Game 24 Preview: Duquesne Dukes vs Rhode Island Rams

Coming off a heart-stopping victory over Dayton on Wednesday, the Rhode Island Rams will head on the road tomorrow night to try and make it two wins in a row. If they can pull it off, URI’s hopes at earning a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament become a little more realistic. Rhody is trying to catch either Richmond or St. Bonaventure to slip is as the 12th and final seed in Brooklyn. Fortunately for the Rams, the Spiders and Bonnies will play each other tomorrow, so one of them will pick up a loss. So what do the Rams need to do to pick up a win? Let’s have a look.

Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit
Mascot: Dukes
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Conference: Atlantic 10
2012-13 Record: 8-16 (1-9)

Up until about 20 hours ago, it looked like the Rams were going to be facing a Duquesne team that was winless in conference play. But no longer – the Dukes picked up a nail-biting 84-83 road win versus Temple last night to move to 1-9 in the A-10. This year has certainly shown that anything can happen on any given night, and Duquesne over Temple certainly enforces that thinking. But besides that victory, the Dukes haven’t done much else. Their only other notable victory came against West Virginia, who is having a bit of a down year in their Big 12 inaugural campaign. Much like URI, Duquesne has suffered conference losses to Fordham, UMass, VCU, St. Bonaventure, and George Washington.

Projected Starting Lineups

Rhode Island
G: Mike Powell, So, #1, 5’11″, 175
G: Xavier Munford, Jr, #5, 6’2″, 180
G: Andre Malone, Sr, #12, 6’6″, 210
F: Nikola Malesevic, Sr, #23, 6’7″, 200
C: Jordan Hare, Fr, #4, 6’10″, 205

G: Derrick Colter, Fr, #1, 5’11″, 175
G: Jeremiah Jones, Fr, #23, 6’3″, 190
F: Jerry Jones, Jr, #5, 6’4″, 195
F: Quevyn Winters, Fr, #21, 6’5″, 205
F: Andre Marhold, Sr, #0, 6’6″, 215

Full disclosure: trying to predict Duquesne’s lineup is damn near impossible. Nine different players have started at least one game for the Dukes this season, and while Quevyn Winters and Jerry Jones have been in the lineup recently, they have not been regular starters this season. What you see above is what head coach Jim Ferry went with last night against Temple. It’s a small lineup for sure, but it resulted in a win, so it clearly worked for them.

If theirs one consistent in both the lineup and level of play, it’s Derrick Colter. The freshman point guard leads the team in both points (12.9 per game) and assists (5.0). He’s also coming off a solid effort last night in which he posted 17 points and six assists against the Owls. Oh, and he also buried the game-tying and game-winning free throws with two seconds left in that one. Rhody had their struggles with George Washington freshman point guard Joe McDonald, so let’s hope they can limit Colter’s effectiveness tomorrow.

The bottom line is that Duquesne is the worst team in the Atlantic 10. But that doesn’t mean much this year, and Rhody will still need a complete effort to take down the Dukes, especially on the road. With a win, we can start breaking down legitimate scenarios regarding how Rhody can make it to the A-10 Tourney. Let’s hope that’s what we’re doing come Monday.

Tags: Basketball Duquesne Dukes Rhode Island Rams

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