DePaul vs. St. John's Game Preview

The Blue Demons travel to the Big Apple to take on the St. John's Red Storm on Wednesday night.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. St. John's Red Storm – Wednesday, February 23rd, 6 p.m. Central – Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY

Television – WCUU "The U Too" Chicago

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

With DePaul (7-19, 1-13) playing their best basketball in conference play to date, the schedule, however, did them no favor as they play the Big East's hottest team in the St. John's Red Storm(17-9, 9-5) this Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, New York.

Riding a hot streak in which they have won four straight, and six out of their last seven games, St. John's finds themselves in the Top 25 for the first time in more than a decade. After beating another top 10 team Pittsburgh on Saturday 60-59, the Red Storm now rank #23 in the AP poll, while checking in at #25 in the ESPN/USA Today's Coaches poll.

Under new head coach Steve Lavin, the Red Storm are riding high and are looking to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2002. The Red Storm are a well-balanced veteran group that rosters a whopping nine seniors. The Red Storm are currently in a tie for fourth place in the Big East standings with Louisville, and would love to preserve a double-bye in the Big East Tournament.

Leading the veteran Red Storm squad is 6-2 guard Dwight Hardy. Hardy is simply on fire of late, and has claimed the Big East Player of the Week for the last two weeks. In wins over Marquette and Pittsburgh this past week, Hardy averaged 23.5 points, 4 steals and 3.5 rebounds. It was Hardy's acrobatic layup that won the game in the last seconds against Pittsburgh. On the year, Hardy averages 17 points and has led the team in scoring for the last seven games.

Two other players score in double figure for the Red Storm as 6-7 forward Justin Brownlee scores 12.3 points per game, while 6-5 guard/forward D.J. Kennedy chips in with 10.5 points. Kennedy also leads the team in rebounds with 5.5 per game.

This game will be a stark contrast in personnel, as DePaul relies heavily on freshman (DePaul gets 43.4 percent of their scoring from freshmen Cleveland Melvin, Moses Morgan and Brandon Young) while the Red Storm get the bulk of their scoring from their seniors. In Big East play, the scoring from the aforementioned freshmen rises to 52.4 percent of DePaul's scoring.

However, making a mark for himself of late is junior Jeremiah Kelly. Kelly has also been on a tear recently, which culminated in him earning a spot on the Big East weekly honor roll for the first time ever. Last week Kelly averaged 24 points to go along with 4 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 3 assists while shooting .550 from three-point territory (11-20).

It has been Kelly's play and leadership that have been vital to DePaul's most recent success. The Blue Demons finally ended their 25-game Big East losing streak with a win at Providence last Thursday behind 23 points from Kelly.

Kelly was at it again on Saturday as the Demons gave Villanova all it could handle in a 77-75 overtime loss. Kelly nailed seven three pointers en route to a career high 25 points.

Ever since being routed by Notre Dame on February 3rd, the Blue Demons have basically been in every Big East contest. Aside from winning the game at Providence, DePaul's last four Big East defeats have been by an average of 5 points. So, you can see the improvement taking shape under the watchful eye of head coach Oliver Purnell.

DePaul may have no business wining the game at St. John's, but they are serving notice that they will not be a pushover, and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

The Last Time

In a triple overtime thriller, St. John's managed to ruin DePaul's Senior Day festivities for the second straight year as the Demons fell 90-82 to the Red Storm at Allstate Arena.

D.J. Kennedy led all scorers with 32 points. He was scorching hot from beyond the arc with seven of nine on three point field goals.

Three others finished in double-figures for the Red Storm. Guard Paris Horne scored 20, Anthony Mason, Jr. contributed with 14 points, and Burrell finished with 10.

Four players reached double-figures for DePaul. Mac Koshwal scored 23 points along with 11 rebounds to complete a double-double. Junior guard Mike Stovall had a splendid shooting night scoring 19 including five of six from three point territory and managed three steals. Kelly scored 13 and dished out nine assists. While Walker finished with 10 points in his final appearance at Allstate Arena.

St. John's Roster

No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. EXP Hometown/High School/Previous School

3 Malik Boothe SR Guard 5-9 184 3V Queens, N.Y./Christ the King

32 Justin Brownlee SR Forward 6-7 219 1V Tifton, Ga./Chipola (Fla.)

24 Justin Burrell SR Forward 6-8 244 3V Bronx, N.Y./Our Savior Lutheran/Bridgton Academy (Maine)

42 Kevin Clark SR Guard 6-2 204 2V Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore

15 Dele Coker SR Forward/Center 6-10 257 3V Lagos, Nigeria/South Kent (Conn.)

35 Cameron Edison JR Guard 6-1 170 Carson, Calif./Rolling Hills Prep

5 Sean Evans SR Forward 6-8 259 3V Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast

12 Dwight Hardy SR Guard 6-2 196 1V Bronx, N.Y./John F. Kennedy/Indian Hills C.C. (Iowa)

23 Paris Horne SR Guard 6-3 189 3V Middletown, Del./Bridgton Academy (Maine)

1 D.J. Kennedy SR Guard/Forward 6-5 214 3V Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley

0 Dwayne Polee II FR Forward 6-7 193 H.S. Los Angeles, Calif./Westchester

10 Quincy Roberts RS SO Guard 6-5 196 1V Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg

45 Alex Smart SO Forward 6-6 195 H.S. Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek

31 Malik Stith SO Guard 5-11 184 1V Hempstead, N.Y./East Mecklenberg (N.C.)/Bridgton Academy (Maine)

55 Rob Thomas RS SR Forward 6-6 247 3V Harlem, N.Y./South Kent (Conn.)

30 Jamal White SO Guard 6-4 202 Tr. Roosevelt, N.Y./Roosevelt/LIU


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