DePaul Blue Demons (2-1) vs. Missouri State Bears (3-0) – Wednesday, November 23rd, 7:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – FOX Sports Networks, U-Too in Chicago
Radio – WSCR AM 670
Missouri State is coming off a season where they finished 13-19 and went 8-10 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Bears are off to a 3-0 start this season, but have only faced Alabama A&M, Jacksonville State, and Fontbonne (which is a Division III school). All three games were at home, so this is the first time Missouri State is venturing outside of Springfield, Missouri this season.
Over the summer, the Bears took a foreign tour trip to the Bahamas where they went 3-0 against Bahamian teams.
Missouri State was picked to finish in fourth place in the Missouri Valley Conference this year.
The Bears are coached by former SIU star Paul Lusk, who is in his sixth year at the school and is 74-90 during his tenure.
All three of Missouri State’s games so far have been high scoring, so look for the Bears to push the tempo.
“Paul Lusk is a very good coach,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao told WSCR Radio. “He’s coming off a season where they were 13-19. So he’s made a couple of changes, particularly in recruiting. He’s brought some junior college guys in and added more depth to their lineup. They’ve played three games and they haven’t been under 90 points in any of them. They try to play fast-paced offense. They’ve got eight or nine guys that shoot threes. They shoot them at a high clip. It’s not like there are one or two guys. They move the ball, they rebound and get the ball up the court quick. They shoot early threes in transition. They shoot a lot in their half court offense. We really got to be on top of our game and guard that three point line.”
Leading Missouri State in scoring this season is junior guard Austin Ruder, who is averaging 15 points per game. He is shooting 10 of 17 from beyond the arc this season and has yet to take a shot inside the three point line. He came off the bench in both games that he played in so far.
Junior college transfer Alize Johnson has been a welcome addition for Missouri State. Johnson averages 14 ppg and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Point guard Ronnie Rousseau III is another juco transfer who is bolstering the Bears this year with 12.7 ppg and 4.6 assists per game.
Sophomore forward Obediah Church adds 10 points and six rebounds per game and senior guard Dequon Miller contributes 10 ppg as well.
It’s possible that the Blue Demons and Bears could face each other a second time in the Las Vegas Classic on December 23rd.
Missouri State Roster
# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown / High School Previous School
0 Jordan Martin F 6-8 235 Sr. St. Louis, Mo. / Hazelwood Central High John A. Logan (Ill.) College
1 Robin Thompson F 6-6 224 So. St. Louis, Mo. / MICDS
4 Dequon Miller G 5-10 176 Sr. Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington High Motlow (Tenn.) College
5 Obediah Church F 6-7 217 So. Springfield, Ill. / Springfield High
10 Jarrid Rhodes F 6-6 174 Jr. Palmetto, Fla. / Palmetto High Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa College
11 Jarred Dixon G 6-3 167 So. Kansas City, Mo. / Lee's Summit West High
13 Greg Williams G 6-6 180 Fr. Houston, Texas / Home School
14 Ronnie Rousseau III G 5-10 153 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio / Winton Woods High State Fair (Mo.) Community College
15 Austin Ruder G 6-3 199 R-Jr. Nixa, Mo. / Nixa High
20 Ryan Kreklow G 6-4 181 So. Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge High
21 Ross Owens G 6-4 195 Fr. Woodlawn, Ill. / Woodlawn High
24 Alize Johnson F 6-9 201 Jr. Williamsport, Pa. / St. John Neumann High Frank Phillips (Texas) College
33 Chris Kendrix F 6-5 185 Jr. Willard, Mo. / Willard High
35 Tyrie Hill-Thomas F 6-6 220 So. St. Peters, Mo. / Ft. Zumwalt East High Central Methodist University
50 Tyler McCullough C 6-11 252 Sr. Fayetteville, Ark. / Fayetteville High