DePaul vs. #10 Connecticut Game Preview

The Blue Demons quest for their first Big East win doesn't get any easier when the 10th ranked UConn Huskies arrive at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. #10 UConn Huskies – Saturday, January 13th, 1 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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Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

This Saturday the Demons welcome the 10th ranked Connecticut Huskies to Allstate Arena for an afternoon Big East match-up.

The Demons are now 0-4 in the Big East (6-10 overall) after falling to Seton Hall on Wednesday 78-67.

Meanwhile, the Huskies are coming off a 67-53 victory over Rutgers at home on Tuesday. The Huskies are now 2-2 in the Big East (13-2 overall).

Head Coach Oliver Purnell was a little frustrated that his team couldn't get over the hump on Wednesday.

"I felt like a game like last night could have been a turning point for us because we had been playing progressively better in the Big East," Purnell said on Thursday's Big East conference call. "I felt if we could get one here we could build some confidence and get something started. Well, we didn't get it and that's frustrating. But at every stop and everywhere I've been, it's been a process. You have to understand that it is a process. This is what I signed up for. So you have to push that frustration aside because UConn is coming to town. We're excited about that next challenge of facing UConn and of course their great player."

That player of course is the scintillating Kemba Walker. Walker, a 6-1 junior, who is second in the country in scoring with 25.2 ppg, is so hard to defend as he can breeze by you or shoot the open jumper with regularity. Walker can easily be this year's national player of the year.

As the old Dan Patrick adage goes: "You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him."

Don't be fooled though, UConn is no one-trick pony and they have other weapons.

To compliment Walker on the outside, UConn features the emerging Alex Oriakhi down low. Oriakhi, a 6-9 sophomore, is second in the Big East in rebounding with 9.5 RPG. Oriakhi is also third in the Big East in blocks, registering 2.3 a game while also scoring 10.9 ppg.

Complimenting Oriakhi and Walker is talented freshman Shabazz Napier. The 6-0 guard is third on the team in scoring with 9.3 ppg.

After losing Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson, Gavin Edwards and Ater Majok the Huskies were supposed to be a rebuilding group, but Walker has taken his game to a new level and enhanced the play of the several young players including freshmen Jeremy Lamb and Roscoe Smith.

Another interesting storyline to this game will be play of DePaul freshman Cleveland Melvin.

As you're probably aware, Melvin first originally verbally committed to UConn last fall, but instead opted out to play for Purnell and the Demons.

Purnell cannot be happier with the results that he has gotten from Melvin. Melvin tops the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) and field goal percentage (.548). Melvin also leads all Big East rookies in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.

"He's a talented young man," Purnell said of Melvin "Over the last two or three weeks he's really become comfortable with what we're doing offensively. He understands where he can get certain things done. He's doing a much better job at the point of our press. I think just gaining some experience he's been able to make the adjustment to our style and system. Just getting comfortable with that has allowed a very fine athlete to play well."

Saturday's game concludes a three game homestand for the Blue Demons. After Connecticut, DePaul will play at Marquette on Tuesday night.

The Last Time

On February 6, 2010 in Storrs, Connecticut, the Huskies defeated the Blue Demons 64-57. DePaul senior guard Will Walker led all scorers with 24 points. Mac Koshwal was the only other Blue Demon in double-figures with 12 points and five rebounds.

Jerome Dyson led the way for the Huskies with 20 points. Gavin Edwards and Stanley Robinson contributed 10 points apiece in the winning effort for UConn.

UConn Roster

NO NAME HT/WT POSITION YR/CLASS HOMETOWN

21 Kyle Bailey 6-3/170 Guard SR Lancaster, N.H.

2 Donnell Beverly 6-4/190 Guard SR Los Angeles, Calif.

25 Michael Bradley 6-10/235 Center/Forward FR Chattanooga, Tenn.

4 Jamal Coombs-McDaniel 6-7/210 Forward SO Dorchester, Mass.

5 Niels Giffey 6-7/210 Guard/Forward FR Berlin, Germany

3 Jeremy Lamb 6-5/185 Guard/Forward FR Norcross, Ga.

13 Shabazz Napier 6-0/170 Guard FR Randolph, Mass.

35 Charles Okwandu 7-0/255 Center SR Lagos, Nigeria

10 Tyler Olander 6-9/225 Forward FR Mansfield, Conn.

34 Alex Oriakhi 6-9/240 Forward/Center SO Lowell, Mass.

22 Roscoe Smith 6-8/205 Forward FR Baltimore, Md.

23 Benjamin Stewart 6-5/205 Forward JR Denver, Colo.

15 Kemba Walker 6-1/172 Guard JR Bronx, N.Y.

1 Enosch Wolf 7-1/260 Center FR Goettingen, Germany


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