DePaul vs. UIC Game Preview

The Blue Demons open up the 2014-15 men’s basketball season with the crosstown rival UIC Flames at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Friday night at 9:00 p.m. Central. We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. University Illinois-Chicago Flames – Friday, November 14th, 9:00 p.m. Central – McGrath-Phillips Arena, Chicago, Illinois

Note the game is immediately following the DePaul women's game vs. Texas A&M which begins at 6:30 p.m. Central.

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Radio – WIND AM 560 (DePaul broadcast) & WMVP AM 1000 (UIC Broadcast)

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Game Preview

It’s been almost five years since the Blue Demons and Flames last met on the basketball court. This will be the first meeting between the two crosstown rivals under UIC coach Howard Moore.

Moore is beginning his fifth year at the helm of the UIC program and has accumulated a record of 39-87.

There was quite a bit of turmoil at UIC in the offseason. Two of Moore’s assistant coaches were let go and replaced with Deon Thomas and Jeremy Buttell.

One might bill this game as the Rodney Dangerfield Classic, because neither team is getting much respect. Both DePaul and UIC have been projected for last place in their respective conferences.

Moore took his team up to Canada in the offseason for a foreign tour. The Flames went 3-2 on their trip north of the border and gained some valuable experience.

UIC defeated Beloit 70-54 last week in their one and only exhibition game.

From the looks of the Canadian tour and the Beloit game, Moore is relying heavily on his upperclassmen.

Gabe Snider has been UIC’s sharpshooter. Snider led the Flames in scoring on their foreign trip at 14.4 points per game despite being a role player last season.

Senior Marc Brown, who averaged 11.3 points per game last season, and junior forward Jake Weignand (averaged 11.3 ppg and 2.8 rebounds per game last year) will both figure prominently for UIC this season.

The Flames will be without the services of freshman Lance Whitaker and senior transfer Jay Harris. Both were suspended for three games each for a violation of team rules.

If a newcomer is to emerge for UIC, it might be Tai Odiase. The freshman big man from Homewood-Flossmoor scored eight points and blocked seven shots in the win over Beloit.

The Blue Demons will have to improve on the defensive side of the ball after letting the Lewis Flyers shoot 51.9 percent from the floor in DePaul’s exhibition win last week.

DePaul is expecting UIC to be fired up for this game given the local rivalry.

“There’s no love lost between the two teams,” DePaul point guard Billy Garrett, Jr. said. “I think we’re going to come in and give you guys something to be proud of. We have what it takes to be successful.”

“It’s a rivalry that we look forward to,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell told WSCR radio. “Those games are always great. It’s the first time we’ve played UIC since I’ve been here. It’s going to be interesting. A lot of these guys know each other. You know how it is when teams are from the same city and play each other for bragging rights.”

The Last Time

On December 13, 2009, thanks to the efforts of senior guard Will Walker on the perimeter, sophomore forward Devin Hill on the inside, and sophomore guard Mike Bizoukas on the defensive end, the DePaul Blue Demons extinguished the UIC Flames 77-56 at Allstate Arena.

In a battle of crosstown rivals, Walker surpassed the 1,000 point career mark for DePaul on a 3-pointer early in the second half as he led the way for DePaul with 18 points including four of seven from beyond the arc. Walker also contributed with five steals, seven rebounds, and three assists.

Devin Hill, starting at the center position, got his interior game going with 12 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks.

Michael Bizoukas chipped in with five points, eight assists, nine rebounds, and three steals.

Sophomore guard Jeremiah Kelly contributed with 11 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Only two Flames finished in double-figures as DePaul held UIC to 32.7% from the field. Robo Kreps led UIC with 18 points. Sophomore guard Zavion Neely finished with 11 points.

UIC Roster

2014-15 UIC MEN’S BASKETBALL NUMERICAL ROSTER

No. Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Year Hometown (High School/Last College)

0 D’Juan Miller 5-8 170 PG Jr. Kent Wash. (Kent-Meridian/Eastern Arizona College)

1 Marcus White 5-9 155 G So. Chicago, Ill. (De La Salle)

2 Gabe Snider 6-4 185 G Jr. Chicago, Ill. (Whitney Young)

4 Lance Whitaker 6-4 200 G RS-Fr. Bartlett, Ill. (Bartlett)

10 Marc Brown 6-4 210 G/F Sr. Dallas, Texas (Woodrow Wilson)

11 Paris Burns 5-11 165 G Jr. Chicago, Ill. (Proviso East/Vincennes)

14 David Ramon 6-7 205 F Fr. Madrid, Spain (Virgen de Atocha)

20 Jason McClellan 6-9 240 F Jr. Fort Collins, Colo. (Poudre/Eastern Wyoming College)

21 Tai Odiase 6-9 210 F/C Fr. Flossmoor, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmoor)

22 Jay Harris 6-1 170 G TR-Gr. Aurora, Ill. (Oswego East/Wagner)

23 Jay Parker 5-10 170 PG Sr. Harvey, Ill. (Thornton/Highland C.C. [Ill.])

32 Hans-Christian Lauer 6-7 210 F So. Klein-Winternheim, Germany (Cannon School (N.C.))

33 Ahman Fells 6-5 190 F Sr. Chicago, Ill. (Simeon)

34 Markese McGurie 6-3 200 G So. Elkhart, Ind. (Memorial)

40 Jake Wiegand 6-8 235 F Jr. Herndon, Va. (Fishburne Military Academy/Chantily)


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