Getting to know the players this winter

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics

Brentaro Yamane | Multimedia Editor

Dusan Mahorcic: Forward, Graduate Student, 6’10”

With 6-10 forward Austin Rotroff graduated, the next big man to potentially replace him is Dusan Mahoric. For Mahoric, Duquesne is his sixth school in six years. Last season, he played for Power 5 school North Carolina State in which he averaged 8.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 10 games. A knee injury abruptly was the reason why he only played 10 games last season. If healthy, with his stature and experience of playing Power-5 basketball, Mahorcic can be dominant on the court, whether it would be in the paint rebounding or putting up layups.

Jimmy Clark III: Guard, Senior, 6’3”

Clark showed his playmaking skills a lot last season as two of his heroic plays on offense landed him in the national spotlight. A game-winning, three-point basket against Ball State and a dunk against VCU were the plays that got him featured on SportsCenter, but those weren’t only accomplishments. Clark returns with the honor of being named 2023 Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team as he led the A-10 with 76 steals. He averaged 12.2 points per game last season while scoring in double digits 22 times. With a full year under his belt at Duquesne, the expectations for Clark are bigger than ever.

David Dixon: Forward, Sophomore, 6’9”

Dixon saw action in 27 games with six starts last season as a freshman. He was third on the team with 24 blocked shots and the more experience he has, the more dangerous he can be. With Joe Reece no longer on the team, someone must fill the position as a regular starter at forward and Dixon has the opportunity to be that guy. At 6-9, Dixon can use his length and size to his advantage.

Dae Dae Grant: Guard, Senior, 6’3”

Grant enters the season with 1,682 points and has a very good chance to reach 2,000 in his career. He was the only returning player to start every game last season, leading the team in points (511) and points per game (15.5), free-throws converted (89) and free-throw percentage (.873). His 94 3-pointers that he made last season were the third-most ever by a Duquesne player. When you watch Grant play, you see someone that plays calm, takes control and doesn’t let the little things bother him. Grant and Clark will return as a 1-2 punch in the Duquesne backcourt.

Tre Williams: Forward, Senior, 6’7”

Another Dukes player that has a chance to surpass a milestone is Tre Williams who enters the season 72 points away from 1,000 in his career. Williams’ play on the glass will be essential for Duquesne’s ability to generate possessions. He was second on last year’s squad in that category.

Halil Barre: Forward, Sophomore, 6’9”

Better known by his nickname, “Chabi,” health issues kept Barre out of all but 12 games last season. He made his presence felt in his Duquesne debut with six points and five rebounds in a road contest against DePaul. Last season, Barre grabbed a team-high six rebounds in only 10 minutes against Richmond. A well-known and well-liked player around campus, students, fans, and coaches want to see the best version of Barre.

Matúš Hronský: Forward, Sophomore, 6’8”

Hronský was another freshman that had significant playing time last season as he appeared in 19 games. He scored a season-high 13 points in the season opener versus Montana, but the coaches knew he could perform even better. Hronský’s last game was Feb. 8 of last season due to personal reasons, but he is expected to have an even better season with more recognition and praise. With his height, Hronský is considered a forward but can play anywhere on the court.

Andrei Savrasov: Forward, Graduate Student, 6’7”

Savrasov is a two-time transfer who bolsters a strong corps of big men. Over his past two seasons as a starter at Georgia Southern, Savrasov averaged 12.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Last season, he led the Eagles in points per game (14.3) and rebounds per game (7.8) . Even though a good chunk of players return for Duquesne this season, with the impressive resume that Savrasov has shown, it will be interesting to see if he’ll come off the bench or star. Either way, it was a good pickup for the Dukes.

Kareem Rozier: Guard, Sophomore, 5’9”

Dambrot called Rozier “the best leader on the team,” despite having never started a game. He is expected to be the first man off the bench once again this season. With strong ball-handling ability and lightning speed, Rozier is Duquesne’s best bet for a guard who can drive inside to make plays with his precise passing. Once he’s in tight, opposing defenses must be careful. Rozier had the second-best free-throw percentage on last year’s team.

Hassan Drame: Forward, Grad Student, 6’7”

Hassan and Fousseyni are twins from Bamako, Mali. Before they transferred to Duquesne, the Dukes coaching staff knew the twins well as both played for LaSalle last season. When the Explorers ended the Dukes season in March, both twins produced 8 points while Hassan recorded nine rebounds. He played all 34 games last season for the Explorers, starting in 26 of them. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 points per game. Big time players produce well against big time teams and that’s what Hassan did last season when he netted a season-high 17 points against then No. 16 Villanova.

Fousseyni Drame: Forward, Grad Student, 6’7”

Fousseyni was just as impactful at La Salle as his brother was. He led the Explorers in rebounds per game at 5.3. He has shown to be capable of explosive performances, such as when he put up 24 points and 13 rebounds against St. Joseph’s.

“The Turnover Chart”

Head Coach Keith Dambrot has never shied away from public shaming when it comes to drilling down fundamentals. He’s done drills where one player shoots free throws in front of the entire team. If he misses, the entire team runs a sprint. He’s taken this to a whole new level this year, with his introduction of “The Turnover Wall”. On the baseline of their practice court, every player has a color headshot printed and posted on the wall. When that player gives the ball away in practice, somebody tapes an 11-by-8-inch paper below their face with two big red letters; “TO”- for turnover. Here’s what Dambrot had to say about their newest tradition:

“We’ve been chucking it all over the damn gym. We’ve been trying to really work on making sure that we do a little bit better job with that. We put the pictures up there so they can’t hide from them. Now they’ve got their ugly mugs up there with their turnovers underneath them.”