DePaul Blue Demons vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Saturday, January 7, 2006 - 1 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
WCIU TV - Chicago
WBND TV – South Bend
Satellite / Cable TV - ESPN Fullcourt (DirecTV Channel 785)
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WSCR – The Score - AM 1160 - Chicago
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Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -
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Game Preview - Old Rivals Come Full Circle
DePaul begins their inaugural Big East season home slate on Saturday against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. DePaul and Notre Dame are long time rivals going back to their independent days having played 92 games with Notre Dame holding the overall series record 50-42. Today will start a new rivalry now as Big East foes. DePaul enters the contest with a 7-5 record and Notre Dame at 9-3. Both schools will be looking for their first conference win of 2006. DePaul will visit Notre Dame for the rematch later this year on Notre Dame's Senior night March 4th.
Notre Dame comes to Allstate after recently having their seven game winning streak snapped by undefeated Pittsburgh in double overtime 100-97 on Wednesday night. The Fighting Irish have played an average non-conference schedule with eight of their 11 games played at home. But, both of the true non-conference road games resulted in wins with their biggest win coming over a tough Alabama squad from the SEC Conference. Their two non conference losses were to NC State 61-48 at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis and a tough home loss to Michigan 71-67.
DePaul Blue Demons head coach Jerry Wainwright told WSCR radio what he needs to do to beat the Irish. "I got to pick up a seven-footer on the way home at a truck stop and hopefully make a U-turn and find some guy in a motorcycle gang somewhere with big forearms," quipped Wainwright. "Because they bring in a bigger, stronger team. They've got Torin Francis. They'll be a power team. They probably don't emphasize speed as much."
Notre Dame keys on penetration and kick out three pointers for a lot of their offense. They will begin most games hoping to establish the inside post so the court will open up and the three point shot will be more available later in the game. Notre Dame is good at the in between game also. They will get shots from all places on the court. A key stat for the Irish is the amount of points scored off assists averaging over 60% of their scores are from within their offensive scheme. What this means is they are patient on offense and will make the extra pass for scores when necessary. Another key team stat is they have more assists than turnovers which I would guess is pretty rare in college basketball. (Or at least to us Demon fans.) On defense Notre Dame will play pretty conservatively and won't jump out and try for steals or do a lot of overplaying on defense. They do have two big guys in the front court that can block some shots. Overall teams can score on them if their opponents are patient.
Head coach Mike Brey is a former Duke assistant and patterns his offense from the Duke teams of today. This is Mike Brey's tenth year as a head coach with his first five being at Delaware. He has a career record of 210-111. Coach Brey is a perfect fit for ND because they know he will run a clean program, but still be real competitive in a conference like the Big East. The last couple of years has been tough on Notre Dame being a bubble team that barely missed out on an NCAA bid. Both years they had a winning conference record, but a first round Big East tournament loss cost them an NCAA tournament birth.
The key players for ND are preseason honorable mention junior guard Chris Quinn who averages 16 points per game. Their main big guy is 6' 11" senior Torin Francis who averages 13 points and nine rebounds. Other key players are sharp shooter junior Colin Falls and freshman Indiana Mr. Basketball Luke Zeller. Notre Dame is just full of role players that know their position in the Brey system, such as starter Russell Carter and bench players Kyle McAlarney and Rob Kurz and valuable Rick Cornett. Overall the Irish play an eight man rotation.
The key to beating Notre Dame will be for DePaul to play the same type of game as last year. We need to stop penetration, not take chances on defense and to play smart patient offense. Being at home, DePaul has a pretty good track record against the Fighting Irish except for the Ray Meyer court ceremony game a couple of years ago when DePaul sleep walked through the game. I hope to see a very excited DePaul partisan crowd rooting our Blue Demons to a Big East win.
Notre Dame Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Class Hometown Previous School
2 Chris Quinn, G 6-2 Jr. Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman
11 Rick Cornett, F 6-8 Sr. Country Club Hills, Illinois./Homewood Christian Acd.
15 Colin Falls, G 6-5 Jr. Park Ridge, Illinois/Loyola Academy
23 Kyle McAlarney, G 6-1 Fr. Staten Island, New York/Moore Catholic
24 Chris Murphy, F 6-6 Sr. Downers Grove, Illinois/Benet Academy
31 Bob Kurz, F 6-9 So. Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania/William Penn Charter
33 Zack Hillesland, F 6-8 Fr. Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit
40 Luke Zeller, C 6-11 Fr. Washington, Indiana/Washington
42 Ryan Ayers, G 6-7 Fr. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania/Germantown Academy
43 Russell Carter, G 6-4 Jr. Paulsboro, New Jersey/Paulsboro
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