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DePaul vs. No. 2 Villanova Preview

The Blue Demons host the second ranked Villanova Wildcats on Monday night at Allstate Arena.  We preview the game in this report. 

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (8-17, 1-11) vs. No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (24-2, 11-2) – Monday, February 13th, 8:00 p.m. Central –  Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television – CBS Sports Network

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

The Blue Demons continue their run through the gauntlet of ranked teams that is the Big East Conference schedule. 

The next challenge is the Villanova Wildcats who are ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll and are tops in the NCAA's RPI Ratings. 

Villanova is coming off a convincing 73-57 road win over No. 24 Xavier on Saturday afternoon.  It was a win that gave Villanova coach Jay Wright his 500th career victory. 

Villanova won despite being outrebounded 42-26 and playing without senior forward Darryl Reynolds.  Reynolds was out with a rib injury and is listed as doubtful for the game at Allstate Arena on Monday night. 

The Wildcats have four players who average in double figures.  Josh Hart is a Big East Player of the Year candidate and is leading the conference in scoring with 18.8 points per game. Jalen Brunson is contributing 14.2 ppg and is dishing out 4.3 assists per game.  Last year's National Championship game MVP Kris Jenkins is averaging 13 ppg and Mikal Bridges adds 10.5 ppg. 

Nova is stingy on the defensive end and leads the Big East in scoring defense with only giving up 62.7 ppg. The Wildcats also have the conference's best field goal percent defense at 41.4% as well as field goal percent defense at 30.5%. 

They are also tops in the league in scoring margin at a plus 14.6 points per game. 

DePaul may have some confidence coming into this game after keeping it close with the Wildcats in their first meeting back in December at the Pavilion. To have a chance, the Blue Demons will have to bring the same kind of defensive effort that they had in that first game.

The Last Time

On December 28, 2016, the Blue Demons battled the top ranked and defending national champion Wildcats tough in Philadelphia.

DePaul proved up to that challenge as No. 1 Villanova escaped the Pavilion with a 68-65 win over the Blue Demons.

The Blue Demons had an opportunity to tie the game when Billy Garrett, Jr.’s three point attempt bounced off the back of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.

It was a gutty effort by the Blue Demons.  DePaul had trailed by as many as twelve points in the second half with 11:08 to go.  They then went on a 14-0 run to get back into the contest.

DePaul was led by junior college transfer Tre’Darius McCallum who racked up 19 points and seven rebounds.

Garrett contributed with 17 points and four rebounds.  Eli Cain chipped in with 14 points.

Villanova’s Josh Hart led all scorers with 25 points.  Jalen Brunson had 13 points and six assists and Kris Jenkins added 12 points for the Wildcats.

The only negative for DePaul was their three point shooting.  The Demons shot three for 17 from beyond the arc.  Cain, who has been in a shooting slump in the last three games, was two of eight on trifectas.

Villanova Roster

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

1          Jalen Brunson          Guard SO      6-2.5   190     Lincolnshire, Ill.        Adlai Stevenson

2          Kris Jenkins  Forward         SR      6-6      235     Upper Marlboro, Md.            Gonzaga College High School

3          Josh Hart       Guard SR      6-5.5   215     Silver Spring, Md.     Sidwell Friends

4          Eric Paschall Forward         RS SO            6-7      250     Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.    St. Thomas More

5          Phil Booth     Guard JR       6-3      195     Baltimore, Md.          Mount Saint Joseph

10        Donte DiVincenzo   Guard RS FR            6-5      205     Wilmington, Del.       Salesianum

14        Omari Spellman       Forward         FR       6-9      260     North Royalton, Ohio          St. Thomas More

24        Tom Leibig    Forward         JR       6-4      195     Havertown, Pa.         Haverford

25        Mikal Bridges            Guard/Forward         RS SO            6-7      210     Malvern, Pa.  Great Valley

34        Tim Delaney Forward         RS FR            6-8.5   235     Mullica Hill, N.J.        Pitman H.S./Blair Academy

35        Matt Kennedy           Guard JR       6-2      175     Fairfax, Va.    Flint Hill

40        Denny Grace Guard SR      5-11    175     Catonsville, Md.        Calvert Hall

42        Dylan Painter            Forward         FR       6-10    240     Hershey, Pa. Hershey

45        Darryl Reynolds       Forward         SR      6-9      240     Philadelphia, Pa.      Lower Merion HS/Worcester Academy


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