St Louis Recap

By Steve DiMiceli

You guys are in luck. I took notes of today's game to provide a more complete recap. What I ended up doing  was I smashing my leagal pad repeatedly over the chair in front of me scary a number of small children with my temper tantrums.

The refs made this game unwatchable for me at times. Rewarding soft flops by St. Louis, and not calling hard fouls against them . The call against Marhold with :10 left in the first half was an absolute disgrace. I was furious with them until thirteen minutes into the second half when the Dukes took care of losing on their own. Mike Talley forced a wild three early in the shot clock down nine and missed badly. St Louis turns around and Rob Lue makes the same exact shot on the ensuing trip down the court.

I didn't come away from this game as impressed by St Louis as one would probably think though they are a very good team. The Dukes found a fair amount of open looks that they simply couldn't convert, particularly in the first half. St Louis play good transition defense but turned the ball over more than I thought they would. They missed their fair share of bunnies around the basket that kept us in the game. There were a couple of stretches where the Dukes consistently got stops and there was the potential for a run. In the first they got stops on 5 of 6 possessions. The Dukes turned it over twice, got an air ball on a corner three from Talley, an awkward shot from Marhold that may or not have been blocked and a miss and make by BJ resulting in 2 points.  Down ten early in the second, Dukes hit on 4 consecutive possessions including two FT's made. They stopped the first St Louis shot each time on the ensuing possession but their Evans, all  6'5'' of him, was there for the put back. Could have been a one possession game or better. I honestly thought the Dukes did a nice job on the glass against Conklin, but they completely lost Evans.

Play Evals:

Eric Evans - 8 - Best player for the Dukes. Had almost half their assists and very strong from 3. Nice final home game for him. Just did his top 5 games, this one would be in the top 10.

 BJ Monteiro - 6.5 - Excellent first half had me thinking I did his top five prematurely. Got wild in the second half shooting but did well on the glass.

Andre Marhold - 6 - Had a couple of embarrassing moments, but overall thought he had a nice game. He's light years ahead of Datt defensively and the finishing is coming around a little.

Kadeem Pantophlet - 4 - I like what he brings to the table on defense lately, but he needed to find a way to get more involved on offense. Really he only had a handful of touches.

Sean Johnson - 4 - Ok shot selection and he only made one mistake with the ball. Problem is he let his teammates down with a couple of bad fouls that put him in a position where he had to sit when the referees made some bad calls of their own.

TJ McConnell - 3.5 - TJ scored a few baskets in the last 10 minutes but it was too little, way too late. One of his worst performances in a Duquesne uniform and one of the first where I didn't think he gave 100% effort. 

Mamadou Datt - 3 - Is straight lost on defense sometimes. His lack of experience shows in his positioning  and his slow reaction to ball movement. Some call it instincts but I call it habituation. He finds himself away for the basket far too often in man coverage, and may benefit from playing in a zone.

Jerry Jones - 2.5 - Defense has improved but he misses his assignment a lot on longer possessions. Fouls really wore the 3 spot down today.

Mike Talley  - 1.5 - I hate to get too down on players, but he had an awful game today. Missing his first two FT's and the rushed 3 that turned the game in the wrong direction. He really hurt the team tonight. Does not look like a player about to enter his junior season.

One thing I will give Rich Majerus credit for. In a sports world where we have athletes that need body types to match skill sets, where long, athletic and bouncy is considered a priority over polish, where players ceilings are judged based on measurable physical attributes and where players are evaluated on paper,  Majerus finds disciplined kids who can flat out play basketball. There aren't any projects on his roster. He gets kids that can play and he coaches them up rather quickly. One thing no one talks about with SLU is that this is a young team and the best is yet to come for them.  I'm starting to hate them, but it's difficult not to respect them.