DePaul Blue Demons (2-1) vs. Wichita State (4-0) – Tuesday, November 20th, 6:00 p.m. Central – Cancun, Mexico
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Next up for the Blue Demons is a trip to Cancun, Mexico where they will face Wichita State in the Cancun Challenge tournament. The two teams will play in the center of a resort hotel ballroom in Cancun. Depending on the outcome of the semi-finals, DePaul will face either Iowa or Western Kentucky on Wednesday night.
Wichita State (4-0) represents DePaul's toughest matchup of their non-conference schedule. The undefeated Shockers may have lost four starters from last year's NCAA tournament team, but have picked up right where they left off last season. As of this writing, the Shockers are ranked 46th in the country in the Pomeroy RPI ratings.
Wichita State is getting the job done with defense this season. On the road at VCU last week, the Shockers held the Rams to their lowest point total since the 2010-11 season. Wichita State held VCU to 34.7% shooting from the field on their way to a 53-51 win.
If DePaul coach Oliver Purnell needs a scouting report on Wichita State, all he has to do is watch film of that game at VCU. The Shockers managed to disrupt the Rams' offense and forced VCU to play at a much slower tempo. They also handled the ball well against the VCU press.
DePaul is at their best when they get off to a good start at the beginning of games. That will be a huge key for the Blue Demons on Tuesday night. If they can get off to a solid start and dictate tempo, then they will have a chance to knock off the Shockers.
Following a blowout win over Austin Peay on Saturday, Purnell is relishing the challenge of some tougher competition in Cancun.
"I told our guys that the competition level over the next couple of games is going to step up and that's just what we need," said Purnell. "We beat Austin Peay, a team that we outclassed. Now we're going to go play Wichita State, which was a NCAA team last year. They've already gone to VCU this year and won. It's clear that they're a Big East caliber opponent, which is good for us. The next game will be the same. It will be either Western Kentucky or Iowa. Both of them are real good teams. It comes at a good time."
DePaul junior guard Brandon Young seemed confident that the Blue Demons are ready for the challenge the face in Cancun.
"There is going to be good competition there," said Young. "We're going to stick to what we do. We're going to do what Coach Purnell and the coaches want us to do. We're going to go out and fight hard for 40 minutes and come out with the win. "
DePaul sophomore Jamee Crockett went down on Saturday with a right knee injury. Crockett may be sidelined for an undetermined length of time. Right now the proposed starting lineup for Tuesday night is: Young, Cleveland Melvin, Donnavan Kirk, Charles McKinney, and Moses Morgan.
The Last Time
On March 17, 1988 in the first round of the NCAA tournament in South Bend, Indiana, DePaul defeated Wichita State 83-62.
Wichita State Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
2 Armstead, Malcolm G 6-0 205 Sr. Florence, Ala. (Chipola JC) (Central Park Prep HS)
31 Baker, Ron G 6-3 218 RFr. Scott City, Kan. (Scott City HS)
33 Bush, Zach F 6-6 175 Fr. Wichita, Kan. (Goddard Eisenhower HS)
20 Coleby, Kadeem C 6-9 251 Sr. Nassau, Bahamas (Louisiana-Lafayette) (Christian Life Center Academy)
32 Cotton, Tekele G 6-2 202 So. Marietta, Ga. (Whitefield Academy)
11 Early, Cleanthony F 6-8 215 Jr. Middletown, N.Y. (Sullivan JC)
1 Green, Derail F 6-7 199 Fr. Houston, Texas (Klein Forest HS)
22 Hall, Carl F 6-8 238 Sr. Cochran, Ga. (NW Florida St.)
0 Lufile, Chadrack F 6-9 251 Jr. Burlington, Ontario, Canada (Coffeyville CC)
21 Orukpe, Ehimen C 7-0 250 Sr. Lagos, Nigeria, (Three Rivers [Mo.])
23 Van Vleet, Fred G 5-11 190 Fr. Rockford, Ill. (Auburn HS)
3 Wessel, Evan G 6-5 201 So. Wichita, Kan. (Heights HS)
50 White, Jake F 6-8 232 So. Chaska, Minn. (Chaska HS)
15 Wiggins, Nick G 6-6 187 Jr. Toronto, Canada (Wabash Valley [Ill.] College) (Godby HS/Tallahassee, Fla.)
5 Williams, Demetric G 6-2 178 Sr. Las Vegas, Nev. (Cheyenne HS)
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