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Duquesne Year In Review: The Post Players


Darius Lewis celebrates something in Atlantic 10 first round game vs Saint Louis. via @24nicolefrancis

For those who might be new to my Duquesne writing, following every season, I do a player by player run down for all of the returning players. For those who are familiar with my Duquesne writing, I plan to do it a little differently this year in that I will create one post per position group as opposed to one per player. Today, I’ll look at the post players. Tomorrow, I’ll look at the wings and Friday I’ll look at the guards.

Darius Lewis (Sophomore)

If we’re going to start with the bigs, we might as well start with the biggest of the bigs. Of course, Lewis isn’t as big as he used to be as the Kentucky center slimmed up heading into the season on a diet prescribed by Director of Basketball Operations, Danny Lawson. I would presume it consisted of tofu, nuts, berries and some bacon to provide that sense of irony every millennial desires.

What He Did Well

Lewis is a considerably better post defender than he was when he took over the starting role at the end of the non-conference schedule. He’s staying on his feet longer, going straight up when he does, and as a result he’s fouling less. He’s also doing a better job stepping out on the “zone buster.” On the other side of the floor, he looks old school with his preferred shot being the hook. The touch still isn’t there as he only rolling in about half, but it’s a nice weapon for a man of his size to own.

Areas to Improve

Lewis still doesn’t have one “tool” that I would particularly call polished. The biggest area for concern is with his hands and rebounding. The Dukes will need him to rip down boards next year or clear space for the guards to get to them. He doesn’t always use his size to his advantage on the glass. His defensive footwork also needs work as he’s still taking baby steps when defending inside. In general, his finishing needs to get better and I’d love to see him get to a point where he’s comfortable facing the basket.


Lewis is still raw, but loaded with upside. He has the work ethic and competitive spirit to get there in my opinion at least on the defensive end. I would expect he keeps his starting job until either his development stalls or someone takes it from him. Either way, he will eat 15-25 minutes a game and the team will be better for it.


L.G. Gill (Sophomore)

Gill had an up and down season where he got off to a hot start against weaker competition before going ice cold against a better-than-expected middle of the non-conference schedule. Like his freshman season, he picked up his game at the end of the year giving us hope that he might be on the verge of truly breaking out.

What He Did Well

Gill got progressively better at rebounding and defending this season. He lost his starting job early on because the offense was not there to offset his shortcoming on defense. Both have improved from looking completely lost to being the stronger defensive wing when he’s out there with Jeremiah Jones. Gill went from overly reliant on the three pointer his first season to mixing it up inside and out for the better part of year two. He set excellent screens and made life easier for his teammates.

Areas to Improve

As long as Gill is still a four, he needs to get better at securing rebounds and he will really need to pick up some of the slack left by the loss of Dominique McKoy. Gill needs to get more physical on the glass and on the defensive side of the ball. He also needs to gain confidence in his ability to drive the basket and get to the rim. At times, he misses the extra pass and settles for the jump shot.


Gill feels like a more ideal fit for Jim Ferry at the four than McKoy and I think he will take the reigns without the team missing a beat. He has a great three point stroke and an arsenal of ways to finish. In the end, he has the offensive tools to become a high volume player in the post, but he needs to gain the confidence that he can be that type of player.


Jordan Robinson (Redshirt Freshman)

Jon Rothstein’s preseason prediction that Robinson would become a 12 – 8 guy this season may have gotten the creative juices flowing among Duquesne fans that inflated expectations to where they overlooked any need for development and ignored the rust created by an entire year away from competitive basketball. Like most young big men, he was not the finished product many anticipated and he clearly needed time. Robinson has excellent hands and touch around the basket for a big man. It’s not surprising that people would immediately notice those strengths and overlook some flaws

What He Did Well

Robinson finished at a high rate around the basket and got to the free throw line consistently. He showed some strong post moves. He was one of the teams better offensive rebounders and at times looked dominant on the defensive glass. Against opposing centers, he got in a good position to deny the post.

Areas to Improve

For a player of his size, I’d like to see him play a little more physically. He also needs to get better all around on defense and rebound more consistently. On the offensive side, he needs to adapt to the speed of the college game and make quicker decisions and explode towards the basket when attacking.


Robinson will never be “the guy” on a good team as some may have expected, but he could be an excellent third or fourth piece on a championship caliber team in this league. He has the potential for solid not spectacular play at both ends. Whether Duquesne fans agree or not, he’s still a work in progress.


Ty’sean Powell (Freshman)

It was easy to watch Powell at times this season and forget he was a freshman. At others, you knew full well what he was.

What He Did Well

Powell uses every inch of his 6′-6” frame and long wing span. Duquesne hasn’t had a freshman post player man that aggressively attacked the basket the way Powell did since Damian Saunders. Powell has good touch with his left hand and good on the ball skills for a freshman forward. He showed strong vision at times. As the season progressed, he showed signs of being an explosive rebounder as well.

Areas to Improve

Powell took risks. Sometimes, they paid off. Sometimes, not so much. He needs to get better at reading plays and avoid the tunnel vision he seemed to have. While you don’t want him to lose his edge, you want him to dial it back a little. Powell flashed a mid range jumper, but using it more consistently could go a long way.


The sky is the limit for Powell in college basketball. He needs to make the transition to power forward and that might not be as easy as it sounds. His sophomore year will likely be another up and down season, but I’d expect him to assert himself after that.


The Dukes will have an oddly constructed lineup next year with a veteran back court and still raw front court. The guards could carry them through a weak non-conference schedule, but the development of the bigs will determine how far this team goes in the league and in the postseason.

Steve is a naturalized yinzer hailing originally from just north of Allentown, PA. He came to Pittsburgh to attend Duquesne University and decided to stick around after graduation. Steve is best known for his contributions to Duquesne hoops community as the owner of the Duquesne Dukes forum on Yuku and as the former editor of We Wear the Ring on the Fansided network. He is an avid Pirates fan, home cook and policy nerd. He is the co-founder of the Point of Pittsburgh. Easily irritated by people who misuse the word regress.