Last season, if you were to attend a Duquesne home basketball game, you would see two guys taking jumpers once the active players headed in after warmups. To someone that was unfamiliar with the team, they would have thought nothing of these two guys. Well, those guys were Tavian Dunn-Martin and Michael Hughes, and if you didn’t know them last season, you most certainly know them now.
Especially in the past few weeks, Keith Dambrot has showed how much he truly cares for his players and his teams. Sometimes, as seen in the Penn State game, this passion can backfire. Nonetheless, it is something that hits hard with the players, and is something that college basketball is all about… passion.
This same passion was more than likely what brought Hughes and Dunn-Martin to Duquesne from Akron, and after sacrificing a season having to sit out, they have been given plenty of opportunities to shine with this new and improved Duquesne team. And they have made the most of it.
For starters, these guys could not be any different, as Dunn-Martin is the smallest player on the team, and Mike Hughes is one of the largest. Either way, they have both made giant impacts on this program so far this season, and both are a big reason key to Duquesne’s success. Hughes is second on the team in points so far this season, and has been dominant on the low post, recently creating difficulties for Eastern Kentucky and Nick Mayo, one of the top scorers in the game.
Michael Hughes and his size are going to cause issues for the entire Atlantic 10 conference, and that will be especially important when the Dukes face off against teams such as Saint Louis or VCU.
Dunn-Martin, while not receiving the best statistics so far this season, has also been a key component to this Dukes team. Him and Carry have been terrific in the point guard position, and Dunn-Martin has been a great game manager throughout this young season. He has also shown that he can score the ball, putting up 14 against Notre Dame early in the year.
Back to Dambrot, this entire situation just goes to show how great of a coach he is in all aspects of his job. He is not only great in the basketball sense, but he also is able to build strong relationships with his players, and that’s what it is all about.
Duquesne has a great chance to be one of the top teams in the A-10 this season, and they have backed that up with their play in the non-conference against some tough teams like Notre Dame and Penn St. Dunn-Marin and Mike Hughes are great representations for what this Duquesne program is all about. They waited for this opportunity and they are now making the most of it. Now, we will find out if the whole team will make the most of their opportunity, and find a way to win the A-10.