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Weiss: Duquesne’s Dambrot Ought to Be A-10 Coach of the 12 months



It was a day after a tough loss to the Davidson and it could have been straightforward for the Duquesne Males’s Basketball Group to sulk.

The Dukes misplaced to a essentially sound Wildcats crew, as a result of it let the guests dictate play, whereas the hosts have been working by metaphorical quicksand and didn’t make the right adjustment to hurry up till it was too late.

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But right here everybody was smiling as a result of the nets have been arrange and rackets out with gamers and coaches competing in pickleball.

This was an train the Dukes already had as soon as tried throughout the offseason to construct chemistry and now it was being performed to arrange for the stretch run.

Sweat stuffed Assistant Coach Terry Weigand’s shirt as he chased the ball down from all angles and hit overhead slams. Everybody performed, everybody smiled and in the long run, Weigand and his accomplice Austin Rotroff emerged victorious.

When every common season involves an finish, all 15 Atlantic 10 coaches will vote on their all-conference awards and particular person awards, however relating to coach of the yr maybe a bit of outside-of-the-box pondering must be taken under consideration.

By all means, VCU’s Mike Rhoades will and will obtain consideration. He has gained the award earlier than and after being picked third in preseason, the primary afterthought behind Dayton and Saint Louis, the unquestioned favorites coming into the yr.

Following a loss to Duquesne, Rhoades was questioned by the VCU fan base which was unrelenting. Many wished to see him fired, however as an alternative this turned a rallying cry that allowed the crew to play at a excessive stage, a credit score to Rhoades for not wavering in his perception of his program.

When Kyle Neptune went from Fordham to Villanova, there was a thought that these Rams would revert again to the outdated behaviors which made it the league’s punching bag, however as an alternative Keith Urgo moved a chair over and arrange a non-conference schedule which might have it acquire confidence and set up defensive rules.

Urgo was the clear proper selection, the gamers had purchased in from day one and Fordham has rallied behind him as evidenced by 21 wins, whereas at the moment sitting third within the Atlantic 10 standings with a program-record 11 triumphs. Now having an inside observe for certainly one of 4 double byes.

All season lengthy Urgo has pushed the suitable buttons and the crew is doing historic seasons.

There’s one final candidate and that’s Keith Dambrot.

On the floor Dambrot’s case doesn’t look as robust as one or perhaps each of the above names, however he needed to do extra to get into this place.

Dambrot was left for useless a number of occasions as Duquesne’s coach, many calling him loopy for making the leap from what was deemed a certain factor in Akron to a Dukes crew ravenous for a tradition change and a winner.

Certainly Dambrot constructed a winner, although we’ll by no means understand how that 2019-20 program would have completed its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That crew had extra expertise than this 2022-23 squad, however this yr’s unit has extra dedication, coronary heart and teamwork than any Dambrot has had.

After the 2020-21 season, Dambrot felt he had misplaced management of the crew and fairly frankly he had. He misplaced a number of gamers to switch and those who stayed didn’t show the perspective their coach desired.

It was within the press convention following the season-ending loss to St. Bonaventure that Dambrot made clear that issues would change.

He was seizing again management.

Inside a handful of months, virtually your entire roster was gutted and it was time for Duquesne to start out over and Dambrot made an announcement previous to the season that he believed these on that 2021-22 squad have been championship high quality.

Between accidents, gamers enjoying out of place, an absence of ball motion and a collection of losses which demoralized the roster it was clear that crew didn’t get the job performed.

Many followers wished that to be the tip of Dambrot, however VP of Athletics Dave Harper held agency and the 2 got down to plan on the upcoming season.

Dambrot had mainly been left for useless and he determined to assault it the best way he had prior to now and he channeled 25-year-old Keith Dambrot.

It was clear in that earlier season that issues weren’t going as anticipated, so Dambrot despatched assistant coaches to recruit as an alternative of sitting on the bench for a sport which was going to have an apparent end result.

Within the preseason ballot, Duquesne was picked final, a placement largely mirrored on the earlier season and maybe doubt that Dambrot may nonetheless successfully discover, consider and develop expertise whereas additionally making them imagine.

Whereas they doubted, Dambrot put in extra time, refusing to let 2021-22 occur once more.

The gamers got here and people who did have been motivated. Every match a bit of the puzzle and as roles have been extra clearly outlined the whining which affected previous groups was gone.

Positive there have been frustrations and play has not been good, however Dambrot has persistently pushed the suitable buttons on the proper time with a mixture of transfers, returners and freshmen.

He has made Kareem Rozier, a freshman the chief of this crew, seeing how teammates took to him. In a shedding press convention, Dambrot introduced Rozier alongside.

The protection whereas not good, has considerably improved underneath the watchful eye of affiliate head coach Dru Joyce III who has been fulfilling lots of Dambrot’s tasks as nicely whether or not it’s radio or press interviews. The gamers clearly can relate to Joyce as either side be taught collectively.

Dae Dae Grant was largely often called a scorer earlier than and nonetheless is, however his passing, protection and management have improved at Duquesne.

Jimmy Clark III has allowed for his protection to shine, his offense has taken a leap and he has discovered his voice.

Tre Williams has a transparent function that he has taken to, defending an opponent’s finest put up and it really works for all sides.

Tevin Brewer was an amazing discover within the offseason and has toughed out a number of accidents to contribute. Joe Reece has proven to be extraordinarily coachable and has come on late within the season.

Dambrot believed in RJ Gunn coming off an damage when perhaps others didn’t and he has responded.

After that preseason prognostication, Duquesne finds itself in fifth place. Say what you’ll about in-game changes, Dambrot has constructed a gifted crew the place usually the repair is simply enjoying more durable, with extra need and focus.

Duquesne can out-talent groups as soon as once more and has proven that at occasions this season.

The case for Dambrot might not be the sexiest or probably the most newsworthy, however it virtually echoes his crew. Duquesne has persistently been disrespected within the convention and the physicality and edge it performs with can rub groups the mistaken method, it actually has prior to now, however that’s advantageous for the Dukes as long as it retains successful.

Moments after sitting down from Monday’s pickleball match, Dambrot bought hit within the face by a wayward shot and he couldn’t assist however smile.

Dambrot is precisely the place he desires to be and has a gaggle that he’s able to go to struggle with.


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Contained in the Dukes: Transferring Ahead



By all accounts, Duquesne Males’s Basketball’s 71-67 setback Sunday afternoon towards Davidson was a particular step again. For a superb portion of the sport, Davidson got here into the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse and dictated play with their off ball slicing and mixing up protection coming off screens. “It felt like we have been a step gradual for […]

The submit Contained in the Dukes: Transferring Ahead appeared first on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now.

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PSN Ballot Query: What Seed Does Pitt Basketball Deserve To Be?



Jeff Capel’s workforce at present is a prime the ACC standings with a report of 14-4 and controls their very own future by way of profitable the convention championship.

If Pitt beats Notre Dame on Wednesday, they’ll win not less than a share of the ACC common season championship and in the event that they beat Miami, they’ll be sole champions for the primary time in program historical past.

Regardless of this success, the Panthers aren’t having a lot luck impressing the nationwide basketball writers by way of being ranked and in addition, they’re nonetheless a consensus No. 8 via No. 10 seed in all the nationwide March Insanity Bracketology.

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