DePaul Blue Demons (11-15, 2-11) vs. Connecticut Huskies (18-7, 8-5) – Saturday, February 23rd, 7:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – WCUU – The U Too Chicago, Big East TV Network
Radio – WSCR AM 670
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For the second time this year, the DePaul Blue Demons (11-15, 2-11) will be taking on the Connecticut Huskies (18-7, 8-5). This time the game is at home and DePaul will be looking for revenge after the Huskies easily defeated the Demons 99-78 back on January 8th in Storrs, Connecticut.
The Demons are coming off a disheartening 90-66 loss at the hands of the 11th ranked Georgetown Hoyas on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Connecticut is fresh off a 73-66 overtime win over Cincinnati on Thursday night.
With what the Demons already know from facing the Huskies already once this year, they know they have to contain the dangerous backcourt of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright to have any shot in this game. Both guards lead the Huskies in scoring, with Napier averaging 16.3 points (seventh in the Big East) and Boatright chipping in with 15.4 points (ninth in the Big East). Napier and Boatright are also both in the top 10 in the Big East in assists, with Napier averaging 4.6 assists per game (seventh) and Boatright dishing out 4.2 dimes per game. Napier scored 27 points in Thursday's win over Cincinnati.
Connecticut's backcourt feeds off each other and they are clearly the engine behind the Huskies' success. Also chipping in for Connecticut is freshman guard Omar Calhoun. Calhoun, who was recently named this week's Big East Rookie of the Week, is coming off a week where he averaged 15.5 points per game. For the season, Calhoun is averaging 11.5 points per game. Calhoun was hampered on Thursday night with a right wrist injury and did not score against the Bearcats.
For good measure, DePaul better keep a close eye on DeAndre Daniels again. Daniels scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Huskies drubbing of DePaul in January. For the year, Daniels averages 10.7 points per game and a team high 4.9 rebounds per game.
DePaul will be at home and looking for its second consecutive home victory after beating Rutgers 75-69 last Saturday.
While the Demons were outclassed in every facet of the game in their previous matchup with the Huskies, DePaul was playing without the services of starters Donnavan Kirk and Charles McKinney. The two of them have been playing better basketball of late-especially Kirk-and they could make a difference in the rematch. In his last four games, Kirk is averaging 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
As usual, though, the Demons will only go as far as Cleveland Melvin (16.2 points per game) and Brandon Young (16.7 points per game) can take them.
Be sure to follow Dan Stack on Twitter @Stacdemon
The Last Time
On January 8th, 2013 in Storrs, Connecticut, UConn routed the Blue Demons 99-78.
DeAndre Daniels scored a career-high 26 points and snared eight rebounds for the Huskies.
Guards Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier scored 22 and 16 points respectively.
DePaul guard Brandon Young led all scorers with a career-high of 35 points. Cleveland Melvin chipped in with 18 points for the Blue Demons.
UConn outrebounded DePaul 49-29, including 19-10 on the offensive boards.
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
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