Getting to know you

Pittsburgh Catholic College was founded Oct. 1, 1878, by Joseph Strub and the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. The school seated 40 students and featured six faculty members.

The name was changed to Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost in 1911, and shortened to its current name in 1935. The school name was chosen in honor of Ange Duquesne de Menneville, the French governor of New France who built Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh in 1754.

The governor was a Marquis. The school thought a Marquis dressed similar to a Duke, and the nickname "Dukes" was adopted.

The school is the world's only "Spiritan" university; the "Spiritans," or the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, is a Catholic group of priests, brothers and associates.

Remember us?

When the Arizona Wildcats last played Duquesne, in the 1987 Great Alaska Shootout, they had the greatest offensive game in school history.

The UA scored a school-record 133 points on Nov. 27, 1987, against the Dukes.

Their 54 field goals - on 84 attempts - is a school record to this day.

The blowout victory - by 55 points - was one of the largest in UA history. The Wildcats have won only four games by more than 55 points; the largest differential came in a 118-54 win against Robert Morris in 1996.

The Wildcats went on to win the Great Alaska Shootout in 1987.

The UA had lost its previous three meetings to Duquesne, once a national power, in 1947, 1948 and 1950, before winning 24 years ago.


For a small school - it has about 10,000 students - Duquesne has a significant athletic history, especially when it comes to racial integration.

The school's first African-American athlete, from 1916 to 1918, was Charles Cumbert, who led the basketball team in scoring. He later changed his name to Cumberland Posey and became the manager and owner of the legendary Homestead Grays, a Negro League baseball team. Five years ago, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Duquesne also claims Charles Cooper, the first black player drafted by an NBA team. In 1950, Cooper was picked by the Boston Celtics, whose owner, Walter Brown, said: "I don't give a damn if he's striped or plaid or polka-dot; Boston drafts Charles Cooper of Duquesne."


"All these teams are coming East to West, Midwest to West. I know these guys." - UA coach Sean Miller, after giving a brief scouting report on the Wildcats' next opponent, Ball State

They were good

How good was Duquesne in the 1950s? They still own the Atlantic 10 Conference record for the most weeks ever ranked, all-time, in the AP Top 10. The Dukes were ranked 36 straight times from 1953 to 1956.

The Dukes were ranked No. 1 by both the AP and UPI polls for the last two weeks of February 1954.

They won the 1955 National Invitation Tournament behind All-Americans Dick Ricketts and Sihugo Green; in 1955 and 1956 they became the first pair of college teammates to be drafted first overall in the NBA draft in consecutive years.


You might remember Mike Talley's dad as a player on the Michigan teams during the "Fab Five" era.

The Duquesne sophomore's namesake was Michigan's "Mr. Basketball" who played from 1990 to 1993 on the Wolverines.

The big number


Duquesne shot 19 percent from three-point range, making only 4 of 21 attempts. "I was just disappointed we didn't shoot the ball better," Dukes coach Ron Everhart said.

Patrick Finley