"They get up and down the floor just like we like to get up and down the floor," James Madison coach Kenny Brooks said on Thurs. "It seems like forever since we played man-to-man with somebody who wants to run with us."
DePaul may be the only Division I women's program with a nickname for its style of play: DePaulball. The Blue Demons are No. 7 in the country in scoring offense at 81.0; No. 2 in assists per game at 20.9; and No. 23 in steals with 317, all part of a runway offense and a swarming defense.
And the sub-surfaces of the two teams are also similar.
"Kenny Brooks does a great job as their coach," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "It is interesting, because we are really similar types of programs in that they are in Virginia and have to deal with all the ACC schools, and we are in Big Ten territory, so we have to deal with [those schools] and Big 12 schools, so we are constantly competing against those leagues for players."
Those players include DePaul's BIG EAST Player of the Year, fifth-year senior guard Chanise Jenkins, and Second Team All-Conference selections, senior guard/forward Megan Podkowa, and junior guard Jessica January.
James Madison counters, in part, with 2015 CAA Player of the Year, fifth-year senior guard Jazmon Gwathmey, 2015 Lieberman Final 15 selection, senior guard Angela Mickens, and 2014 pre-season ALL-CAA Honorable Mention selection, guard Ashley Perez.
DePaul and JMU both played No. 1 seed Baylor and St. Bonaventure this year, with each team losing to the Bears by 14 points. The Blue Demons beat St. Bonaventure by 23 points, while the Dukes lost to the Bonnies by 11 points.
Both teams practiced on Thursday morning, and for 40 minutes starting at high noon on Friday, DePaul and JMU will each be seeking the same thing.