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DePaul vs. Providence Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons travel to Rhode Island to meet the Providence Friars On Saturday afternoon.  We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Providence Friars – Saturday, February 27th, 3 p.m. Central – Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island

 Television – CBS Sports Network

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

When DePaul (9-18, 3-12) travels to Rhode Island to take on Providence (19-9, 7-8) this Saturday, it will look to go for an unlikely sweep of the Friars. 

Prior to beating St. John's, 83-75, on Thursday, DePaul's last victory came against these same Friars. Back then, Providence was flying high as the 11th-ranked team in the country. Ever since DePaul beat Providence in epic fashion more than three weeks ago, the Friars have been in an absolute tailspin. 

The Friars have now lost six out of their last eight games after losing at Seton Hall, 70-52, on Thursday night. Earlier in the week, the Friars were bumped out of the top-25 after spending a majority of the season in the polls. 

As such, Providence's once steady position as a lock for the NCAA Tournament is now all of as sudden in question. However, with a team perhaps boasting two all-Big East first-team performers in point guard extraordinaire Kris Dunn and breakout forward Ben Bentil, well, Providence should be a handful— especially for a team looking to exact revenge while also trying to get back on track for an at-large bid.  

Bentil, who was kicked out of the Seton Hall game for a flagrant 2 foul but is expected to play in Saturday's game, leads the team in scoring (20.3 points per game) and rebounding (7.7 rebounds per game). He has been a revelation this season and is beast down low. Not only is he a menace in the post, but he has shown this year he can take his game out to the perimeter. If you recall, Bentil injured his ankle in the first game between the two teams and was not a factor after sitting out almost the entire second half.

By now you know the story of Dunn, who is one of the country's better point guards. He is a triple double waiting to happen (a feat he actually accomplished in last year's game against DePaul in Providence). Dunn, who was clearly not himself in the Seton Hall game as he scored eight points on 4-12 shooting, averages 17.3 points per game, while leading the team in assists (6.6 per game) and steals (2.9 per game), while chipping in 6.1 rebounds per game.

In the first meeting, Dunn had trouble carrying the Friars without Bentil. He struggled mightily from the field en route to scoring just 14 points on 5-20 shooting from the field.

Rodney Bullock is a capable third option for Ed Cooley, as he contributes 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

But outside of those guys, Providence is vulnerable. The Friars lack of depth is something that has caused them issues in the last month, as they have been exposed as pretty much a two-man team.

DePaul would love nothing more to sweep Providence and perhaps burst their bubble, but given what Providence has on the line, expect them to come out charged to close the season with a strong finish.

But for a team in DePaul with nothing to play for, while playing with house money, going against a team in Providence with so much on the line, it could make for good theater.

The Last Time

On February 2, 2016 at Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons pulled off a 77-70 upset of 11th ranked Providence.

DePaul scrapped for loose balls and outworked Providence on the glass as they  outrebounded the Friars by a 48-24 margin.

DePaul held Kris Dunn, who is the leader for player of the year in the Big East, to 14 points on five of 20 shooting.

Ben Bentil, the leading scorer in the Big East, scored only six points after playing just 14 minutes due to a right ankle injury that happened in the first half.

DePaul started the game out on the right foot with an 8-0 run. 

They then had a key 9-0 run in the second half that was fueled by a three pointer from Myke Henry, a layup by Rashaun Stimage, a layup by Henry, and another layup from Darrick Wood.

Henry led all scorers with a double-double performance of 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting along with 11 rebounds. Garrett contributed 16 points while going three of seven from beyond the arc.

Stimage came off the bench to add nine points, seven of which came in the second half.

It was the highest ranked win for the Blue Demons since December 2nd, 2006 when they defeated the fifth ranked Kansas Jayhawks, 64-57.

Providence Roster

NO         NAME   YR           HT           WT         Position                Hometown/High School

0              Ben Bentil           SO          6-9          235         Forward               Wilmington,Del./St. Andrew's School '14

3              Kris Dunn             JR            6-4          220         Guard   New London, Conn./New London High School '12

5              Rodney Bullock SO          6-8          225         Forward               Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan High School '13

10           Quadree Smith FR           6-8          285         Forward               Temple Hills, Md./IMG Academy '15

12           Casey Woodring               JR            6-2          185         Guard   Darien, Conn./Cushing Academy '13

14           Tyree Chambers               SO          6-2          182         Guard   Bayreuth, Germany/Medi Bayreuth '14

21           Jalen Lindsey     SO          6-7          210         Guard   Murfreesboro, Tenn./Huntington Prep '14

22           Ricky Council II  FR           6-5          200         Guard   Durham, N.C./Moravian Prep '15

24           Kyron Cartwright              SO          6-0          185         Guard   Compton, Calif./Compton High School '14

25           Drew Edwards   FR           6-3          185         Guard   Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall '15

32           Junior Lomomba              JR            6-5          205         Guard   Montreal, Quebec/Madison Memorial '12

34           Tom Planek        SO          6-6          205         Forward               Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick High School '14

35           Ryan Fazekas     FR           6-8          205         Guard   Chesterton, Ind./Marquette Catholic High School '15

44           Isaiah Jackson    SO          6-6          212         Guard   Gainesville, Fla./Villages Charter School


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