St Joe's 84 Duquesne 82 OT

By Steve DiMiceli

A lot of my fans (I don't have fans) ask me what the most difficult part about writing a hit blog (the blog is mildly successful) like Yukudukes? I tell them writing summaries after tough losses, every time (I've never been asked this question).

If I have to rank this loss in terms among the losses in Ron Everhart's tenure that made me feel like absoulue dog crap, I would put it behind Pitt '09 and at Bona last year for sure. After that, I don't know. It's probably on par with Richmond in '07-08. It's slightly ahead of last year's WVU and URI game and the loss at Dayton where Jason Duty missed the FT's at the end of regulation. He's already got two brutal losses this year and we've just reached the half way point.

I bring Ron up tonight because he clearly deserves a huge chunk of the blame for the loss. If he had only followed my game plan. The team hit 62% from three and 37% from inside the arc yet he continued to allow Sean Johnson to pound it inside and have his shot altered by CJ. Aiken. In the second half the Dukes hit 4-6 from 3 and only attempted 1 in the overtime. When you're team is on fire like that you have to put it up more often. Of course Ron could've called a timeout to tell his team to put up more 3's at any point from 12 minutes into the second when the Hawks really started to chip away at the lead. He could have also told them to go back to the pressure D that destroyed them in the first half. They were also getting beat in the second half when help D would rotate over to Langston Galloway, the one guy they were wasting their time pressuring Don't even get me started on the coaching in the last two minutes in regulation and :30 seconds in over time. Ron left his team hanging at least 3 or 4 times where a TO would've made sense. Instead, he pocketed 3 (THREE) timeouts to end regulation and what until :01 second left in OT to draw up a glory shot.

Player rundown:

TJ McConnell 9 -- Deserved a standing ovation after coming out of the game with a minute left not a loss tonight. Showing he can be a dominant player.

Jerry Jones 4 -- First start left something lacking. Fouled out but did give the Dukes a nice first half defensive effort. Sloppy rebounding though.

Mamadou Datt 4 -- Highlight of the game was him absolutely owning Aiken, dunking over him immediately after being rejected. Played good D but let his team down with fouls. Careless on a few rebounds

Sean Johnson 2 -- Never made the adjustment to Aiken and just kept driving and forcing shots. Missed two costly FT's down the stretch that would have helped seal the game in regulation.

Eric Evans 3 -- Nearly invisible. He at least learned his lesson about driving. Not a senior performance.

Kadeem Pantophlet 8 -- Easily his best game as a Duke at both ends. Made those open looks that he needs to make.

Mike Talley 6 -- Nice first half. Passed the ball as well as anyone for the Dukes.

Andre Marhold 4.5 -- Matched up well against Aiken but lapsed at times.

Derrick Martin 5 -- Quiet two minutes, but again he was mistake free.

I look for this match ups to be one of the more interesting ones in the A-10 over the next couple of years. St Joe's is young and getting better, but so are we. I suspect we'll face them at least 3 more times before TJ graduates and they will all be important games.

Also, proof reading is really the most difficult part of writing this blog.