’t just huck ‘em up. We're a pretty balanced scoring team." Pieces are fitting well together. "We can’t rely on 3-point shooting, but when you’ve got guys who can make them you’ve got to play off each other and take the open shot.”
On Pitt's faster pace this season: "That's our pace. We want to play at our pace. We're one of the highest-scoring teams in the country right now; we play at a very fast and aggressive pace. I'd like to get the game at that pace. I don't know if they're going to want to get the game at that pace."