Duquesne Basketball is confirmed to have a three-game series for the 2023-24 season, with Nebraska as the event host. Who else is participating?
Last season was a breakthrough campaign for Coach Keith Dambrot and Duquesne Basketball. They won 20+ games for the third time in 43 years and were in contention for a top-4 spot with just one week to go in the Atlantic 10 regular season. And more importantly, the Dukes bring back almost everyone of importance and added a few newcomers as well.
So far, it’s unknown who the program will be playing in the non-conference among its 13 games. We do know three of them, as Duquesne will be taking part in the Nebraska MTE, hosted by the Cornhuskers. They’ll host all three of their games, while the Dukes will be hosting both Rider and Stony Brook as well. Here’s a closer look at how Duquesne matches up with each of them.
Although 16-16 doesn’t sound like much, that was easily the best season for the Cornhuskers in the Coach Fred Hoiberg era. They did lose two key players (Derrick Walker and Sam Griesel) but returned sharpshooter, Keisei Tominaga. It’ll be up to Dae Dae Grant and Tre Clark to not let him go off. The team also added Bradley forward Reink Mast and will hope that former Iowa guard Ahron Ulis can run the offense. The Cornhuskers are going to be a tough road game for Duquesne no matter what but compared to the game versus Kentucky last season, it’s a much more winnable game.
The Broncs were a surprise team in the MAAC last season, finishing second in the regular season standings. They lose star guard and leading scorer Dwight Murray Jr. but do bring back a pair of double-digit starters (Mervin James and Allen Powell). There’s a lot of size and scoring ability on the roster, especially with UMass transfer TJ Weeks joining the fold. It’ll be interesting to see whether Rider becomes more of a threat from deep next year, as they ranked in the bottom 10 nationally both in 3PT attempts and makes.
Stony Brook Seawolves
The program finished at the bottom in the first season in the Colonial Athletic Association but does have some hope going forward. They not only return leading scorer Tyler Stevenson-Moore but also 7’1 center and former Stanford player, Keenan Fitzmorris. Plus, 6’6 wing Andre Snoddy and his ability to produce double-doubles will make Stony Brook a formidable program inside. If they can find some more scoring punch on the perimeter, they’ll be an upset candidate next season.
On paper, Duquesne should be able to beat both Rider and Stony Brook. But both teams are better than the usual “buy games” that typically turn into blowouts. If the Dukes want to have any postseason hopes, they’ll need to take care of business. And while Nebraska is better than last season’s DePaul squad, they took will be a good litmus test for what potentially is an A-10 contender in 2024.