DePaul vs. Notre Dame Game Preview

Saturday's game marks the 103rd meeting between DePaul and Notre Dame. While the Irish have won the last seven meetings, the game remains a rivalry between two Catholic schools. We hear from both coaches and preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (10-10, 1-6) vs. Notre Dame (17-4, 5-3) – Saturday, February 2nd, 1:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

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Game Preview

To have a chance in this one, DePaul will need to play intense halfcourt defense without any lapses. Notre Dame will patiently work the entire shot clock and make their opponents work extra hard on the defensive end.

"Notre Dame is one of the most solid teams in our league and in the country," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "They don't beat themselves. We've got to come back with that same defensive intensity and do a good job on the boards. Offensively, we clearly have to play better to beat them."

Former Glenbrook North big man Jack Cooley is leading the way for Notre Dame while averaging a double-double of 14.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. The Irish again feature Jerian Grant (12.7 ppg) and Eric Atkins (11.6 ppg) on the perimeter.

"They've got really good guard play," said Purnell. "They're a big physical team inside. They complement that with some outstanding outside shooters, so they're very balanced offensively."

The Fighting Irish have been going with a bigger more physical lineup since losing Scott Martin (7.9 ppg) to a knee injury last month.

"We are kind of reinventing ourselves, with Scott Martin down," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "I kind of like the rhythm we're finding here with some new guys in new roles."

While DePaul did play some zone defense earlier this week, it is their full court press that Brey is getting his team ready for.

"They were a little bit more in the halfcourt (vs. St. John's)," said Brey. "I think we have to be ready for that. The one thing though is at Allstate (Arena), they like to make it chaotic. I think we have to be prepared for them to trap, press, and make it chaotic."

While his team has owned the series with DePaul of late, Brey does see the matchup with DePaul as a rivalry game.

"It is a rivalry for us," Brey said. "Any time there is a lead-up to playing DePaul, people are talking about some of the DePaul games of the past."

The Last Time

On February 11, 2012, Notre Dame won its sixth straight game with a 84-76 victory over DePaul in South Bend.

The Blue Demons hit 14 of their 29 first half shots and finished nine of 16 from beyond the arc.

Irish junior center Jack Cooley scored 22 points, grabbed 14 boards, and had four blocks. Cooley missed just two of his 12 field goal attempts in 36 minutes.

Jerian Grant also scored 22 points and Eric Atkins finished with 14.

DePaul senior guard Jeremiah Kelly scored 17 to lead the Demons. Cleveland Melvin finished with 16 points. Jamee Crockett and Brandon Young had 13 apiece in the losing effort.

Notes:

DePaul is celebrating the inaugural Blue Demon Day on Feb. 2, 2013. DePaul is inviting all members of the university community-alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends-to come together and show how proud they are to be a Blue Demon.

On Blue Demon Day, DePaul will be hosting game-watches across the nation. Celebrate together on Blue Demon Day by participating in game-watches in the following cities:

Ahwatukee, AZ, Atlanta, Boston, Dana Point, Calif., Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Manhattan Beach, Calif., Minneapolis, Schererville, Ind., New York City, St. Louis, Washington, D.C.

Chicagoland alumni are invited to a pregame reception at Allstate Arena's Skyline Room to mingle with fellow fans and get in the Blue Demon spirit.

Notre Dame Roster

No. Name Ht./Wt. Pos. Yr. Hometown/High School/Last College

0 Atkins, Eric 6-2/182 Guard JR Columbia, MD/Mount Saint Joseph

1 Biedscheid, Cameron 6-7/186 Forward FR St. Louis, MO/Cardinal Ritter College Prep

2 Auguste, Zach 6-10/230 Forward FR Marlborough, MA/New Hampton School

4 Crowley, Patrick 6-3/195 Guard JR Los Gatos, CA/St. Francis

11 Sherman, Garrick 6-10/246 Center SR Kenton, OH/Kenton/Michigan State

14 Martin, Scott 6-8/218 Guard GS Valparaiso, IN/Valparaiso/Purdue

15 Katenda, Eric 6-9/222 Forward FR Paris, France/Sunrise Christian Academy (KS)

20 Burgett, Austin 6-9/214 Forward FR Avon, IN/Avon

22 Grant, Jerian 6-5/202 Guard JR Bowie, MD/DeMatha

24 Connaughton, Pat 6-5/212 Guard/Forward SO Arlington, MA/St. John's Prep

25 Knight, Tom 6-10/258 Forward SR Dixfield, ME/Dirigo

32 Brooks, Joey 6-6/223 Guard SR Houston, TX/Strake Jesuit College Prep

33 Broghammer, Mike 6-9/243 Forward SR Orono, MN/Hopkins

45 Cooley, Jack 6-9/246 Forward SR Glenview, IL/Glenbrook South


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