ShareThis Page
Duquesne

Duquesne's Mike Lewis works to break out of slump

Jerry DiPaola
| Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, 9:17 p.m.
Duquesne's Mike Lewis II drives against St. Louis' defenders in the first round of A-10 Men’s basketball tournament at PPG Paint Arena, Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Duquesne's Mike Lewis II drives against St. Louis' defenders in the first round of A-10 Men’s basketball tournament at PPG Paint Arena, Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

By his estimate, Duquesne sophomore guard Mike Lewis puts up about 1,000 shots every week — before, during and after practice.

It's the games that are driving him crazy.

Over the past four games — three of them on the road — Lewis has made seven of 38 shots, including one of 20 in the past two. From beyond the 3-point arc, he has hit only three of his past 25 attempts.

“I spend a lot of time at it,” Lewis said. “That's why I can't believe I'm going through the shooting slump I'm going through. I'll be fine.”

What's coach Keith Dambrot doing about it? Actually, what you might expect from a coach who's seen more than a few shooting slumps in his 23-year coaching career.

“Not talk about it,” he said Friday when a reporter insisted on bringing up the subject. “You know how I am.”

Lewis is part of the collateral damage that has resulted from the Dukes' recent struggles. Duquesne, which plays Davidson (16-10, 11-4 Atlantic 10) on Saturday at Palumbo Center, has lost five in row and seven of its past eight games to fall to 15-13, 6-9.

“Mike is a victim of a lot of different things, in fairness to Mike,” Dambrot said.

Duquesne is a guard-oriented team that doesn't rely on its big men to score.

“Most people don't have to guard our 4 and 5 men (forward and center),” Dambrot said. “So, they don't have to come off Lewis. He's going to get (the opponent's) best defender every night, and they don't have to help (guard someone else).”

Another unique feature of Duquesne's team is that none of the four guards — Lewis, Eric Williams, Rene Castro-Caneddy and Tarin Smith – is a true point guard. As a result, Duquesne averages only 11.7 assists, next-to-last in the 14-team A-10.

“Our point guards are really shooting point guards,” Dambrot said. “They are not pass-first point guards. That doesn't help him, either.”

Duquesne has a true point guard in its 2018-19 recruiting class: 6-foot-2 Brandon Wade of Ann Arbor, Mich. But that's a story for next season.

Meanwhile, Lewis doesn't lean on excuses. When he's not on the court, he's looking at video in an attempt to discover a quirk in his stroke that might have led to his struggles.

“A lot of my jump shots, I'm fading back and that's why I'm short,” he said. “Other times, I'm getting a little excited and that's when they're long.”

He understands that a guard averaging 14.4 points will get plenty of attention.

“When I catch it, it's like five guys staring at me (saying), ‘Where do you think you're going today?'

“Some defenders they don't even leave me. They chase me off every screen. Even when I stand in the corner, they are in the corner with me.”

Lewis is pleased that the next two games are at home after Duquesne played five of the past seven on the road. The Dukes have won 12 of 17 games at Palumbo.

“We've had a lot of success at home,” Lewis said. “We're finally back on our home rims. That's big for me.

“I'm extremely comfortable here, but at the same time when the ball rolls out in the game (Saturday), it could all happen again.”

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