vs WVU

By Steve DiMiceli

After a one year hiatus, West Virginia and Duquesne renew their men's basketball series at the Consol Energy Center. The match up briefly ended last year when WVU wanted to play in Pittsburgh for a second year in a row in 2011-12  in exchange for two trips to Morgantown. The Dukes balked, but thankfully the Mountaineers are back on the schedule this season. The upcoming meeting has a variety of interesting story lines. It will be the closest thing to a Backyard Brawl this fall with WVU bolting immediately to the Big 12 leaving Pitt off their football, women's and men's basketball schedule. The only time the rivals will meet is at a swim meet in November. It will also mark the return of Ron Everhart to Pittsburgh for the first time as an assistant coach for Bob Huggins after being fired by the Dukes in April. While Everhart will likely not play a big role in the outcome of the game, his return likely will create a great deal of discussion among Duquesne followers building up to the game.

West Virginia finished their season 19-14  and ended up coming to the CEC after all where they lost to Gonzaga in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. They will have played a game at the new arena in each of the three years it has been open. Their last trip to face the Dukes ended with a comeback victory where they trailed Duquesne by 16 at the half. The Mountaineers lost their two leading scorers, Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant. The two combined for nearly 37 points and 14 boards a game.

Key Returning Players:

Deniz Kilicli 6'9'' SR

Kilicli will be the only returning player who averaged double digit scoring. The Turkish forward will likely become a key to Mountaineers success this season.

Jabarie Hinds 5'11' SO

Hinds was the fourth leading scorer for the Mountaineers and will likely assume a bigger role as a sophomore. He is lightning quick and was one of the best players at the Pro- Am this summer. He'll present a real challenge for the Duquesne guards and could be a difference maker. He doesn't like to pass the ball much for a PG.

Eligible Transfers

Juwan Staten 6'1'' SO (RS)

Staten is a former Dayton point guard and one of the more highly regarded players recruited by an A-10 school in the last few years. Duquesne fans will remember him from his battle with TJ McConnell for A-10 freshman of the year two years ago. Staten is a playmaker and an excellent  passer. He is still developing as a finisher and shooter. It will be interesting to see how Huggins uses he and Hinds.

Aaric Murray 6'10 JR (RS)

Murray is another player who should be familiar to Duquesne fans. He was another highly regarded recruit, but he underachieved for two seasons at Lasalle. However, his sub par performance can be attributed more to lack of effort and poor decision making rather than lack of skill. With good coaching and proper motivation, he could become an elite center with the ability to play inside and outside. He and Kilicli will present a major match up concern for the Dukes. Hopefully, Everhart is able to convince Huggins that it's a bad idea to play two bigs at one time.

Matt Humphrey 6'5'' GR

Humphrey is a versatile guard who started his college career with Oregon. He had a limited role for two seasons and transferred to Boston College. After sitting out a year, he scored 10 points a game for the Eagles playing 30 minutes a game. With a year of eligibility remaining and a degree in hand, he elected to join Huggins' team for the final year of his college career. Humphrey shoots and handles the ball well and should play and important role for the Mountaineers.

Potential Breakout Player

Keaton Miles 6'7'' SO

Miles is a bouncy, high motor forward who always found his way to rebounds and loose balls over the summer. He seems to be in the right place at the right time and when he's not, he's quick enough to get there. Miles finished  strong and played well around the rim. I can't speak to his versatility as he stood out most near the basket. Look for him to take on a much larger role