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The University News A Student Voice of Saint Louis University Since 1921

GAME DAY vs. Duquesne University Dukes 2/26/2011 Chaifetz Arena


SLU Billikens vs. Duquesne Dukes Saluting our troops Kyle Cassity, Junior, G

R

SAINT LOUIS

63.2

“I have a friend from kindergarten in the Navy, and I appreciate what he does and what all the troops do for us.”

Vs. DUQUESNE PPG

79.4

62.8

OPPONENT’S PPG

66.8

.437

FG%

.462

.320

3 PT%

.371

.658

FT%

.620

31.2

RPG

35.7

13.6

APG

18.4

13.1

Turnovers

13.2

Cory Remekun, Sophomore, F “It’s hard to imagine being 18 and going somewhere else and fighting, so it really makes me appreciate what they do.”

Brian Conklin, Junior, F

Ryan Giacomino / Photographer

“I have family friends who are over in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’m really proud to know that they are over there fighting for their country and representing their country, and I appreciate all that they do.”

Dwayne Evans has become a force on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. He currently leads the team in rebounds and blocks. He has scored 230 points for the Billikens, shooting over 50 percent from the field. He is currently on a back-to-back double-double streak.

Dwayne Evans: Diamond in the rough By DERRICK NEUNER Associate Sports Editor

Ryan Giacomino / Photographer

“ I’d like to build [the program]

up and go to another NCAA tournament, and I think we will. I really do intend to stay here.

­ Rick Majerus, Head Coach of Saint Louis — Billikens on his future

“It seems like every time we come back [to the press room], we’re talking about Dwayne.” That was junior Kyle Cassity’s response to Dwayne Evans’ career-high 17 rebounds and 16 points against Chicago State, his fifth double-double overall, second straight and third in four games. And Cassity is right; over the month of February, Billiken Basketball has become Dwayne’s world. Consider the following: Evans is shooting 51 percent from the field (second best on the team to Brian Conklin), leads the team in rebounds (169) and blocks (17) and has accumulated 230 points thus far in the 2010-11 season. Only one freshman, Mike McCall, has more. Those numbers are exactly why head coach Rick Majerus brought the 6’5” forward to Midtown. However, none of the Billiken coaches expected him to see so much floor time. Circumstances out of their control gave Evans the opportunity to shine, and he has not looked back. Evans first caught the eye of associate head coach Porter Moser as a senior at Neuqua Valley in the Chicagoland area. There, Evans was building a résumé, averaging a double-double with 16.9 points, 12 rebounds and 3.2 assists, along with 73 blocked shots and

61 steals. He set his school’s career rebounding record with 737 and finished second all-time in scoring with 1,122 points, leading to an All-State mention. Though Evans was given an offer by Northwestern, Moser knew he had found a hidden gem and was fast on the pursuit. “He checked so many boxes for the kind of student-athlete we want to recruit here,” Moser said. “One, Dwayne always had a knack to rebound. He’s always around the ball, wherever it may be. Some people have that feel for where the ball will go. He’s long and athletic. I look at the Atlantic 10 Conference, and there are a lot of big guards in the league. I envisioned him being able to be a long guard in our league. He had the worth ethic, high character and is a great student.” A commitment to the Billikens would also mean a commitment to a major change in Evans’ game. Majerus moved Evans’ from the 2-3 position to the 3-4, which meant more time as a power forward instead of the wingguard as was intended. While the transition was tough, Moser says he is impressed with Evan’s growth. “Things are starting to click for him,” Moser said. “Early on [in the season], you’re thinking so much, you know, ‘where do I have to be,’ ‘what’s my guy doing,’ ‘what was the scouting.’ He’s starting to know what we want defensively, and it’s becoming second

nature. Dwayne’s one of the best at applying during the game what we gave him during practice.” Moser explained that when Evans arrived at SLU, he did not charge up the lane like the coaches instructed. Instead, he bowed out, avoiding contact. Now, Moser says, the freshman is taking the contact, playing “bodying up-bodying in” style ball, getting to the rim and drawing fouls. The statistics do not lie. Evans has taken 87 free throw shots (only Conklin has taken more); he has made 53 of them. Majerus echoed Moser’s pleasure at Dwayne’s maturation following his team’s romping of Chicago State. “Dwayne has really done a good job of understanding that criticism is constructive, and you move forward by addressing those situations,” Majerus said. “He has a level of understanding that the other freshman haven’t found yet.” For his hard work and quick adaptation, the Atlantic 10 Conference awarded Evans the Freshman of the Week award for the week of Feb. 21-28. Moser said he believes he might have found an All-Conference freshman, a diamond in the rough. “He’s right up there with the best in the league,” Moser said. “He makes plays that get you the win, and I love guys like that. I love recruiting guys that can do different things to help you win a game. And I think people recognize the effort he gives.”

Paul Eckerle, RS Junior, G “I personally am, and I know the Billiken Basketball team is, very grateful for the service of our armed men and women overseas and are very grateful for their selfless gift.”

Ryan Giacomino / Photographer

“I thought our defense was keeping us in the game, even through we were throwing the ball all over the gym.

­ Porter Moser, Associate Head Coach of — Saint Louis Billikens on the team’s previous performance against the Dukes


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