DePaul vs. Old Dominion Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons travel to Norfolk to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons at Old Dominion Monarchs – Saturday, December 17th, 3:00 p.m.CST – Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk Virginia

Television -

WCIU-TV Chicago (ESPN +)

DirectTV Channel 629

Pay Per View Internet Video - $6.95

Internet Video

Satellite TV Coordinates

AMC 5 Transponder 10 B

Radio - WSCR AM 670 Chicago

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

670TheScore.com

ODU Pay Per Listen Internet Audio - $6.95

Internet Audio

WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Old Dominion Official Athletics Site

Official ODU Site

Old Dominion Fans Site

ODU Board


The Last Time

DePaul senior Quemont Greer scored 23 points and snatched 12 rebounds while senior guard Drake Diener added 16 points as DePaul won in a 73-60 victory over Old Dominion at Allstate Arena on Sunday, January 2, 2005.

Arnaud Dahi lead the way for the Monarchs with 19 points. Valdus Vasylius added 18 for ODU, while leading scorer Alex Loughton was kept in check by DePaul's defense as he had seven points.

Game Preview

Can the Demons keep the momentum building coming off their upset of #16 Wake Forest? That is the $64,000 question for Coach Jerry Wainright and his "TEAM".

The emphasis on his "TEAM" became very apparent with the Demons impressive performance against Wake Forest. Some people (and this writer in particular) were very discouraged by the lack of any leadership presence on the floor for the Demons early in the season. There seemed to be a lot of talent on the floor, but nobody willing to step up and be the much-needed "coach on the floor." My how things change!

A few developments seemed to have lead to this Demon squad becoming a "team", and not just a collection of talent at this point in the season. First was the insertion of Jabari Currie as the starting PG. Currie's length and strength have brought dimensions on both ends of the floor that Cliff Clinkscales cannot provide. However, the transition to Cliff coming off the bench has also been a success as he provides a nice change of pace when he does enter the lineup. The second development has been the emergence of Sammy Mejia as the star many believed he could be. It may have been the unfortunate early season loss of his grandmother, or just early season rust; but Sammy has clearly established himself as the #1 option for the Demons on the floor. Finally, the Demons recent turnaround can be traced to the emergence of Draelon Burns. Burns is fearless on the court, and that attitude has clearly been picked up by his teammates. College basketball has always been a guard-dominated game, and the Demons depth at the guard position is starting to pay dividends with several players capable of leading the squad on the floor at any given time.

Coach Wainright spoke after the Wake Forest game on the attitude he has attempted to instill in his young Demon squad. "The biggest thing, when you play teams like this, you've got to stand in the middle of the ring. You cannot get on your heels. I told them before the game, ‘We're going to get knocked down, you've got to get back up.' And I thought the kids did a good job of that." As further testament to what Coach Wainright said, there were several "young" moments at the end of the Wake Forest game (rushed shots, charges); but the Demons fought off their own miscues to hang on for the victory. The qualities that many opposing major college coaches have praised Coach Wainright and his teams for have started to surface for this Demon squad. "They came out from the jump wanting to win," Wake Forest's Trent Strickland said. "They crashed the boards hard, they did everything a lot harder than we did… They just wanted this game harder than we did tonight." The defensive game plan against Justin Gray was designed and executed to perfection by the coaching staff and players, and the energy and opportunities created on that end of the floor carried over to the offensive end as well.

And now for the Demons… another one of "those" teams lurks. "Those" teams are experienced, disciplined and very structured squads in the mold of Bradley, Creighton, and Bucknell. Old Dominion enters the contest at 6-2, but coming off a very poor effort in losing to Drexel 61-42. Reigning Colonial Athletic Association player of the year, senior forward Alex Loughton, commented after the Drexel game on the Monarchs early season progress. "Our problems didn't start tonight. I don't think the coaching staff has been happy with any of our games so far. There's been a level of selfish play from the whole team. It's just too much first-pass, first-shot. We really need to get back to our square roots."

