ShareThis Page
Duquesne

Close losses take toll on Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot

Jerry DiPaola
| Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, 2:39 p.m.
Duquesne's Jordan Robinson (left) defends against Rhode Island's E.C. Matthews on Saturday, Jan 27, 2018, in Kingston, R.I.
Duquesne's Jordan Robinson (left) defends against Rhode Island's E.C. Matthews on Saturday, Jan 27, 2018, in Kingston, R.I.

Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said he expects close games almost every time his team plays.

His reasoning is simple. With the exception of No. 20 Rhode Island, most Atlantic 10 teams are the same: good, not great, but dangerous.

Dambrot's problem is he can't wrap his brain around losing nine games before Valentine's Day. At Akron, he won between 19 and 27 every season for 13 years.

“I'm really not used to losing,” he said. “I'm not happy about it, but we're doing the best we can. I give my guys a lot of credit.”

The losses are so hard to endure because they are so close to being victories. Duquesne has lost three of its past four by a total of 10 points. Didn't matter if the Dukes were playing the best of the A-10 (Rhode Island) or the team with the second-most victories (St. Bonaventure). Both foes needed a 3-pointer at or near the buzzer to win.

Duquesne needs to improve the intensity and decision-making of its defense when it plays at Dayton on Wednesday and Fordham on Saturday at Palumbo Center.

Offense seems OK. Shooting 55.6 percent Saturday was actually impressive because St. Bonaventure had the best field-goal percentage defense in the league (41.5) entering the game.

“I've never had a team shoot 56 percent and lose,” he said. “I'm not too happy about that.”

Dambrot's best quality is he knows how far he can push his players. None other than LeBron James will tell you that. Dambrot led James' St. Vincent-St. Mary teams to two high school state championships in Ohio at the outset of this decade.

“He was hard on me, almost ruthless,” James once said of his former coach. “He believed perfection was attainable and would not tolerate mistakes.

“I figured at the time he just hated me, thought I was some ghetto-kid hot dog who would never be a team player. But I now realize what he was doing, and I'm lucky he was doing it.”

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me