Men’s basketball’s Weathers thriving in second season at DU

 

Alyson Lorefice / Staff Photographer |
Weathers prepares to shoot a free throw during
the second half of Duquesne’s game against
Dayton on Jan. 29 at PPG Paints Arena. 

James Leo | Staff Writer

Feb. 13, 2020

In his second year with the Dukes, junior Marcus Weathers is having a career year. He leads the mens team in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, and even averages a block and a steal per game.

His field goal percentage, 57.8%, is the 31st best in the NCAA. This is quite impressive since there are more than 350 Division I schools, with around 10-12 players on each
team (around 4,000 total Division I players). He also has the 32nd best PER (player efficiency rating) in all of Division I.

Weathers showed signs of stature early in his collegiate career. As a freshman at Miami (OH), he saw action in all 32 of their games. He averaged 9.7 points and six rebounds per game, and had 15 double-digit scoring games.

Between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Weathers transferred to Duquesne. In his first season at Duquesne, Weathers improved on his freshman campaign, averaging 10 points, six rebounds and a block per game.

Currently, he is fresh off what could possibly be his best game as a Duke. In an important road win against Saint Louis, Weathers scored a game-high 26 points, and corralled nine rebounds against an aggressive Saint Louis team.

This isn’t the first time Weathers has had a great game against Saint Louis — he tallied 26 points and five rebounds against the Billikens on Jan. 2. In addition to these two
notable games, he has also led the team in scoring in seven of their last 10 games, and has five 20-point games this season.

His stellar play hasn’t gone unnoticed by Head Coach Keith Dambrot.

“He’s in better shape,” Dambrot said. “He’s finishing better around the rim; he’s more confident. I think the best is yet to come for him.”

Although Weathers has improved tremendously to this point, Dambrot has big hopes for the future.

“He’s going to have some bad moments, but as we get him in better shape and add to his game, he should be like Draymond Green; that’s really who he should be,” Dambrot said. “He should be able to make the outside shot, he should be a good passer, he should be able to defend one through five. He’s not all the way there yet, but if he takes as big of a jump as I think he can, I think
he’s capable of taking as big of a jump to the next level if he gets it right. And most of it is conditioning-based.”

Weathers also believed better conditioning was the reason for his improved play.

“I would say my conditioning is one of the biggest things, and just my overall confidence,” Weathers said. “I feel like I’m super confident in my abilities this year. I just go
out there and try to play as hard as I can.”

It is obvious from his play that Weathers is following Dambrot’s plan.

“Just like Coach Dambrot says, it all starts in practice,” he said. “We try to practice as hard as we can, and usually when you practice hard and you work hard, the end result is the end result. We’re going to keep that recipe and keep it moving for the rest of the season.”

Two more stats that should be noted are that Weathers leads the Dukes in traditional three-point plays, with 15, and dunks, with 25.

A true sportsman, Weathers credits his teammates, his coach and himself for being in the right place at the right time.

“It’s just a combination of everything,” he said. “I think it’s a combination of raw strength and raw athleticism. The right plays also set everything up, and I’m usually in the right position to get those and-ones.”

Weathers admitted that the Saint Louis win meant a little more than most wins.

“Everybody’s feeling good about the win,” he said. “It was really big for us to show that we can win on the road, especially in a big environment like that. The biggest thing was
we matched their physicality and rebounded just as well as they did.”

But, he and his teammates make sure to keep themselves grounded. A great example of this was when teammate Mike Hughes stopped by to ask Weathers some questions.

“I said it earlier, we have the funniest team in the country,” Weathers said. “We have a fun group of guys, and we just have fun with it. He [Mike] is a great example of that comedy we have.”

Weathers and the Dukes will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 16, against Fordham. Duquesne defeated Fordham in a tough match back in January, 58-56.

The end of the season is always tough, but it appears the Dukes are taking it one game at a time, which will hopefully assist them in finishing the season strong.

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