DePaul vs. Xavier Game Preview

The Blue Demons continue their three game Big East road trip with a visit to Cincinnati on Saturday to meet the Xavier Musketeers in a Big East Conference clash. We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (11-9, 5-2) vs. Xavier Musketeers (12-7, 3-4) – Saturday, January 24th, 11:00 a.m. Central – Cintas Center, Cuncinnati, Ohio

Television – FOX Sports 1

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

If there is one thing we know about the Xavier Musketeers it’s that they struggle on the road and are extremely tough to beat at home in the Big East.

Xavier’s record certainly reflects that. The Musketeers have yet to win a Big East road game and fell again at Providence on Thursday night. Yet, the Musketeers are undefeated at the Cintas Center this season.

Despite the road losses, Xavier’s RPI has remained high. The Musketeers are currently ranked 27th in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball ratings.

The Musketeers suffered a heartbreaking 69-66 overtime loss at Providence. Xavier only managed to score 20 points in the first half, but then rallied towards the end of regulation to send the game to the extra stanza. The Musketeers were trailing by nine with less than two minutes to play in the second half.

Meanwhile the Blue Demons are flying high following their upset of 24th ranked Seton Hall on Thursday night.

In their first meeting, back on January 3rd, DePaul matched up pretty well with Xavier as the Blue Demons secured a 71-68 victory. The key to that win for the Blue Demons was DePaul’s defense against Xavier’s frontcourt. DePaul held Matt Stainbrook and Jalen Reynolds to a combined 11 points in the win. If DePaul can do that again, they’ll be in great shape.

Xavier freshman Trevon Bluiett is a Big East Rookie of the Year candidate. He led the Musketeers with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds the last time the two teams met. Blueitt left last night's game late in regulation holding a towel over his right eye and did not return, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.

What makes Saturday’s game challenging for both teams is the short time between games.

“We’ve got a one day turnaround, fortunately Xavier does too,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell told WSCR Radio. “We’ve got to go to their place and it’s going to be another tough one.”

With the tight turnaround going into this game, you can expect both teams to look to their bench for more contributions. Xavier big man James Farr, who is from Evanston, was not available for the earlier game in Rosemont, but is now playing for the Musketeers.

The Last Time

On January 3rd, 2015 at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons defeated Xavier 71-68.

Thanks to some great performances from Billy Garrett, Jr. and Forrest Robinson, DePaul managed to pull off the upset of Xavier.

Robinson scored a career-high of 17 points on six of 12 shooting.

Garrett managed to rack up a double-double with 15 points and matched a career-high of 10 assists.

Xavier led by as much as nine points with 11:44 left in the first half. It was the Blue Demons defense in the second half that made the difference for them.

DePaul managed to really limit Xavier’s big men in the post. The Blue Demons held Musketeer center Matt Stainbrook to five points and forward Jalen Reynolds to six points.

DePaul was able to force 15 Musketeer turnovers.

DePaul senior Jamee Crockett scored 10 points and collected four rebounds. Myke Henry and Aaron Simpson added nine points apiece. Tommy Hamilton IV, who returned from a one game suspension, came in off the bench to contribute nine points.

Xavier was led by the play of freshman forward Trevon Bluiett, who finished with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Myles Davis chipped in with 14 points off the bench for the Musketeers.

Xavier Roster

No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)

10 Abell, Remy JR Guard 6-4 195 Louisville, Ky. (Eastern)

0 Austin Jr., Larry FR Guard 6-2 174 Springfield, Ill. (Lanphier)

5 Bluiett, Trevon FR Forward 6-6 215 Indianapolis, Ind. (Park Tudor)

32 Coker, Kevin JR Forward 6-6 200 Plainfield, Ill. (Plainfield South)

11 Davis, Dee SR Guard 6-0 170 Bloomington, Ind. (South)

15 Davis, Myles SO Guard 6-2 195 Plainfield, N.J. (Notre Dame Prep (Mass.))

2 Farr, James JR Forward 6-10 247 Evanston, Ill. (Maine Central Insitute (Pittsfield, Maine))

13 London, Makinde FR Forward 6-10 210 Nashville, Tenn. (Montverde (Fla.) Academy)

55 Macura, J.P. FR Guard 6-5 190 Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville North)

24 Mitchell, Andrew SR Guard 5-10 170 Louisville, Ky. (Danville Area)

54 O'Mara, Sean FR Forward/Center 6-10 247 Lisle, Ill. (Benet Academy)

3 Randolph, Brandon SO Guard 6-2 189 Inglewood, Calif. (Inglewood)

1 Reynolds, Jalen SO Forward 6-10 232 Detroit, Mich. (Brewster Academy (N.H.))

40 Stainbrook, Matt SR Center 6-10 270 Bay Village, Ohio (Lakewood St. Edward)

21 Stainbrook, Tim SO Forward 6-6 200 Bay Village, Ohio (Lakewood St. Edward)

4 Sumner, Edmond FR Guard 6-5 170 Detroit, Mich. (Country Day)

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