DePaul Blue Demons vs. Chicago State Cougars – Sunday, November 14th, 5:00 p.m. Central – McGrath Arena, Chicago, IL
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It's the official start of the Oliver Purnell era in Lincoln Park on Sunday evening. The Demons will welcome in cross-town rival Chicago State to McGrath Arena. Even Purnell is a bit jittery to get things started.
"We're excited about the start of the season, our first basketball game, my first ever game at DePaul as a basketball coach here," said Purnell. "I've got the pre-game jitters, because you don't know exactly what's going to happen, but at the same time, it's time to get started. I know our guys are anxious to get rolling. So let's get on with it."
When Purnell says he doesn't know what's going to happen, he means it. Chicago State (1-0), under first-year coach and former DePaul assistant Tracy Dildy is something of an enigma.
"I have no idea, my impressions are they are a mystery," said Purnell. "They have a brand new coach. The only thing I have to go by is some of the statements by their coach in the preseason about the way that they're going to play. They talked about uptempo, they talked about pressure and that kind of thing. They play on Friday, obviously we'll be looking for reports on that game. Up until this point, we really don't have a whole lot to go on."
The Blue Demons are hoping to bounce back after a 70-68 exhibition loss to the Lewis Flyers on Sunday. While Purnell took the loss in stride, there was one thing that bothered him.
"The thing I was most disappointed in in that game was we didn't make the kind of progress from week-to-week," said Oliver. "I think so far we've learned from that and we're all making some progress."
The DePaul players took immediate corrective action following the exhibition loss.
"We had a team meeting about it right after the game," said freshman point guard Brandon Young. "We talked about it. Anything that needed to be said, we said it right there. We decided that everybody was going to get in the gym and work hard."
The Blue Demons prefer to open the season on campus in the friendly confines of McGrath Arena before venturing out to Allstate Arena to play Western Carolina on Tuesday.
"This is by design," said Purnell. "We want to get our students involved. The best way we think to get them involved is to have them watch us early and have them get involved early on our home court here. Then hopefully we can take that same kind of enthusiasm with our students out to Allstate (Arena)."
The Cougars do return three starters from a team that finished 9-23 last season. Senior forward Carl Montgomery is the Cougars' top returning scorer. Montgomery averaged 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game last season. He was named First Team Preseason All-Great West for the second straight season. In Friday night's 79-75 win over Concordia, Montgomery scored his 1,000th career point. Montgomery finished with a double-double of 16 rebounds and 13 points and added three blocked shots. With three players on the roster with the last name of Montgomery (no relation), you could call this team the CSU Montgomery's.
Sophomore Victor Scott was the high-scorer for the Cougars on Friday night with a career-best 22 points.
Senior guard Christian Wall averaged 12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and three assists per game last year while being named to Second Team Preseason All-Great West honors. Wall chipped in with 18 points on Friday night for the Cougars.
The Cougars have been picked to finish fourth in the Great West Conference in the preseason coaches' poll.
That's a sign of respect for Dildy in his first year at the helm at CSU. So, what advice would a seasoned coach like Purnell offer up to a rookie coach like Dildy?
"I just think that it's real important that you smell the roses and enjoy the fact that you're a Division I coach and you're in this kind of competition," said Purnell. "I try to tell myself that because sometimes you can get caught up in being nervous or the pressure that you've got to win a game. You forget to enjoy the experience. Before the game in particular, you've got to smell the roses, it's nice to be here."
One person who isn't nervous for this opener is Young.
"I'm excited, there's nothing to be nervous about," Young said of his first collegiate start. "Coming in as a freshmen, I know that that there are high expectations to come in lead the team, play hard, and just play my role at that."
- This is the first of a three game series with Chicago State. The Blue Demons will host two of the three and will travel crosstown to CSU once.
- DePaul is 8-0 all-time against Chicago State.
- DePaul's Mike Stovall will be reunited with Sean Pryor, his former assistant coach at Mineral Area junior college. Pryor accepted an assistant's job at CSU this summer.
The Last Time
On December 6, 2006, the Blue Demons rolled to a 83-56 victory over Chicago State.
DePaul was led by junior Karron Clarke with 15 points. Sophomore forward Wilson Chandler contributed with 10 points and seven rebounds. Sammy Mejia and freshman Will Walker each chipped in with eight points.
The Blue Demons held CSU to 32.3% shooting from the field.
David Holston led the way for the Cougars with 12 points.
NO. NAME POS HT. WT. CL. HOMETOWN/PREVIOUS SCHOOL
1 Victor Scott G/F 6-3 195 So. Chicago, IL / Morgan Park
2 Steve Martin Jr. G 5-10 160 R-Jr. New Orleans, LA / Brother Martin
3 Jamill Harris G 5-10 165 Jr. Chicago, IL / Truman College
4 Brandon Hall G 6-1 180 R-Jr. Chicago, IL / Simeon
10 Joe Hill F 6-5 175 Jr. Chicago, IL / Carver
11 Ardarius Simmons G 5-10 165 Jr. Chicago, IL / Southeastern (IA) CC
15 Jonathan Montgomery G/F 6-4 215 Sr. Chicago, IL / Northern Iowa
20 Christian Wall G 6-1 185 Sr. New Orleans, LA / John Ehret
21 Carl Montgomery F 6-7 215 Sr. Chicago, IL / Shepard
22 Sean Montgomery F 6-6 225 Fr. Calumet City, IL / T.F. North
24 Antonio Lofton G/F 6-5 195 Sr. Chicago, IL / Parkland College
25 Archie Seals G 6-2 200 Sr. Chicago, IL / Thornridge
32 Quincy Ukaigwe F 6-8 200 So. Matteson, IL / Rich Central
35 Hajji Martin F 6-9 215 Sr. Chicago, IL / Morgan Park
44 Pawel Kielbasa C 6-10 240 Sr. Chicago, IL/Poland / Kennedy
DePaul vs. Chicago State Game Preview
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