DePaul Blue Demons (6-4) vs. Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (4-7) – Monday, December 19, 8:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – FOX Sports 1
Radio – WYLL AM 1160
Following a throttling 48-point victory over Chicago State on Saturday afternoon, DePaul (6-4) moves along in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic to battle Southeast Missouri State (4-7) at Allstate Arena. Let’s preview the matchup.
These two programs last squared off in the 2003-04 campaign, as the Blue Demons pulled out a 57-50 win in Rosemont, Ill. Forward Delonte Holland notched a game-high 21 points, and guard Drake Diener chipped in with 15 points. Additionally, DePaul’s most recent NCAA tournament appearance came that season.
After generating a 5-24 mark (2-14 Ohio Valley Conference) in 2015-16, second-year head coach Rick Ray was left with four players heading into this season. Hence, Southeast Missouri added 11 fresh faces, which included eight transfers.
Overall, freshman guard Denzel Mahoney has developed the quickest out of the newcomers. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder places third in the unit’s scoring department, amassing 12.2 points per contest. Plus, he produced 15.3 points per game over the Redhawks’ previous six matchups.
Even with its abundance of youth, two seniors still pace the group offensively. Guard Antonius Cleveland accumulates a team-high 16.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and his 54.3 percent clip from the field is almost 11 points higher than a campaign ago (43.7). Despite the Redhawks’ 77-61 loss to Missouri State on Saturday, the 6-foot-6, 188-pound upperclassman collected a season-high 23 points on a rock-solid 9-of-17 shooting in the affair.
Alongside Cleveland, forward Trey Kelly’s 12.5 points per contest sits second on the team. The Peoria, Ill. native snatches a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game, too. However, standing 6-foot-7, DePaul’s frontcourt shouldn’t possess a bundle of issues with him on the glass.
Although those Redhawks’ have helped the team stand just one victory away from matching last season’s win total, Ray’s bunch currently owns a four-game skid. During the set of defeats (Indiana, Northern Kentucky, Missouri State twice), Southeast Missouri combined to shoot a mere 37 percent via the field.
Furthermore, the program ranks No. 204 in the nation in offensive efficiency (.97 points per possession) while the Blue Demons position themselves at No. 81 (1.05). Hence, if sophomore Eli Cain, who manufactures 21.1 points per contest (No. 31 in Division I), continues his torrid start from the get-go, Southeast Missouri could find itself forcing up shots quickly.
Likewise, forward Tre'Darius McCallum’s impact will also be critical. The 6-foot-7, 209-pound forward supplied 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Cougars, shooting 6-of-10 from the field. Another impressive showing would cause plenty of concern for the No. 246 scoring defense in the country (74.9 points per contest).
The Last Time
On December 31, 2003 at Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons defeated Southeast Missouri 57-50. Delonte Holland led all scorers with 21 points. Drake Diener chipped in with 15 points in the winning effort for DePaul. .
Southeast Missouri State Roster
# Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. Hometown / High School Previous School
0 Dondre Duffus 6-3 183 G Jr. Palm Beach, Fla. / Boyd Anderson St. Petersburg College
1 Antonius Cleveland 6-6 195 G Sr. Memphis, Tenn. / Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ga.)
2 Tahj Eaddy 6-2 154 G Fr. West Haven, Conn. / Tennessee Prep Academy
3 Ray Kowalski 6-3 195 G Fr. Concord, N.C. / Concord
4 Milos Vranes 6-7 200 F Jr. Belgrade, Serbia / Third Belgrade North Dakota State College of Science
5 Joel Angus III 6-7 240 F Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y. / Putnam Science Academy Monroe College
10 Jonathan Dalton 5-10 155 G So. New Orleans, La. / West Jefferson Copiah-Lincoln CC
11 Eli Sample 6-4 184 G Sr. Crystal City, Mo. / Crystal City Southwest Baptist
12 Jamaal Calvin 6-1 184 G Sr. Chattanooga, Tenn. / McCallie Prep
13 Trey Kellum 6-7 213 F R-Sr. Peoria, Ill. / Peoria Central Florida A&M
15 Donnie Lewis 6-1 170 G So. Lexington, Ky. / Paul Dunbar Spalding University
22 Jaylen Benton 6-3 180 G Jr. Columbus, Ohio / Westerville North Monroe College
23 Daniel Simmons 6-2 204 G Jr. Biggersville, Miss. / Biggersville East Mississippi CC
34 Denzel Mahoney 6-4 213 G Fr. Oviedo, Fla. / Hagerty
35 William Tchiengang 6-8 227 F Jr. Yaounde, Cameroon Midland College