DePaul vs. Illinois State Game Preview

DePaul travels to Normal, Illinois on Sunday afternoon to meet the Illinois State Redbirds in an intra-state non-conference battle. We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (7-4) vs. Illinois State Redbirds (6-5) – Sunday, December 22nd, 3:35 p.m. Central – Redbird Arena, Normal Illinois

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Game Preview

Note: the starting time for this game has changed to 3:35 p.m. Central time.

This is the first time in 17 years that the Blue Demons and Redbirds will face each other. Sunday's game is the first of four straight road games for DePaul after having played five games in a row at home.

DePaul has actually fared well in non-conference road games under coach Oliver Purnell. The Blue Demons haven't lost a non-conference road game since December 8, 2010 when they fell at Indiana State.

ISU coach Dan Muller is trying to figure out just what he has with a young crop of players this season. The Redbirds lost their top six scorers from last year.

ISU boasts a win over the 25th ranked Dayton Flyers at Redbird Arena this season. Junior guard Daishon Knight led the way for the Redbirds on that night with 20 points.

Knight is ISU's leading scorer averaging 14.5 points per game.

Sophomore guard Zach Lofton averages 11.3 ppg, but only shoots 29% from the floor.

ISU's fifth leading scorer, 6-10 freshman center Reggie Lynch, is questionable for Sunday's game after suffering a left ankle injury in the Redbirds' 64-58 home victory over Tennessee State on Thursday night.

Without Lynch, ISU would be really thin in the frontcourt.

If DePaul wants to pick up their fourth straight win, they can exploit that weakness by pounding the ball inside to Cleveland Melvin the way they did on Wednesday night against Houston Baptist.

"We've got continue to focus, be ready, be aggressive and hit teams from the start on the road," said Melvin.

"I feel like we've got something to build on going into Illinois State," said Purnell. "We've been on the road once now at Milwaukee. I thought we took a business trip approach to that and went up and played pretty good. We've got to do the same and use that experience."

For DePaul, Jamee Crockett will likely be out after spraining his right knee last week.

The Last Time

On December 4th, 1996, Illinois State prevailed over DePaul by a score of 75-50 in the Missouri Valley Conference/Conference USA Challenge in St. Louis, Missouri.

ISU head coach Dan Muller, who was a junior for the Redbirds, racked up four rebounds, three assistants and two steals in that contest.

Illinois State Roster

No. Name Ht./Wt. Pos. Class Hometown/Last School

0 Keane, Kaza 6-1/185 Guard SO Ajax, Ontario/Pickering HS/Christian Faith Center Acad.

1 Lee, Paris 5-11/165 Guard FR Maywood, Ill./Proviso East HS

3 Knight, Daishon 6-1/175 Guard JR Baltimore, Md./Odessa College (Odessa, Texas)

4 Hunter, Bobby 5-10/190 Guard RS JR Reno, Nev./Santa Fe College (Gainesville, Fla.)

5 Samuel, Jamaal 6-9/200 Forward SO New Orleans, La./South Plains College (Lubbock, Texas)

10 Jones, John 6-9/260 Forward JR St. Michael, Barbados/Garrison Secondary School/The Howe (Ind.) School

11 McIntosh, MiKyle 6-7/230 Forward FR Pickering, Ontario/Pickering HS/Christian Faith Center/22ft Acad.

12 Wills, Tony 6-3/185 Guard FR Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis HS

15 Zeisloft, Nick 6-4/185 Guard RS SO LaGrange, Ill./Lyons Township HS

22 Lynch, Reggie 6-10/230 Center FR Edina, Minn./Edina HS

23 Lofton, Zach 6-4/200 Guard SO St. Paul, Minn./San Jacinto College (Pasadena, Texas)

24 Hawkins, Deontae 6-8/215 Forward FR Dayton, Ohio/Dayton Dunbar HS/Quakerdale Promise Acad.

25 Middlebrooks, Michael 6-9/210 Forward JR Seattle, Wash./North Idaho College (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)

31 Stacho, Matt 6-1/180 Guard SO Naperville, Ill./Naperville North HS


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