Blue Demons and Badgers to Scrimmage

On Dec. 5, 1979, Dick Vitale announced his first basketball game for ESPN. The game was DePaul versus Wisconsin at old Alumni Hall in Chicago. 33 years later, the Blue Demons and Badgers will meet again this weekend. This time it will be for a closed scrimmage. Coach Oliver Purnell talks more about the matchup in this report.

DePaul and Wisconsin will be familiar with each other. The two teams faced each other last year in a closed scrimmage at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago. The Blue Demons know what they will face in Bo Ryan's Badgers.

"It helped us tremendously last year and I'm sure it will this year," said Purnell. "Bo does a great job. They're going to be a sticky halfcourt kind of a team.

Wisconsin led the country in scoring defense last year at 53.2 points per game and will present a challenge to the Blue Demons offense.

"They're going to be a big, strong team and certainly bigger and stronger than anything we face in practice", Oliver said. "So those are two things that we will run up against. I thought it really helped us get off to a great start last year. Just to be able to play versus that kind of competition and that style, and I think it will do the same this year.

Under NCAA rules, schools are permitted to play another Division I team in a closed scrimmage in lieu of an exhibition game. The scrimmage is not open to the public. Nobody other than players, coaches, managers, and officials are allowed to attend the scrimmage. It is closed to all media and no score or statistics are released.

The Badgers are coming off a 26-10 season where they lost to top-seeded Syracuse by just one point in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

Wisconsin returns four starters from last year's team. They lose star point guard Jordan Taylor, but gain an impact freshman in 6-7 small forward Sam Dekker.

Following the Wisconsin scrimmage, the Blue Demons will return to McGrath-Phillips Arena for an exhibition game against the Lewis University Flyers on November 3rd.

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