PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – His former player breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday, a milestone for LeBron James’ high school coach on Wednesday night. Duquesne’s Keith Dambrot became just the 76th coach in Division One history to reach 500 wins. Dukes beat George Mason 75-52 at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
“I think it will mean a little bit more to me once I’m done,” Dambrot said. “I just want to win as many games as we can and get these guys to get what they deserve.”
Dambrot mentioned what LeBron James and the others that played for him at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s HS in Akron. What they did for his career.
Dukes would force a shot clock violation on the first possession of the game, setting the tone for a solid defensive effort. Dukes forced 21 turnovers, holding a -13-0 edge in past break points. The Patriots shot just 37 percent for the game and held to their lowest point total of the season (also scored 52 against Auburn and VCU).
Duquesne guards Dae Dae Grant and Teven Brewer combined for 37 points on 13-20 shooting leading the offense. Picked to finish last in the Atlantic 10—Dukes are in the top half of the Atlantic 10 at 6-5 with a win this season over conference leading VCU.
The night belonged to the head coach.
“A loyal guy,” Grant said of Dambrot. “A loving guy, not just a coach but a mentor. He cares on and off the court. He plays a big role in our lives, that’s not only basketball. He cares about our academics, getting our degrees. He does more than just be a coach.”
“Coach is going to worry about you as a person, not just basketball,” Brewer said. “He’s going to always check up on your and make sure you are straight. He means a lot to me, he gve me a second chance to prove myself again on a bigger stage.”
“People ask me about LeBron getting the record last night and me getting 500 tonight, that’s a joke,” Dambrot said. “Those aren’t even comparable. That guy is a special human being. For me, it’s nice. We’re 16-8, let’s see where we could go from here. I think we can go pretty good, though.”
· 2nd most coaching wins at Duquesne since 1974, only Ron Everhart’s 99 are more.
· He and Everhart are also the only two coaches since Mike Rice, Sr. from 1978-82 with more wins than losses
· 5th on Duquesne’s all-time coaching wins list
· Adding up 500--40 at Tiffin, 48 at Ashland, 20 at Central Michigan, 305 at Akron, 87 at Duquesne
Duquesne hosts St. Bonaventure Saturday at 12:30p. You can watch the game on the USA Network.