DePaul Blue Demons (10-11, 2-6) vs. Providence Friars (15-6, 5-3) – Saturday, February 1st, Noon Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – FOX Sports Networks, WPWR Chicago
Radio – WSCR AM 670
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Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, which has dropped their record under .500 for the first time this year (10-11, 2-6), the DePaul Blue Demons will look to get off the schneid as they host the Providence Friars (15-6, 5-3) this Saturday afternoon.
The Friars are coming off a 61-50 loss at Marquette on Thursday night and thus ending their five-game winning streak. After falling behind by 17 at half and down 19 early in the second half, the Friars used a 16-0 run to get back in the game, but ultimately succumbed to Marquette late in the game.
After losing to Seton Hall, 86-69, last Saturday, DePaul could still be without leading scorer Cleveland Melvin (suspension), frosh sensation Billy Garrett Jr. (illness) and defensive specialist Charles McKinney (ankle injury) since all—as of Thursday night—have uncertainty surrounding their return.
Melvin's case will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. Garrett Jr. was to see the doctor this week, but his status was unknown as of Thursday. As for McKinney, DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said on WSCR Radio earlier in the week his injury was somewhat significant and they will not push it until he is fully ready. He will likely be a game-time decision.
Providence has taken a nice leap forward in the new formation of the Big East while currently residing in fourth place in the conference. They are led by one of the conferences' (heck, maybe even country's) best guards in Bryce Cotton. If it wasn't for the heroics of Doug McDermott, Cotton would be making a strong case for Big East player of the year.
"We got to defend (Cotton)," Purnell said on his radio show this week. "(Providence) are very good offensively. They take advantage of mismatches. We can't turn the ball over at top of key. We have to defend their point guard and take much better care of the ball (than we did at Seton Hall)."
Cotton leads the Friars in scoring (20.5 ppg—which is second in the Big East)) and assists (5.9—which is tops in the Big East) and is the engine behind the Friars success. It's not just Cotton, though, as Providence also gets double-digit scoring performances from three other players in LaDontae Henton (13.6 ppg), Tyler Harris (13.1 ppg) and Kadeem Batts (12.9 ppg).
Henton (7.5 rpg) and Batts (7.5 rpg) can both battle under the boards as well and can be a load to handle down low.
Providence are vulnerable on the road having dropped three games away from their home court. In fact, Providence has only played in five true road games all year. After a short turnaround for Providence after playing at Marquette on Thursday, DePaul has to take it to them early and catch them napping in the 12 p.m. local start.
If the Demons have any ideas of moving toward the middle of the pack in the Big East, they can make that a reality with a statement win on Saturday. Hopefully, they are playing with close to a full deck.
The Last Time
On January 5th, 2013 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, the Blue Demons walked away with a 83-73 win over the Friars. Cleveland Melvin led all scorers with 23 points and nine rebounds. Brandon Young and Jamee Crockett added 15points apiece. Moses Morgan contributed coming off the bench with 10 points.
Bryce Cotton led the way for the Friars with 20 points. Kadeem Batts added 17 in the losing effort.
NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School
22 Ted Bancroft SR 6-6 215 Guard Marion, Mass./Bishop Stang High School '10
10 Kadeem Batts SR 6-9 245 Forward Boston, Mass./John McEachern High School '09
5 Rodney Bullock FR 6-7 215 Forward Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan High School '13
11 Bryce Cotton SR 6-1 165 Guard Tucson, Ariz./Palo Verde High School '10
33 Carson Desrosiers JR 7-0 250 Forward Windham, N.H./Central Catholic '10
3 Kris Dunn SO 6-3 197 Guard New London, Conn./New London High School '12
4 Josh Fortune SO 6-5 205 Guard Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan High School '12
21 Lee Goldsbrough SR 6-9 230 Forward Newcastle, England/Loreto Sixth Form College '10
25 Tyler Harris SO 6-9 215 Forward Dix Hills, N.Y./St. Benedict's Prep '11
23 LaDontae Henton JR 6-6 215 Forward Lansing, Mich./Eastern High School '11
13 Brice Kofane JR 6-8 210 Forward Yaounde, Cameroon/The Miller School '10
32 Junior Lomomba SO 6-5 195 Guard Montreal, Quebec/Madison Memorial '12
12 Casey Woodring FR 6-2 180 Guard Darien, Conn./Cushing Academy '13
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