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RENE CASTRO-CANEDDY played a big role in Duquesne’s season-opening win against St. Francis, 80-70, Nov. 11. (Photos courtesy Duquesne Dukes)

:10—Stop the presses…Stop the presses…Stop the presses. Now hear this. Duquesne University basketball is back on the bluff. First year coach Keith Dambrot promised in his introduction to the Pittsburgh media, “If you’re not playing ‘D,’ you’re sitting next to me!” And the evidence was shown this past Saturday, Nov. 11, as the Dukes opened the season giving Coach Dambrot an out the gate victory over St. Francis of Brooklyn, New York. Despite a pause in the action from a phoned-in bomb threat and the very serious K-9s looking for it, the Dukes did most of the exploding, especially in the final ten minutes of the game. At the half, the 32-32 tie had you thinking things might be the same this season, but coming down the stretch the superior guard play of Mike Lewis, Torin Smith and Rene Castro-Caneddy proved to be too much Pittsburgh for the boys from the Apple, as Duquesne won, 80-70. Lewis, even with a poor shooting night, gives you visions of “Westbrook” and Smith is the real deal and gives you hardcore work. But it was high point man, Caneddy, with 22 on the night, who clearly reminded you of Earl “The Pearl” Monroe as he moved and grooved and snaked his way to the basket almost at will. Six-foot-five Eric Williams might be the best total package player on this new Dukes team. He shoots the three, dunks inside, rebounds, blocks shots and is true at the foul line. Jordan Robinson brings at 6’8” the mean and nasty inside. I’ve seen a lot of Dukes basketball and this looks like a good one, and the noise from the finally large and loud crowd supports that. But, it’s early. Stay tuned!


:09—Pittsburgh can be happy and take pride in knowing that homegrown talent and Pittsburgh Obama grad Darelle Porter Jr. represented well, and had it not been for early foul trouble, his beginning may have been different. The 6’5” rangy swingman finished with 11 points and was a difference maker. “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”

:08—Now you regular readers know that I will play the, “I am just sayin’ card,” so here’s this. With a student enrollment of over 10,000 students, is there not one African American female that can be on the dance team or a cheerleader for Duquesne? I am just sayin’! And while we’re playing that card, a little Mo-Town music every now and then won’t hurt the house…if you know what I mean.

:07—OK, OK, apparently there is a court system in Texas not afraid of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and running back Ezekiel Elliott will indeed serve the six-game suspension. My only question is, why they didn’t just swallow the pill and sit out the first six games. Clearly it’s going to hurt more now.

TARIN SMITH, one of two returning starters for the Dukes this season.

:06—Here’s to Mr. Ron Davenport, Pittsburgh and national businessman and legend, who by the way, gave me my start on radio with “Champions Live” sports talk show. He’s a weekly reader…so you know, he’s now in The Locker Room! (Truth be told, that takes The Locker Room from the basement to the penthouse.)

:05—You – Can – Not – Continue – To – Go – On – The – Road – And – Play – Down – To – The – Weak – Teams – And – It – Is – On – The – Coach! C’mon Steelers! (But yes, we still will win the Super Bowl!)

:04—Speaking of the Steelers, evidence today they were guilty of not getting the ball to Martavis Bryant more. All of a sudden they now have him in the game plan. I’m just sayin!

:03—Going on record, Patrick Ewing will make a great coach at Georgetown and his opportunity to be a head coach is long overdue.

:02—So you thought I would have nothing to say about Pitt losing to the worst team in the ACC. Well, you’re right. I have nothing to say! They got manhandled by a then-one win North Carolina team last Thursday, Nov. 9…crazy!

:01—Right now I know you’re looking for something to do so here ya go. It’s the second installment of the Fabulous Sensation Models. The Fall Fashion Fantasy at The Savoy, this Saturday, November 18, noon to 3 p.m. Featuring world class legend Kenny Blake, songstress, Flo Wilson, vocal Dream Girls star Savannah Wiggins, and special guests, boxing champion Chris “Nightmare” Stallworth, Warren Wilson – basketball legend and D.J. Shock – free parking – cash bar – Hors d’oeuvres – 50/50 – cash menu – $25 tickets – benefits Toys for Tots. Call Achieving Greatness Inc. at 412-628-4856 – limited first 100 seats – vendors in the house.



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