Those "square roots" were evident last year in a 28-win season, and their first NCAA tourney appearance since 1997. With four returning starters led by Loughton, expectations are high for this Monarch squad. Joining Loughton in the frontcourt are 6'7" forward Arnaud Dahi and 6'4" Brian Henderson. Dahi currently leads the team in scoring at 14.5 ppg, and Loughton is their leading rebounder at 7.8 rpg. The backcourt is also experienced as both starters from last season return in 6'2" senior Isaiah Hunter, and 6'0" junior Drew Williamson. Williamson lead the CAA with a very impressive 4:1 assist to turnover ratio last year. With Valdas Vasylius, Brandon Johnson and John Morris also averaging double figure minutes off the bench; the Monarchs go a solid 8 deep in their rotation. And that does not even include the tallest active player in Division I Basketball this year in 7'3" Sam Harris who can alter a game with his size and presence.

Once again the Demons size and length will be key to the game plan. With a size advantage in the backcourt look for the Demon guards to crash the boards hard and try to help the frontcourt players dominated the glass. Also, protecting the ball against a veteran squad will be imperative; as the young Demons learn to value each and every possession. The "800 lbs of Center" (Marlon Brumfield, Wesley Green and Lorenzo Thompson) that Coach Wainright likes to employ will attempt to keep Alex Loughton in check on the offensive end. Of particular note will be the availability of Demon SG/SF Karron Clarke, and if he will be able to return from the sprained ankle that forced him to watch the Wake Forest game from the sidelines. This is a game that an explosive and athletic wing player like Clarke could make a big impact.

This will be another significant road test for the Demons coming off the victory that ended Wake Forest's 21 game home winning streak. The Monarchs were 14-1 at home last season, and are off to a 4-0 start at the Constant Convocation Center this year. The Monarchs have had a full week to rest and prepare for the Demons, and the Demons are now in the middle of their four game road trip. A win in Norfolk would assure a winning road trip, and send the Demons California-bound looking to go 4-0 on the swing. What loomed as a potential season changing trip may be shaping up just that way… but not in the direction many Demon fans feared!

But, as Coach Wainright will undoubtedly have preached to his team this week; the Wake Forest game is now in the past… and the Demons momentum train must move on. Next stop, Norfolk, Virginia… all aboard!

Old Dominion Roster

No. Name Pos. Class Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School

1 Isaiah Hunter Guard SR 6-2 170 Charlotte, NC./Independence

3 John Morris Guard RS JR 6-2 180 Camp Hill, PA./Trinity

4 Brandon Johnson Guard SO 6-1 180 Orlando, FL./Edgewater HS

10 Drew Williamson Point Guard JR 6-0 185 Burlington, NC/Cummings HS

11 Abdi Lidonde Guard RS SO 6-2 185 Sutton, MA/St. Andrews HS

20 Brian Henderson Guard RS SO 6-4 195 Richmond, VA./Varina HS

21 Jason Thompson Forward SO 6-5 210 Sanford, NC/Chatham HS

24 Bobby Bilicki Guard SR 5-10 165 Winchester, MA/Winchester HS

30 Sam Harris Center SO 7-3 260 Newnham, Tasmania, Australia/Lake Ginninderra

31 Arnaud Dahi Forward JR 6-7 230 Abidjan,Ivory Coast, Africa/Life Center Academy(NJ)

34 Jonathan Adams Forward FR 6-6 215 Ringold, GA./Baylor (Tenn.)

40 Alex Loughton Forward/Center SR 6-9 240 Perth, Australia/St. Stephen's

42 Valdas Vasylius Forward JR 6-7 210 Klaipeda, Lithuania/Norfolk Collegiate HS

55 Janko Mrksic Center RS JR 6-10 270 Stoney Creek,Ontario, Canada/Bishop Ryan

Coaches

Blaine Taylor - Head Coach

Jim Corrigan - Assistant Coach

Robert Wilkes - Assistant Coach

Travis DeCuire - Assistant Coach

John Richardson - Dir. of Basketball Operations

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