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Duquesne's Smith, Williams earn Atlantic 10 honors

Jerry DiPaola
| Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 3:42 p.m.
Duquesne's Tarin Smith drives past VCU's Malik Crowfield during the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at Palumbo Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Duquesne's Tarin Smith drives past VCU's Malik Crowfield during the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at Palumbo Center.

Duquesne's Tarin Smith started all 32 games last season, so you might think starting only four this season would be problem for him.

Not so.

Smith has scored 20 or more points four times off the benc1h to average 12.5 per game, four more than last season. And he was rewarded Tuesday for his work in a reserve role when he was named the Atlantic 10 Sixth Man of the Year.

“Whatever the team needed,” Smith said. “It wasn't anything I did. (Coach Keith Dambrot) wanted to have some spark off the bench. I adapted to the role pretty good.”

Smith is just the second player in school history to win the sixth man award, joining Kevin Forney (2003).

Also, freshman Eric Williams Jr., the Dukes' leading scorer (14.5) and rebounder (8.9), was named to the conference's All-Rookie team.

Smith entered this season with 21 3-pointers, but he has 39 in 31 games while his 3-point percentage jumped from .212 to .342.

Williams Jr., a four-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, has recorded a school freshman record-tying 11 double-doubles and holds the Duquesne freshman mark for 3-pointers (66).

He is attempting to become the second freshman in school history to lead the team in scoring and rebounding, joining Wayne Smith (16.6, 6.2, 1998-99).

Williams Jr. ranks fourth on Duquesne's freshman total points list (450) and needs 17 to pass record holder Smith (466 in 1999). His 276 rebounds are 15 short of passing Dick Ricketts (290 in 1952) for most by a freshman in school history.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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