DePaul Blue Demons vs. Providence Friars – Thursday, February 17th, 8 p.m. Central – Providence, Rhode Island
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With a Big East record of 0-12 (6-18 overall) nothing is ever easy for the DePaul Blue Demons- especially on the road. Once again, the Demons will try to break into the win column as they head to New England for a Thursday night match-up with the Providence Friars.
The Demons will be playing a Friars' team that is also struggling in the Big East. At 3-9 in the conference (14-11 overall), Providence stands alone in 14th place. So, while the challenge may be steep enough, at least DePaul will have the luxury of trying to win a game against a team without any hopes of the NCAA Tournament.
With DePaul losing its last 25 straight Big East contests, and 29 straight games on the road, any win at this point would be monumental for the Demon's psyche.
Both teams are coming off humbling road defeats, with DePaul dropping an 82-71 decision at West Virginia on Saturday, while the Friars lost 75-57 the same day at Connecticut.
One thing going in Providence's favor is the fact that with a strong finish they can perhaps find their way into the NIT. And if Providence's senior leader Marshon Brooks has anything to do with it, he will want to do exactly that.
Brooks, the Big East's leading scorer (24.2 ppg), is a multi-talented guard/forward who can score in a variety of ways. Brooks is an efficient scorer (48.3 field goal %) who is adept at slashing to the hoop as well as hitting from deep (33.1 three-pont field goal %). Brooks is a big bodied player who also happens to lead the team in rebounding (7.5 rpg), which also ranks fifth overall in the conference.
In a lot of ways he plays a lot like DePaul former great Quentin Richardson. Some mock drafts project Brooks as a first rounder.
Besides Brooks, the Friars also boast two other double-digit scorers in 6-2 sophomore Vincent Council (13.4 ppg) and 6-4 freshman Gerard Coleman (10.4 ppg). Council is one of the more underrated point guards in the Big East, and leads the conference in assists (6.3 apg). However, according to one published report, Coleman is likely to be suspended for Thursday's game.
6-9 freshman Kadeem Batts and 6-9 Bilal Dixon round out the starting five and do most of their damage in the paint.
Providence is offensive minded team as they score 76.5 points a game, which places fourth in the conference. However, they only rank 13th in field goal percentage as they only shoot .428 from the floor as a team.
On the flip side, Providence is one of the weaker defensive teams as they rank 15th in scoring defense (72.4 ppg).
So, with DePaul's penchant for running the press while ranking last in the league in scoring defense (74.6), it's safe to assume this game might turn into a track meet.
It will be a game of tempos, and whoever establishes their presence first will have a leg up on the competition.
The Last Time
On January 14th, 2010 at Allstate Arena, the Friars spoiled Tracy Webster's debut as interim coach of the Blue Demons. Providence put on a second half spurt to roll past the Blue Demons 79-62 .
One bright spot for the Demons in the loss was the play of junior Mike Stovall. Stovall led all scorers with 30 points on 10 of 21 from the field.
Sophomore big man Krys Faber finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Providence finished with four players in double-figures. The Friars were led by 17 points off the bench from Marshon Brooks. Jamine "Greedy" Peterson finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Senior point guard Sharaud Curry contributed with 12 points, while center Bilal Dixon chipped in with 10.
NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School
10 Kadeem Batts FR 6-9 250 Forward Powder Springs, Ga./John McEachern '09
2 Marshon Brooks SR 6-5 200 Guard/Forward Stone Mountain, Ga./Tucker '07
41 Chris Carter SR 6-4 180 Guard Worcester, Mass./Shepherd Hill Regional '07
12 Gerard Coleman FR 6-4 180 Guard Boston, Mass./Tilton School '10
25 Bryce Cotton FR 6-1 165 Guard Tucson, Ariz./Palo Verde High School '10
32 Vincent Council SO 6-2 180 Guard Brooklyn, N.Y./Patterson School '09
15 Xavier Davis FR 5-11 170 Guard Smithfield, R.I./Smithfield '09
42 Bilal Dixon SO 6-9 245 Forward/Center Jersey City, N.J./Queen of Peace '08
4 Dre Evans FR 5-9 167 Guard Dallas, Texas/Carter High School '10
11 Ron Giplaye FR 6-6 230 Forward Lowell, Mass./Notre Dame Prep '10
21 Lee Goldsbrough FR 6-9 220 Forward Newcastle, England/Loreto Sixth Form College '10
55 Ray Hall SR 7-0 285 Center Denver, Colo./J.K. Mullen '06
13 Brice Kofane FR 6-8 205 Forward Yaounde, Cameroon/The Miller School '10
1 Duke Mondy SO 6-3 198 Guard Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central '09
53 Mike Murray FR 6-2 188 Guard Troy, N.Y./LaSalle Institute '10
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