DePaul Blue Demons (10-5, 1-1) vs. Connecticut Huskies (10-3, 0-1) – Tuesday, January 8th, 6:00 p.m. Central – Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, Connecticut
Television – WCUU – The U Too Chicago, Big East TV Network
Radio – WSCR AM 670
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Having gone 4-0 in true road games this season, DePaul faces their toughest road game of the season so far on Tuesday night.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie was recently awarded a five year contract extension in recognition of the start the Huskies have gotten off to in his first season taking over the helm from legendary coach Jim Calhoun.
When Ollie spoke to the local media today, he showed respect for the Blue Demons pressure defense.
"They have a belief in themselves and their coaching staff," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "They're playing their defensive pressure very, very hard. They feel very good about themselves."
The Huskies have had a week off to prepare for the DePaul press after getting stung in overtime at Marquette last week.
If there is one area that DePaul can exploit it's on the glass. The Huskies have a league-worst rebounding margin at minus 5.8 rebounds per game.
The Blue Demons will need to be wary of Shabazz Napier. The junior guard is one of four Huskies averaging double-figures this season. Napier is scoring an average of 17.5 points per game.
Aurora's Ryan Boatright is contributing with 15.8 ppg and told the Hartford Courant that he's anxious to play the DePaul press.
"I see a press, my eyes light up," said Boatright. "I call that layup city."
Freshman guard Omar Calhoun is making an impact bringing 10.8 ppg and sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels adds 10.1 ppg for the Huskies.
The Last Time
On March 6th, 2012, in the first round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, the Blue Demons succumbed to UConn in a 81-67 loss.
Buoyed by sizzling shooting from the three-point land in the first half (7-11 for 77.8 percent) and aggressive post play in the second half, Connecticut was simply too much for the undermanned Blue Demons on the day.
To DePaul's credit, they did make a valiant run in the second half cutting the Huskies 61-37 lead down to nine (70-61) with 7:19 to go after a Moses Morgan three pointer. Connecticut answered with a 6-0 run, punctuated by a Jeremy Lamb breakaway layup, which effectively put the game away.
Connecticut shot a healthy 53.4 percent from the floor and a scorching 61.5 percent from three-point territory on the afternoon. Conversely, the Demons were cold from the floor connecting on only 32.4 percent of their shots, although they were respectable from three-point land shooting 36.4 percent.
Lamb played more the part of a lion, as he scored a game-high 25 points on 10-18 shooting. Lamb and the Huskies' big bodies underneath were simply too much for the Blue Demons on the day.
It was nip and tuck in the beginning of the first half with neither team building a lead of more than five points until the Huskies took command in the final stages of the first half. The Huskies finished the half on a 27-18 run and led 46-33 at the break.
From the onset of the second half, Connecticut took it to the Blue Demons, extending their halftime lead to 24 points when Roscoe Smith drilled a three pointer with 14:58 to go. It was then that the Demons started whittling the lead with their full court pressure and timely three-point shooting.
DePaul was led by Moses Morgan and Cleveland Melvin, who both scored 19 points and keyed the second half run. Chicago area native Ryan Boatright chipped in 19 points for the Huskies.
NO NAME HT/WT POSITION YR/CLASS HOMETOWN
4 Brendan Allen 6-3/187 Guard SO Windsor, Conn.
11 Ryan Boatright 6-0/160 Guard SO Aurora, Ill.
21 Omar Calhoun 6-5/192 Guard FR Brooklyn, N.Y.
2 DeAndre Daniels 6-8/195 Forward SO Los Angeles, Calif.
12 R.J. Evans 6-3/210 Guard GS Salem, Conn.
5 Niels Giffey 6-7/205 Guard/Forward JR Berlin, Germany
13 Shabazz Napier 6-1/171 Guard JR Roxbury, Mass.
0 Phillip Nolan 6-9/203 Forward FR Milwaukee, Wis.
10 Tyler Olander 6-9/225 Forward JR Mansfield, Conn.
22 Leon Tolksdorf 6-8/220 Forward FR Berlin, Germany
1 Enosch Wolf 7-1/245 Center JR Goettingen, Germany
DePaul vs. UConn Game Preview
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