DePaul Blue Demons vs. No. 24 Seton Hall Pirates – Tuesday, January 10th, 6:00 p.m. Central – Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
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As DePaul (10-5, 1-2) comes off an 87-71 loss at Villanova, they now find themselves making a quick turnaround, riding up the Jersey Turnpike to take on the resurgent Seton Hall Pirates (14-2, 3-1) on Tuesday night in Newark, New Jersey.
The Pirates are off to fantastic start and find themselves in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in 10 years, ranking 24th in this week's poll. After dropping their first Big East contest at Syracuse, the Pirates have reeled off three straight conference wins and have won 11 of 12 overall. On Saturday, the Pirates disposed of Providence 66-57 on the road.
Seton Hall gets outstanding contributions from a pair of seasoned seniors, while a blossoming sophomore also chips in.
One of those seniors is Herb Pope. Pope is a wide bodied beast at 6-8, 236 pounds and is a double-double machine. Pope leads the Pirates in scoring (17.9 points per game, good for sixth in the Big East) and rebounding (10.7 RPG, ranking second in the Big East). Jordan Theodore is the perfect complement at point guard, scoring 15.9 points per game while dishing out a Big East leading 7.9 assists per game.
This duo is arguably the Big East's best twosome, as the two have been through a lot and are enjoying the fruits of their labor. However, the Hall is not just Pope and Theodore.
Fuquan Edwin is also giving the team a boost, scoring 14.1 points per game, while leading the Big East in steals (3.19 steals per game). Edwin is coming off scoring a career high 24 points to go with nine rebounds, five steals at Providence.
As you can see, the Pirates are a well-balanced and disciplined team under the tutelage of second-year coach Kevin Willard. While DePaul has improved, they will have to bring their A game, as their press could be beaten by the heady play of Theodore. While DePaul forced a season-high 28 turnovers against Villanova on Sunday, they still were easily defeated while being outrebounded 45-23.
A major weakness for the Hall, though, is at the foul line. The Pirates rank 14th in the Big East in free-throw percentage with a .655 clip. So, it would be in the best interest for the Demons to make Pope earn his points. The health of Donnavan Kirk could be critical, as he Krys Faber and Derrell Robertson could help in defending Pope and using up their 15 fouls.
DePaul will need all the help from its terrific duo of Cleveland Melvin (18.9 PPG) and Brandon Young (17.1 PPG) to keep this game competitive. However, they may need more production aside from them, and that makes a player like Jeremiah Kelly, Moses Morgan and Jamee Crockett an integral part of the game plan.
To stay with Seton Hall, DePaul has to be smart with the ball and make a concentrated effort to rebound the ball better or this game could turn ugly real fast.
The Last Time
On January 12, 2011 at Allstate Arena, Jeremy Hazell poured in 23 points on 10 of 23 shooting to lead Seton Hall to a 78-67 win over DePaul.
Herb Pope contributed with 15 points before fouling out with 6:25 left in the game. Theodore Jordan contributed with 10 points for the Pirates.
DePaul freshman forward Cleveland Melvin led the Blue Demons with 21 points and nine rebounds. Melvin struggled with his shot in the first half making only three of 14 shots, but then came back nicely in the second half going five of seven from the field.
Freshman guard Brandon Young was the only other Demon to reach double-figures with 12 points.
Seton Hall Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
1 Theodore, Jordan G 6-0 174 Sr. Englewood, N.J. (Paterson Catholic)
2 Mobley, Brandon F 6-9 210 Fr. Savannah, Ga. (St. John's Military Academy)
4 Cosby, Aaron G 6-3 190 Fr. Louisville, Ky. (Northfield-Mt. Hermon)
10 Grennan, Sean G 6-2 170 Fr. Sea Girt, N.J. (Monsignor Donovan)
13 Karlis, Haralds G 6-5 185 Fr. Riga, Latvia (Canarias Basketball Academy)
14 Wilson, Freddie G 6-2 175 Fr. New Haven, Conn. (James E. Hillhouse)
15 Pope, Herb F 6-8 236 Sr. Aliquippa, Pa. (New Mexico State Univ.)
20 Snow, John G 6-1 183 Fr. Newark, N.J. (Montclair Kimberley Academy)
21 Teague, Gene C 6-9 290 RSo. Vineland, N.J. (Southern Illinois University)
22 Oliver, Brian G/F 6-6 226 RSo. Glassboro, N.J. (Georgia Tech)
23 Edwin, Fuquan G/F 6-6 205 So. Paterson, N.J. (Paterson Catholic)
32 Johnson, Kevin C 6-9 240 Fr. Compton, Calif. (William Howard Taft)
33 Auda, Patrik F 6-9 225 So. Brno, Czech Republic (Canarias Basketball Academy)
35 Dill, Peter G 6-3 200 Sr. Long Hill, N.J. (Koinonia Academy)
42 Geramipoor, Aaron F/C 6-11 255 So. Manchester, England (Canarias Basketball Academy)
DePaul vs. No. 24 Seton Hall Game Preview
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