DePaul vs. West Virginia Game Preview

The Blue Demons return home to take on the Mountaineers of West Virginia in their first Big East conference game of the season at Allstate Arena.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. West Virginia Mountaineers – Tuesday, January 4th, 8 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television – WCUU in Chicago – The U Too

For viewers watching with an antenna, the over-the-air digital position will be WCIU-TV 26.5 and 26.6. The U Too will also be available on analog WCUU-CA, Channel 48. Cable subscribers will see The U Too on Comcast 248, RCN 35 and WOW 170.

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Game Preview

How does a team that won the Big East tournament and appeared in the Final Four last year get to 0-2 in the Big East conference? That's the question I keep asking about West Virginia. The Mountaineers hadn't lost two straight Big East conference games since 2002. They've now dropped two straight, at home to St. John's and on the road at Marquette.

West Virginia (8-4, 0-2) lost three starters from that Final Four team. Da'Sean Butler, Wellington Smith, and Devin Ebanks have all moved on. Still this is a team that was picked for fifth place in the Big East in the preseason.

Returning from last year are junior forward Kevin Jones (13.5 ppg.) and junior point guard Truck Bryant (12.9 ppg.). Jones was named to the Big East All-conference team in the preseason. Bryant scored a career-high 25 points in the Marquette loss.

Senior guard Casey Mitchell is leading WVU in scoring with 16.8 ppg.

Rebounding has plagued the Mountaineers in their two Big East losses. They were outrebounded by an average of 10 boards in the two games.

Rebounding has been an issue for DePaul (6-8, 0-2) as well, but in a reversal of fortune the Blue Demons outrebounded Georgetown by a 39-36 margin in Saturday's 86-75 loss to the Hoyas.

The Mountaineers have recently shifted away from their 1-3-1 defense they used last year and showed a 2-3 matchup zone in the loss at Marquette. DePaul has struggled from beyond the arc and will have to get their perimeter game going at home if they see a lot of zone on Tuesday night.

Things got physical when WVU came to Allstate Arena last year and that hasn't changed one bit with Bob Huggins' squad.

"They are a very physical team," Purnell told WSCR Radio. "They want to run their five out motion offense. They want to make you chase a little bit, but they want to take it right back to the basket. They set a lot of perimeter screens. They'll roll all their players into the post and particularly their big guys. They're definitely looking to post up their three man as well as their four and five guys, who are huge."

Notes:

- DePaul freshman Cleveland Melvin was named Big East Rookie of the Week for the second straight week after averaging 26.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in road games at Cincinnati and at ninth ranked Georgetown last week. The Baltimore native achieved career-highs of 24 points at Cincinnati and 29 points at Georgetown. The 6-8 forward shot a combined .625 (25-40) from the field in the two games.

- DePaul recently announced that former Blue Demon Terry Davis will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame on January 23rd. Davis' 1,534 career points rank eighth all-time in DePaul history. The 6-4 guard helped lead the Blue Demons to NCAA tournament berths in 1990-91 and 1991-92, and to the third round of the NIT in the 1989-90 season.

The Last Time

The Mountaineers came into Allstate Arena in January of 2010 ranked ninth in the nation. They walked out with a 62-46 victory.

DePaul senior guard Will Walker led all scorers with 17 points on six of 12 from the field.

West Virginia was a balanced team that featured four players in double-figures. De'Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks, Wellington Smith, and Truck Bryant all finished with 14 points apiece for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

25 Darryl Bryant G 6-2 195 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.

15 Craig Carey G 6-2 160 r-So. Morgantown, W.Va.

14 Noah Cottrill G 6-3 195 Fr. Logan, W.Va.

20 Jake Ferguson F 6-6 190 Fr. Summersville, W.Va.

41 John Flowers F 6-7 215 Sr. Waldorf, Md.

30 Danny Jennings F 6-8 260 So. Staten Island, N.Y.

5 Kevin Jones F 6-8 260 Jr. Mount Vernon, N.Y.

13 Deniz Kilicli F 6-9 270 So. Istanbul, Turkey

21 Joe Mazzulla G 6-2 200 r-Sr. Johnston, R.I.

3 Casey Mitchell G 6-4 220 Sr. Savannah, Ga.

34 Kevin Noreen F 6-10 235 Fr. Minneapolis, Minn.

32 Dalton Pepper G 6-5 230 So. Levittown, Pa.

12 Kenny Ross G 6-0 175 r-Fr. Furlong, Pa.

24 Kerwin Selby G 6-4 210 r-Jr. Bel Air, Md.

2 Cam Thoroughman F 6-7 235 r-Sr. Portsmouth, Ohio

4 Jonnie West G 6-3 195 r-Sr. Memphis, Tenn.


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