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Crunch time

Written by Jenn Menendez on .

Crunch time is pretty much here in the Atlantic 10 season and so far Duquesne has not proven much other than they are a very up and down team this year.

Right now, with five games left, the Dukes (15-10, 6-5) sit in a tie with four teams for 6th place and a single loss could easily mean they plummet back down to 10th place.

But it does look like one more loss by either Fordham or Rhode Island should at the very least assure the Dukes a ticket to the postseason – that is the team’s understanding said Ron Everhart.

That gives this group a small sigh of relief, but Everhart said he’s less concerned where his team ends up in the standings, because he’s convinced the team’s tougher schedule will help.

Everhart: “I think wherever we finish, our record at that seed - whatever it might be - is going to be better than another team’s record that is similar because we’re playing three of the top teams in the league twice.”

He counts St. Bonaventure, Dayton and Saint Louis – all teams the Dukes will face twice before the regular season ends.

Basketball State also considers the Dukes schedule one of the toughest in the league this year - No. 4 to be exact behind Saint Joseph's Dayton and Xavier.

Up next: No. 1 Temple, 2 p.m. Saturday in Philly.

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Jerry Jones missed the last game, said Everhart, with an illness that has been going around.

He is expected to rejoin the lineup tomorrow at Temple, and while he’s generally been a guy that comes off the bench this season, he really makes an impact rebounding.

He averages just 3.5 a game, but had a season high eight against Richmond, six against Massachusetts, and four at Dayton.

He apparently does not have the best vertical leap on the team (Andre Marhold said Everhart) but he certainly goes after every ball, finds his way through a mass of bodies and makes things happen.

“Jerry is probably our best jumper in traffic in terms of being able to navigate his way through the bumps and blockouts and all of that stuff,” said Everhart. “He can still run and jump because he’s got great balance.”

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And, not to dwell on it, but...the last time Duquesne beat Temple at Temple was Jan. 30, 1995.

For a little context, the team’s sophomores were still toddlers then – think T.J. McConnell, Jones, Mike Talley. Those guys were born in 1992.

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