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DePaul vs. No. 1 Villanova Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons return home to Allstate Arena on Tuesday night to face the top ranked Villanova Wildcats.  We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. No. 1 Villanova Wildcats – Tuesday, February 9th, 7:30 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

 Television – FOX Sports 1

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Villanova Basketball

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Game Preview

The Blue Demons face what is likely their toughest opponent on the season in 1st ranked Villanova.

Villanova sits atop the Big East standings right now.

DePaul has already faced 5th ranked Xavier twice, with negative results in those two outings.

Villanova is arguably even better than Xavier is.

The Wildcats have been winning despite being without senior forward Daniel Ochefu.  Ochefu has been sidelined for the last four games due to concussion protocol.  Ochefu had been averaging 9.7 ppg and 8.3 rebounds per game.   Ochefu has been cleared to return to the court on Tuesday night. 

Nova coach Jay Wright typically has balanced scoring in his offense.  This year is no exception. Four player are averaging in double figures.

Josh Hart is leading the way for Villanova, averaging 15.4 points per game.

Ryan Arcidiacono is contributing 12.5 ppg and dishing out 3.9 assists per game.

Kris Jenkins adds 11 points per game, while former Stevenson High School star Jalen Brunson is averaging 10.2 points per game.

Brunson was the pre-season favorite for Big East newcomer of the year, however, it looks like Marquette’s Henry Ellenson will beat him out for that honor.  Brunson, who hails from Lincolnshire, is expected to have a lot of friends and family at this game.

DePaul is going to face the best defensive team in the Big East in this one.  Villanova leads the league in both Scoring Defense (61 ppg) and Defensive Field Goal percentage (38%).

The Last Time

On January 31, 2015 at Allstate Arena, the seventh ranked Villanova Wildcats clamped down on DePaul in the second half to hand the Blue Demons a 68-55 defeat.

In a game where DePaul led by as many as 11 points in the first half, Villanova held the Blue Demons to 18 points in the second half.

The Blue Demons were unable to overcome Villanova’s physicality which focused on DePaul point guard Billy Garrett, Jr. and disrupted the Blue Demons’ offensive rhythm.

Yet, 21 personal fouls were called on DePaul to just 14 called on Villanova in the contest. The Wildcats went to the free throw line 11 more times than the Blue Demons.

Ryan Arcidiacono led the way for Villanova with 18 points, all of which came in the second half.

Jayvaughn Pinkston contributed with 14 points and Darrun Hilliard added 11 points for the Wildcats.

The Blue Demons started five Chicagoans for the first time under Oliver Purnell at DePaul, Garrett, Tommy Hamilton IV, Myke Henry, Rashaun Stimage, and Jamee Crockett. All five also played for the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program.

Garrett led DePaul with 14 points and eight assists. Tommy Hamilton IV and Forrest Robinson chipped in with nine points apiece.

Villanova Roster

No.         Name    Pos.       Cl. (Exp.)              Ht.          Wt.         Hometown         High School

0              Henry Lowe        Guard   SR           5-11       185         New York, N.Y.  The Dalton School

1              Jalen Brunson    Guard   FR           6-2.5      199         Lincolnshire, Ill. Adlai Stevenson

2              Kris Jenkins         Forward               JR            6-6          240         Upper Marlboro, Md.    Gonzaga College High School

3              Josh Hart             Guard   JR            6-5          205         Silver Spring, Md.             Sidwell Friends

4              Eric Paschall        Forward               RS FR     6-7          260         Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.             St. Thomas More

5              Phil Booth           Guard   SO          6-3          185         Baltimore, Md.  Mount Saint Joseph

10           Donte DiVincenzo            Guard   FR           6-5          200         Wilmington, Del.              Salesianum

15           Ryan Arcidiacono             Guard   SR           6-3          195         Langhorne, Pa.  Neshaminy

20           Patrick Farrell     Forward               SR           6-5          200         Rockville Centre, N.Y.     Chaminade

23           Daniel Ochefu   Forward               SR           6-11       245         Baltimore, Md.  Downingtown East

25           Mikal Bridges     Guard/Forward                RS FR     6-7          191         Malvern, Pa.      Great Valley

34           Tim Delaney       Forward               FR           6-8.5      230         Mullica Hill, N.J. Pitman H.S./Blair Academy

45           Darryl Reynolds                Forward               JR            6-8          225         Philadelphia, Pa.               Lower Merion HS/Worcester Academy

52           Kevin Rafferty   Forward               SR           6-8          215         Malvern, Pa.      Malvern Prep

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