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The 2015-16 preview: Darius Lewis

Written by Craig Meyer on .

With the freshmen and the lone transfer now out of the way, we're on to previewing returning Duquesne players. From here on out, I'll be highlighting players in order based on how many points per game they averaged last season.

Today, we're on to junior big man Darius Lewis.

 


 

DARIUS LEWIS

http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2014/12/06/ca7,0,2595,2588/20141205mfpittsports05B.jpg


(Photo: Post-Gazette)

Position: C

Height: 6-11

Weight: 245

What we know: Lewis was the Dukes' starting center for much of the season, playing in all 31 games and starting in 21 of them. Despite those starts, he averaged just 14.7 minutes per game.

Pts/game Reb/game Min/game Blks/game Block % FG % Off. rating
3.5 3.1 14.7 1.0 7.8 51.3 91.2

(NOTE: Offensive rating, as referenced before on this blog, is basically an overall measure of a player's offensive efficiency. Frank Kaminsky led Division I in the category last season at 126.2).

Lewis is a big body who's still developing something of a feel for the game, both from a more technical standpoint (touch around the basket, post moves, footwork, etc.) and a conditioning standpoint, the latter of which is one reason why his minutes-per-game numbers aren't higher. Lewis' offensive numbers aren't bad and his block numbers are quite good, especially after he recorded seven swats in the win against Saint Louis in the A-10 tournament, a record for a Duquesne sophomore. He's pretty solid on the boards, too, pulling down 16.2 percent of available defensive rebounds and 6.6 percent of offensive rebounds.

The biggest knock on his resume is undeniably his hometown of Lexington, Ky. Some people mockingly refer to it as a one-horse town, but that's nonsense -- there are a ton of horses there.

What to expect: Since we're dealing exclusively with returning players now, a.k.a guys who had some kind of body of work last season, we get to deal with a new wrinkle to these previews. On Ken Pomeroy's college basketball analytics site, KenPom.com, each Division I player, based on their statistics in a given season, have comparisons to other players from other single seasons.

Darius Lewis in 2015, for example, was comparable to Indiana State forward/center TJ Bell in 2015, UC-Santa Barbara forward Sam Beeler in 2014 and a few others I'll delve into in a chart below. Excluding Bell, who compiled those numbers just last season, here are how those players fared in the following season, to give a rough idea of how Lewis, if he keeps up his current trajectory, may fare.

  Pts/game Reb/game Min/game Blk/game FG % Blk % D Reb %
Sam Beeler, UCSB, 2015 2.0 2.2 9.0 0.6 49.2 8.1 19.3
Jon Pack, Coast. Carolina, 2011 2.2 2.1 7.9 0.3 55.8 4.3 16.6
Gus Leeper, UALR, 2014 4.2 2.8 15.9 0.7 39.3 4.9 10.0

These comparisons are far from ironclad when it comes to Lewis' production in 2015-16 and, frankly, I don't see him matching the profile of any of those guys. He'll be getting double the minutes of guys like Beeler and Pack and barring a major slip in efficiency, he'll have much better shooting, block and rebound numbers than Leeper.

I don't envision Lewis being a major contributor on this team, but he started much of last year and he's a player who has been used in promotional photos heading into this year. He's clearly going to have some kind of presence. For a frontcourt [there's an edit here; I originally wrote 'backcourt' because I am an easily confused and flustered man] lacking in proven talent, though, he's part of a convoluted group of guys who, at this point, seem about even based on what they did last season. My best guess is he improves on his numbers last season and is a part of a regular, 3-4 man rotation down low. Anything more would come from a large, unexpected leap from what he's proven two seasons into his career.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Hear stars of Last Witch Hunter talk in London about Pittsburgh-made movie

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Interviews from the London premiere of "The Last Witch Hunter," which was filmed in Pittsburgh a year ago and stars Vin Diesel, Michael Caine and Rose Leslie. 

 

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Biden Sausage: 5 things to read about the vice president's decision

1) As you know by now, Joe Biden has shelved the notion that he would run for president in 2016. If you listened closely to the vice president's Rose Garden speech, you probably heard that Mr. Biden's decision seemed to be based on timing more than anything else .

2) Did Mr. Biden make the right call? For several...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6656-biden-sausage-5-things-to-read-about-the-vice-president-s-decision

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Biden isn't running

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) announces his he will not seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination during an appearance in the White House Rose Garden in Washington October 21, 2015. Standing with Biden, are President Barack Obama and the vice president's wife, Dr. Jill Biden. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Joe? No go.

Joe Biden won't run for the...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6655-biden-isn-t-running

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Empty Netter Assists - Recapping Penguins - Panthers - 10-21-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “It’s nice to talk about scoring on them. And not what we have to fix on it.” - Penguins captain/center Sidney Crosby on his team going 2 for 3 on the power play.

-The Miami Herald's recap. "It was a frustrating night for sure. I thought we scored a goal, it was disallowed; they score, we can’t challenge it. There were some frustrated calls for sure.” - Panthers coach Gerard Gallant on a potential Panthers goal which was waved off. Shortly after that, the Penguins scored and a request by Gallant to challenge the goal was ignored by officials.

-The (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Sun-Sentinel's recap. The Panthers' fourth line keyed a comeback attempt.

-The Associated Press' recap. The Penguins snapped an 0 for 17 skid on the power play.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Panthers forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr had issues with Crosby:

-A good look at Panthers forward Quinton Howden beating Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman Kris Letang for a goal:

-Head coach Mike Johnston speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Fleury speaks:

-A police officer was hospitalized after being struck by a car outside Consol Energy Center following the game.

-Right winger Daniel Sprong missed the game on account of a work visa issue.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Kael Mouillierat was suspended two games by the AHL for hitting Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Nick Cousins in the head Sunday.

-Today would've been the 66th birthday of former Penguins forward Michel Briere. A third-round pick in 1969, Briere's brief NHL career amounted to 76 games, 12 goals, 32 assists and 44 points with the 1969-70 Penguins. His assist total set a franchise record at the time. During that spring's playoffs, Briere appeared in 10 games and scored eight points. One of his points was an overtime goal in a 3-2 win in Game 4 in a quarterfinal series against the California Seals. It was the first playoff series win in franchise history. In the offseason, Briere suffered severe injuries in a car wreck in Quebec. Despite multiple surgeries, he died as a result of his injuries, April 13, 1971. In response, the team retired his No. 21. To date, only Briere and Mario Lemieux have had their numbers retired by the franchise. Today, the team's rookie of the year award is named after him.

-Happy 56th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Vincent Tremblay. Acquired in the 1983 offseason, Tremblay's entire Penguins' career amounted to four games, a 0-4-0 record, a 6.00 goals against average and .831 save percentage. While Tremblay's numbers with the Penguins are the furthest thing from being remarkable, his presence led to the most important move in franchise history. Late in the 1983-84 season, the Penguins suspiciously demoted respectable goaltender Roberto Romano to Baltimore of the AHL and recalled Tremblay, a career journeyman, late in the season "to see what he can do." All Tremblay could do was lose his four appearances for the Penguins to "help" them finish in last place and "earn" a chance to draft Lemieux with the first overall pick in the 1984 draft. Tremblay was released in the 1984 offseason.

-After the Jump: Duncan Keith is sidelined due to knee surgery.

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