Atlantic 10 Tuesday Preview: Duquesne Hosts La Salle

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Game of the Night

Duquesne Dukes vs. La Salle Explorers – 7:00 pm ET (Atlantic Ten Network)

The Essentials:

Category La Salle Duquesne
Record 5-12 13-7
Conference Record 1-5 3-5
Home Record 8-1
Away Record 1-7
Kenpom Ranking 283 143
RPI Ranking 234 100
Points Leader Price 20.8 Colter 17.5
Rebounds Leader Washington 7.3 Gill 6.5
Assists Leader Shuler 3.1 Mason 4.3
Spread +12 -12

Duquesne is led by one of the most experienced backcourts in the entire conference.  The combination of seniors Micah Mason and Derrick Colter have been brilliant so far this season.  The senior duo has carried the team, in part due to their high and affective volume of three point shots.  Mason and Colter have attempted a combined 268 three point shots this season – far more than the rest of their team combined.

In addition to having a veteran squad with good guard play, the Dukes are one of the best teams at not fouling their opponents.  They play stingy defense without fouling, and Micah Mason has one of the lowest foul percentages in the entire country.  These factors propelled Duquesne to a great non-conference performance, but they have slipped up a bit in conference play.  However there are two reasons for optimism: Duquesne has been lights out at home, and they are coming off of a good win, beating George Mason on the road by 11.  In fact, the only team to defeat the Dukes at home has been Dayton, and that was a tight contest throughout.

The win against George Mason came with an unintended cost – one that would garner national attention.  Due to snow storms that struck much of the eastern seaboard, the Duquesne team bus was stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for almost two days.  Nobody is entirely sure how the Dukes will respond Tuesday night against La Salle, but head coach Jim Ferry should have his troops ready and prepared for battle.

As for the Explorers, they are looking for a big win to kick-start their season.  Sitting at 5-12 and 1-5 in conference play, not much has gone well for La Salle save for the performances of Jordan Price.  Due to a lack of supporting cast, Price has had to take matters into his own hands, and is one of the most used players in the country.  He ranks in the top 40 nationally in percentage of possessions used, shots taken, and minutes played.  To say he is the focal point of the La Salle offense would be an understatement.  Do not sleep on the Explorers, however. That one conference win? It came over Dayton.  These kids can still play some ball, and with Duquesne still reeling from their snow ordeal, it could be prime time to pick up a big win.

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Spencer Papciak is a junior History Major at Davidson College where he also plays on the golf team. You can follow him on twitter @spencerpaps, or send him an email at [email protected]

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