A-10 announces MBB conference schedule

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | Duquesne’s Kevin Easley Jr. will look to help the team improve in conference action this season.

Luke Henne | Editor-in-Chief

Sept. 15, 2022

After ending the 2021-22 campaign with 17-consecutive losses against Atlantic 10 Conference opponents, the Duquesne men’s basketball program will get the chance to start with a clean slate this December.

Late last week, the A-10 released its conference schedule for the 2022-23 season. With a handful of newly hired coaches and talented rosters to compete with, Duquesne will look to take a step up after struggling to keep up a season ago.

The Dukes will open up conference action at Dayton on Dec. 28. The Flyers, who made it to the second round of last season’s National Invitation Tournament (NIT), have won 12 of the last 14 meetings against Duquesne, dating back to the 2015-16 season.

However, the Dukes have not lost an A-10 opener since 2018-19, winning the first conference in each of the last three seasons (two of the three came on the road).

Duquesne will then return to UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse for back-to-back home games against Rhode Island (Dec. 31) and VCU (Jan. 4).

Rhode Island is now led by Head Coach Archie Miller, a native of Beaver Falls, Pa., who coached at Dayton from 2011-12 to 2016-17 and Indiana from 2017-18 to 2020-21. The VCU contest will be a reunion game for Duquesne guard Tre Clark III, who spent the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns with the Rams.

After the two-game homestand, Duquesne will hit the road for three games against Richmond (Jan. 7), Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 11) and St. Bonaventure (Jan. 18). Richmond is a year removed from pulling off an upset over Iowa in the NCAA Tournament. St. Bonaventure — an NIT semifinalist in 2021-22 — has lost just two home games to Duquesne since the 2008-09 season.

Following two weeks away from home, the Dukes will welcome Fordham (Jan. 21) and Loyola of Chicago (Jan. 25) to town for another two-game homestand. Last season’s win at Duquesne was the first for Fordham since 2018. Loyola of Chicago — which is set to begin its first season in the conference — has appeared in three of the last four NCAA Tournaments, and made a run all the way to the Final Four in 2017-18.

Duquesne will then make a two-game trip to Massachusetts (Jan. 28) and George Washington (Feb. 4). The Dukes’ lone A-10 win in 2021-22 came at Massachusetts, but the Minutemen are now led by Frank Martin, who guided South Carolina to a Final Four in 2016-17. George Washington has won four of the last five head-to-head meetings with Duquesne, including a triple-overtime contest in Washington on March 2.

The Dukes will return to Pittsburgh for three-straight home games against George Mason (Feb. 8), St. Bonaventure (Feb. 11) and Saint Joseph’s (Feb. 15). Due to Covid-19-related cancellations and adjustments, the Dukes and Patriots have not met since Feb. 29, 2020. The Feb. 11 contest against the Bonnies will be televised nationally by USA Network.

Three of Duquesne’s final five games will be away from the fieldhouse.

The Dukes will play at Saint Louis (Feb. 18) and at La Salle (Feb. 22), while also closing out the regular season at Fordham (March 4).

Saint Louis has been selected to either the NIT or the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons, excluding the 2019-20 season, in which all postseason competition was canceled due to Covid.

La Salle is a decade removed from a run to the Sweet Sixteen in 2012-13, but the Explorers are now guided by coaching icon Fran Dunphy.

The Explorers will become the third Philadelphia school that Dunphy has coached. He took Pennsylvania to nine NCAA Tournaments in 17 seasons from 1989-190 to 2005-06, while also leading Temple to eight NCAA Tournaments in 13 campaigns.

While conference action does not begin until late December, non-conference contests are less than two months away. The Dukes will open the season on Nov. 8, when they welcome Montana to Pittsburgh.

Of Duquesne’s 13 non-conference games, just two will take place away from the fieldhouse.