DePaul Blue Demons (11-11, 5-4) vs. No. 7 Villanova Wildcats (18-2, 5-2) – Saturday, January 31st, 1:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – FOX Sports 1
Radio – WYLL AM 1160
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The Blue Demons are coming off a three game road trip that is arguably the toughest stretch in their Big East schedule. DePaul went 1-2 on the trip, but do have an upset of 24th ranked Seton Hall to show for it. Things don’t get much easier on Saturday with seventh ranked Villanova coming to town.
The two teams met back on January 10th in a matchup that featured Villanova routing the Demons 81-64. Yet Villanova coach Jay Wright is telling his team to not judge the Blue Demons based on that game.
"We're not really taking much out of that game,” said Wright. “I think it's going to be a completely different game. We're approaching this like it's a new matchup."
In that first meeting, Villanova managed to keep the Blue Demon off kilter and away from what they wanted to do offensively.
"The last time we played them was kind of a strange game," stated Wright. "They were 3-0 and had been really hot coming in. They kind of looked in that game like we did (in a loss to) Georgetown. They were out of synch and we were hot at home. I don't think it was a typical game.”
DePaul was out of synch. The Blue Demons turned the ball over 15 times. Villanova was very physical with the visitors from DePaul. DePaul point guard Billy Garrett, Jr. turned in one of his worst performances of the year against Villanova. Garrett was held to seven points. That was mainly due to the job that Wildcat junior guard Dylan Ennis did while guarding Garrett. Ennis got physical with Garrett and the referees allowed it to happen.
Depending on how this game is officiated we could see a repeat of what happened in Philadelphia or we could see a game where DePaul is able to establish an offensive rhythm.
Villanova has been off since Sunday preparing for this game, while DePaul played at Providence on Thursday afternoon in a makeup game due to the blizzard that enveloped the Northeast this week.
Villanova is without a doubt the most balanced team in the Big East. You really have to do ‘pick your poison’ when decided how to guard the Wildcats.
The Wildcats have six players averaging between nine and 14 points per game. Darrun Hilliard averages 13.4 points per game. Ennis contributes 10.2 ppg. In the middle, Daniel Ochefu is scoring 10 ppg and grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game. Josh Hart chips in with 9.9 ppg. Jayvaughn Pinkston is tossing in 9.7 ppg and corralling 5.6 rebounds per game. Point guard Ryan Arcidiacono dishes out 4 assists per game and adds 9.2 ppg.
It doesn’t get much more balanced that that.
The Last Time
On January 10th, 2015 at the Pavilion in Villanova, Pennsylvania, the eighth ranked Wildcats defeated DePaul in a 81-64 rout.
Darrun Hilliard led Villanova with 21 points. Ryan Arcidiacono contributed with 14 points.
Jayvaughn Pinkston added nine points and six rebounds in the winning effort.
The Wildcats shot 53.6 percent from the floor and 44.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Tommy Hamilton led the Blue Demons with 12 points. Darrick Wood chipped in with 10 points.
No. Name Pos. Cl. (Exp.) Ht. Wt. Hometown High School
0 Henry Lowe Guard JR 5-11 185 New York, N.Y. The Dalton School
2 Kris Jenkins Forward SO 6-6 240 Upper Marlboro, Md. Gonzaga College High School
3 Josh Hart Guard SO 6-5 205 Silver Spring, Md. Sidwell Friends
4 Darrun Hilliard Guard SR 6-6 215 Bethlehem, Pa. Liberty
5 Phil Booth Guard FR 6-3 185 Baltimore, Md. Mount Saint Joseph
14 Darryl Reynolds Forward SO 6-8 225 Philadelphia, Pa. Lower Merion HS/Worcester Academy
15 Ryan Arcidiacono Guard JR 6-3 195 Langhorne, Pa. Neshaminy
20 Patrick Farrell Forward JR 6-5 200 Rockville Centre, N.Y. Chaminade
22 JayVaughn Pinkston Forward RS SR 6-7 235 Brooklyn, N.Y. Bishop Loughlin
23 Daniel Ochefu Forward JR 6-11 245 Baltimore, Md. Downingtown East
25 Mikal Bridges Guard/Forward FR 6-7 191 Malvern, Pa. Great Valley
31 Dylan Ennis Guard RS JR 6-2 192 Brampton, Ontario Lake Forest Academy
52 Kevin Rafferty Forward JR 6-8 215 Malvern, Pa. Malvern Prep
DePaul vs. No. 7 Villanova Game Preview
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