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DePaul vs. Penn State Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons head out on the road to Happy Valley, Pennsylvania to face the Nittany Lions in the Gavitt Games on Tuesday afternoon. We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Penn State Nittany Lions – Tuesday, November 17th, 4:00 p.m. Central – Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State University

Television – ESPNU

Radio – None

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Game Preview

After defeating Western Michigan on Saturday night to get the second Dave Leitao Era at DePaul off to a good start, the Blue Demons (1-0) now face a step up in competition on the road at Penn State.

This game is part of the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games that matches Big East Teams with Big Ten opponents and is named in honor of former Big East founder Dave Gavitt. 

 The game is being televised as part of the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon on ESPNU.

 The Nittany Lions are coming off a 18-16 season where they went 4-14 in the Big 10 and finished 13th in the league.

 Penn State is faced with the challenge of replacing leading scorer D.J. Newbill.  Newbill averaged 20.7 point per game last year and has now graduated as the school’s third all-time leading scorer.

 Last year Penn State lived and died by Newbill’s scoring output.  Look for the Nittany Lions to be more balanced this season in the wake of losing Newbill.

Penn State coach Pat Chambers is in his fifth season in Happy Valley.  Chambers has some familiarity with DePaul from when he was the associate head coach at Villanova. He worked on Jay Wright’s staff from 2004 to 2009. 

The Nittany Lions (1-0) are coming off a 62-50 victory over VMI in their season opener on Saturday. Three players finished in double figures for Penn State.

6-1 sophomore guard Shep Garner led all scorers with 15 points, on 5 of 11 shooting, in the win.

Sophomore forward Payton Banks added 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Senior forward Brandon Taylor contributed with 13 points and six rebounds.

 One player who could offset Newbill’s departure is four-star freshman wing Josh Reaves.   Reaves is an athletic wing who put up six points, five rebounds, three blocked shots, and two steals in his debut against VMI.

DePaul is currently at 117 in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Ratings.  Penn State is right behind at 118.  It doesn’t get much more evenly matched than that.

This one should be a matchup of two of the better defensive teams.  The Nittany Lions were a top 50 defensive team last season.  There are definitely some similarities between DePaul and Penn State.  Both are good at defending in the paint.

Penn State’s biggest weakness appears to be their shooting from the perimeter.  The Nittany Lions shot 26.3 percent from beyond the arc (five of 19) in Saturday’s win.

 Look for this game to be a low scoring affair.  The first team to 70 points wins.

The Last Time

On December 12, 1984 at Penn State’s Rec Hall, the 2nd ranked Blue Demons defeated the Nittany Lions 78-61 behind 19 points from guard Kenny Patterson.  Tyrone Corbin contributed with 13 points.  Kevin Holmes and Lemone Lampley had 12 points apiece and Tony Jackson added 10 points.

Penn State Roster

No.         Name    Pos.       Cl./El.    Ht.          Wt.         Hometown         High School

0              Payton Banks     Forward               SO          6-6          220         Orange, Calif.     Lutheran

1              Deividas Zemgulis            Forward               FR           6-6          220         Kaunas, Lithuania             St. Mary Ryken (Md.)

3              Devin Foster      Guard   SR           6-2          205         Dayton, Ohio     Jefferson Township

5              Donovon Jack    Forward               SR           6-9          210         Reading, Pa.       Berks Catholic

10           Brandon Taylor Forward               SR           6-6          225         Tabernacle, N.J.                Trenton Catholic

11           Sam Halle            Guard   JR            6-0          185         Springfield, Va. West Springfield

13           Terrence Samuel              Guard   JR            6-4          205         Brooklyn, N.Y.   Victory Collegiate

21           Isaiah Washington           Guard   RS FR     6-3          160         Williamsport, Pa.              Williamsport

23           Josh Reaves       Guard   FR           6-4          190         Fairfax, Va.         Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

24           Mike Watkins    Forward               FR           6-8          245         Philadelphia, Pa.               Phelps School

32           Jordan Dickerson             Center  SR           7-1          245         Brooklyn, N.Y.   IMG Academy/Abraham Lincoln

33           Shep Garner      Guard   SO          6-1          185         Chester, Pa.       Roman Catholic

44           Julian Moore      Forward               SO          6-10       235         Philadelphia, Pa.               Germantown Academy

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