DePaul Blue Demons (5-3) vs. Milwaukee Panthers (3-6) – Sunday, December 9th, 4:00 p.m. Central – Rosemont, Illinois
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Beads of sweat adorn the foreheads of the various Blue Demons strutting into McGrath-Phillips Arena after their afternoon practice on Friday Dec. 7th. Their body language presents a facade of fatigue that is instantly swept away when the eyes of those in attendance meet the determination exposed through the lens of the athletes.
A consistent work ethic along with strategic game plans are what Coach Purnell and the Blue Demons eagerly explained.
"It is important for the guys to constantly perform well and practice hard when preparing for a game," said Purnell. "At the same time practice is the place to make mistakes and from there perfect our skills and improve."
Improvements and facing upcoming challenges are viewed by the team as optimistic opportunities, particularly Sunday's matchup at Allstate Arena against the Milwaukee Panthers. DePaul enters this weekend's home game with only losing one game at home. This adds a boost of confidence heading into the game.
"Thus far we have played best at home and we hope Sunday will be no different," said Purnell.
To ensure consistency and solid game day play a recent alteration has been made concerning the starting line-up. Sophomore guard and local player, Charles McKinney has become part of the starting line-up and essentially takes on the role of defending the leading scorers on the opposing team.
Besides adjustments on the court, off the court improvements are also being made. Team morale and increasingly working upon team focus and improvement on basic skills remains critical.
"We are always working hard in practice and that is what is going to help us in this Sunday's game and upcoming matchups."
Confidence will serve as the main motivator heading into Sunday's game versus the Panthers as Coach Purnell and the Blue Demons work on new strategies while fortifying their consistent work ethic.
The Last Time
The Milwaukee Panthers shot an incredible 61.7% from the floor and a ridiculous 55% from three point range in their 87-76 win over the Blue Demons at Allstate Arena on December 5, 2011.
DePaul couldn't guard former Peoria Manual guard Paris Gulley, who shot seven of ten from the field and a perfect five for five from beyond the arc to finish with 19 points.
The Panthers had some balanced scoring with four players finishing in double-figures. Kaylon Williams led the way with 21 points. Tony Meier scored 20 and Ryan Allen chipped in with 11 points.
DePaul's Cleveland Melvin led all scorers with 27 points. Sophomore guard Brandon Young contributed with 20 points and freshman Jamee Crockett added 10 points off the bench.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (High School/College)
1 Jordan Aaron G 5-10 160 Jr. Bronx, NY (Wings Academy/Southeastern CC)
3 Kyle Kelm F 6-9 210 Jr. Randolph, Wis. (Randolph)
5 Joe Tagarelli F 6-6 200 Fr. Waunakee, Wis. (Waunakee)
10 Thierno Niang G 6-1 205 Jr. Dakar, Senegal (Bridgton Academy/Triton College)
14 Paris Gulley G 6-2 170 Sr. Peoria, Ill. (Manual/Southeastern CC)
15 Demetrius Harris F 6-7 230 Sr. Jacksonville, Ark. (Jacksonville/Mineral Area CC)
20 Mitch Roelke G 6-0 170 Jr. Waunakee, Wis. (Waunakee)
22 Evan Richard G 6-2 175 So. Kieler, Wis. (Cuba City)
23 J.J. Panoske F 6-10 225 Fr. Brodhead, Wis. (Brodhead)
#-25 Steve McWhorter G 6-2 185 Jr. Racine, Wis. (St. Catherine's/Indiana State)
33 Quinton Gustavson F 6-9 200 Jr. Racine, Wis. (Case)
34 Austin Arians F 6-6 200 Fr. Stoughton, Wis. (Madison Edgewood)
42 James Haarsma F 6-7 230 Sr. Racine, Wis. (St. Catherine's/Evansville)
44 Ryan Haggerty F 6-8 210 Sr. Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Benet Academy)
45 Christian Wolf F 6-9 250 Sr. Kohler, Wis. (Kohler/Florida Gulf Coast)
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