DePaul Blue Demons vs. South Florida – Sunday, January 22nd, 1:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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As DePaul entertains the South Florida Bulls on Sunday afternoon in a Big East matinee matchup, the Blue Demons will be trying to break a four game losing streak.
After gaining their first Big East victory against Pittsburgh on January 5, DePaul (10-8, 1-5) has fell into a funk while displaying some of their old bad habits. Most recently, the Blue Demons dropped an 83-75 decision to Georgetown on Tuesday night.
While many feel this is a game for the taking, the Blue Demons should have their hands full with a Bulls' squad that is surprising many folks.
South Florida is tied for fourth in the Big East standings with a 4-2 mark (11-8 overall) and have some impressive wins on the year. The 4-2 mark through six games is USF's best start since they joined the Big East.
The Bulls have already knocked off Seton Hall at home while earning a demonstrative win at Villanova. On Wednesday, South Florida beat St. Johns at home by a score of 64-49.
The Bulls win with defense. South Florida ranks first in the Big East in scoring defense (57.7 points per game). Conversely, the Bulls rank last in the Big East in scoring offense (61.2 PPG). So, it is imperative for the Demons to get out on the break and score some buckets off the press to gain some momentum.
The Bulls are a solid, balanced squad as many players chip in in with Jawanza Poland's 11.1 points per game leading the team. Nine players average more than 15 minutes per game. The Bulls also get steady production from Gus Gilchrist (10.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG), Arizona St. transfer Victor Rudd Jr. (9.1 PPG), Ron Anderson Jr. (8.9 PPG and 5.9 RPG) and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (8.6 PPG and a team high 6.7 RPG.)
Freshman Anthony Collins is also emerging at point guard for the Bulls, averaging 5.8 PPG to go along with a team high 5.2 assists per game and 2.2 steals per game.
The key for the Demons is to come out aggressive and ratchet up their press and make this a track meet game as the Bulls are a good half court defensive team, which is one of DePaul's many weaknesses.
However way you slice it, this is an important game for the Demons as they would like to end a losing streak and gain some momentum that has been lost since the Pittsburgh game.
The Last Time
On February 26th, 2011 at Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons were defeated 86-76 by South Florida's inside strength.
With freshman forward Cleveland Melvin sidelined with a thumb injury, DePaul struggled in both the scoring and rebounding departments.
DePaul had no answer on the interior for USF big man Gus Gilchrist who racked up a career-high 32 points. When Gilchrist wasn't beating up DePaul's front line, Jarrid Famous was coming off the bench to do the same with 15 points.
The Bulls dominated on the boards with a 33-19 rebounding advantage in their first road win of the season.
In what was a physical game on the interior, DePaul had Krys Faber, Tony Freeland, and Jimmy Drew all foul out in the contest.
The Blue Demons had four players finish in double-figures. The DePaul freshmen carried the bulk of the scoring. Freshman guard Brandon Young led the way with 23 points. Moses Morgan came off the bench to score a career high 16 points. Junior Jeremiah Kelly contributed with 14 points. Tony Freeland, who was starting in place of Melvin, added 10 points.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
1 Ron Anderson Jr. F 6-8 237 RSr. Upper Marlboro, Md. (Kansas State) (McCallie School - Tenn.)
Martino Brock G 6-5 190 Jr. Memphis, Tenn. (South Alabama) (Maine Central Institute)
11 Anthony Collins G 6-1 180 Fr. Houston, Texas (Westbury Christian School)
25 Alberto Damour F 6-5 216 Sr. Poinciana, Fla. (Poinciana HS)
32 Toarlyn Fitzpatrick F 6-8 243 Jr. Tampa, Fla. (King HS)
24 Augustus Gilchrist F 6-10 235 Sr. Clinton, Md. (Maryland) (Progressive Christian Academy - Md.)
10 Mike McCloskey G 5-11 170 Jr. Orlando, Fla. (Lake Brantley)
15 Blake Nash G 6-0 190 So. Casa Grande, Ariz. (Williston State) (Fairfax HS)
22 Shaun Noriega G 6-4 197 Jr. Sarasota, Fla. (North Port HS)
Jordan Omogbehin C 7-3 291 Fr. Lagos, Nigeria (Atlantic Shores Christian Acad)
5 Jawanza Poland G 6-4 200 Jr. Wichita, Kan. (Hutchinson CC) (Wichita East)
34 Hugh Robertson G 6-6 200 Sr. Macon, Ga. (Tallahassee CC) (Northeast HS)
2 Victor Rudd F 6-7 221 RSo. Los Angeles, Calif. (Arizona State) (Findlay Prep (Nev.))
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