Friar Basketball

David Duke Shows Expanded Offense in Win Over NJIT

Duke NJIT Friars.com

When Providence’s offense exploded for 106 points in an opening night win over Sacred Heart earlier in the week, the impressive stat line of David Duke went under the radar.

Duke kicked off his sophomore campaign with 11 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and zero turnovers in 28 minutes. He shot an efficient 4-8 from the field, 1-1 from 3, and 2-2 at the free throw line.

In Saturday’s 76-47 victory over NJIT, the Friar offense looked nowhere near as crisp, but as a result, there was no overlooking another terrific outing from Duke.

The Providence native made 8-13 shots from the field, and scored a career high 21 points. He hit 3-5 from beyond the arc and flashed a smooth mid-range jump shot on two occasions. Duke’s big night also included five rebounds, five assists, a pair of blocked shots and a team high +32 rating.

Duke shined in the second half. While no other Friar made more than one field goal in the games’ final 20 minutes, Duke connected on 6-8 shots and scored 15 of his 21 in the second half. This outburst included a pair of 3-pointers and a loud finish on an alley oop from Luwane Pipkins.

Ed Cooley has to be encouraged with his team’s start to the 2019-20 season. The Sacred Heart victory saw great ball movement leading to 16 made 3-pointers. On Saturday, it was Duke leading the offense combined with a suffocating defensive effort that led PC to pull away in the second half.

NJIT went the final 8:30 of the first half without a field goal and shot just 32% from the field, while being limited to 5-26 from long range (19%). Providence scored 25 points off of NJIT turnovers and did not allow a fast break point.

On a night when Pipkins struggled (1-10 from the field, 0-5 from deep) and AJ Reeves was limited to just three field goal attempts due to foul trouble, it was Duke, Alpha Diallo, and Maliek White leading the charge offensively.

Diallo made just one of his six 3-point attempts, but shot 5-7 inside the arc in finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds — marking the second double double of the season for the Big East’s leader in that category a year ago.

White looked terrific in this one, making 4-6 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers and powering through a defender for a strong and-1. White has scored 21 points through two games this season, and serves as a reminder of this team’s newfound backcourt depth.

While both Sacred Heart and NJIT would not be considered marquee opponents by most Friar followers, both are legitimate contenders to win their respective leagues.

The same cannot be said for Providence’s next opponent, Northwestern.

It is hard to believe that it was only two years ago that Northwestern was a darling of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, knocking off Vanderbilt before giving a scare to #1 seed Gonzaga in round 2.

The Wildcats look to be anything but a tournament team this season. They dropped their season opener on Friday night to Merrimack College — a school playing in just its second game at the Division 1 level. Merrimack opened its season by being blown out, 84-64, by lowly Maine.

Northwestern lost its top three scorers from a season ago — a team that finished 13-19.

Providence will travel to Chicago to take on Northwestern on Wednesday night in the first road game of the season for PC. The game will be part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, a series that had a lot of promise when it was first announced, but has done little to add opponents of note to the Friars’ schedule.

A year ago, PC was not part of the Gavitt Games. The year prior they lost to a Minnesota team that was ranked 14th at the time, but eventually bottomed out. Providence fell to a so-so Ohio State team in 2016 on the road, and snuck by a relatively average Illinois group (60-59 behind Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil) in the second game of the season in 2015.

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    November 10, 2019 at 2:08 am

    I was disappointed when our friars dropped from #2 to #4 when Jimmy Walker led our team. I graduated in 1966. Dave Gavitt took over a team from Joe Mullaney, nobody liked including team members, games were played in the gym, John Thompson set the all time season scoring record in front of me, Alumni Hall…
    The NIT was the tournament. The NCCA was for losers. Dexter Westbrook, Bob Kovalski, our ambassador to the Vatican and former Boston mayor, guess who, and his New Jersey guard, guess who, led us to our final four!
    Who remembers?

  2. Tom kaput

    November 10, 2019 at 2:12 am

    Who scored 52 points in Madison Square garden? Who coached BC when Jimmy Walker waited out the clock for the last shot for our win?

  3. Tom kaput

    November 10, 2019 at 2:17 am

    What was Bob Kovalskis scoring average when he played for Hatfield academy, attended by less than 50 students an beat the biggest school in Boston?

  4. Anonymous

    November 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    1..Ray Flynn and Vin Erns
    2. Jimmy Walker and Bob Cousy
    3. Don’t remember

  5. h

    November 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Although the NIT was a much more highly regarded tournament than it is today, it still was regarded as second to the NCAA tournament! By a long shot!

  6. Vincent Tracy

    November 11, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Walker was the greatest Do smooth and such a great stroke He had it all Tough to defend He could post you up or hit the jumper especially from the top of the key One of the bestbi ever have seen

  7. Jim Sweeney

    November 11, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Yes. BY the 1950S the NCAA was clearly superior. I graduated from Providence in 1965. In 1963 Providence won the NIT and Loyola of Chicago won the NCAA. There was much popular sentiment at least in southern New England for the two teams to play but Loyola had nothing to gain and was not interested.

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