DePaul vs. Marquette Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com previews the first Big East conference tussle between the Blue Demons and long-time rival Marquette.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Marquette Golden Eagles – Tuesday, January 17, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL

Television -

None

Radio

WCKG 105.9 FM – Chicago

WISN 1130 AM - Milwaukee

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

WCKG

WISN Marquette Radio

WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Marquette Official Athletics Site

Official Marquette Athletics Site

Marquette Fans Site

MarquetteHoops


NOTE: Traffic Alert for the Game

Thoughts on the game

"They're playing a lot of young guys too," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "They're coming off a road loss. They had a great home win (vs. Connecticut). It's a great rivalry. I think what will happen is that there are a lot of new players on both teams."

"We got to get this win," said guard Sammy Mejia. "It's a must win, we need it. Hopefully we go on a winning streak. We don't like to lose back-to-back games. They got a couple new guys. We just got to go out there and out-match whoever we play."

Game Preview - DePaul and Marquette take rivalry to Big East stage

When the Marquette Golden Eagles come to Allstate Arena on Tuesday night for their first meeting with DePaul as members of the newly-expanded Big East Conference, the two combatants will be in about as much need of an introduction as the Hatfield's and the McCoy's. The game will mark the 102nd time the Catholic universities, located less than 90 miles apart along I-94, have clashed on the basketball court--the most by the Blue Demons against any opponent.

Both programs possess storied basketball traditions, legendary coaches (Hall-of-Famers Ray Meyer for DePaul and the late Al McGuire for Marquette), and an impressive list of star players who have donned their uniforms over the years, such as George Mikan, Mark Aguirre, Terry Cummings and Quentin Richardson for DePaul plus names like Maurice Lucas, Butch Lee, Glenn "Doc" Rivers and Dwyane Wade for Marquette.

The two teams have played at least once a year for the past 48 seasons, making it DePaul's longest running series. Marquette currently holds a 59-42 edge in the previous 101 contests.

The teams split last year's two bouts in their final season as members of Conference USA, with DePaul winning in Rosemont by a score of 85-72, while the Golden Eagles prevailed in the rematch at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, 67-57.

Both teams will be entering Tuesday's game coming off of tough losses. Marquette (12-5, 2-2) was defeated on the road Saturday at 16th-ranked West Virginia 104-85, while the Blue Demons (8-7, 1-3) suffered a disappointing 78-68 overtime loss at home versus Rutgers on Sunday.

During the Golden Eagles 19-point loss to the Mountaineers, West Virginia set a new Big East record with 20 three-point field goals made, including a career-high eight treys by Mike Gansey. Gansey finished the game with a career-best 33 points versus Marquette's defense, while teammate Kevin Pittsnogle added 30 points of his own.

Dominic James, a 5-11 freshman guard, who led the Golden Eagles with career-high 28 points in a losing effort against WVU, was named this week's Big East Rookie of the Week. Junior guard Joe Chapman, from Bloom Trail High School, also chipped in with a season-high 18 points for Marquette against the Mountaineers.

Prior to the West Virginia game, the Golden Eagles had held their seven previous opponents below their season scoring average. Against WVU, Marquette lost when scoring at least 85 points for the first time since 2002-03, the same season it went to the Final Four under head coach, Tom Crean, now in his seventh year at the school.

Allowing 104 points to the Mountaineers, the Golden Eagles gave up triple digits by an opponent for the first time in 15 seasons.

Marquette is led in scoring by 6-10 senior forward, Steve Novak, who is averaging 15.8 ppg, bolstered by his 41-point outburst in a surprising 94-79 upset win at home over then No. 2 UConn, which earned him Big East Co-Player of the Week honors. Novak's 41-point effort was a new Big East record for points scored by a player in his first league game. With his 16 rebounds in the victory over UConn, Novak achieved the highest single-game total of points and rebounds in the history of the Big East Conference.

Always known for his deadly long-range shooting accuracy, through games of January 15th Novak leads the Big East in three-pointers made with a total of 58 on the season and ranks third in the conference with an average of 3.41 three-point makes per game. Novak also ranks 6th in the league in three-point field goal percentage (44.6%) and 7th in overall field goal percentage (47.2%). As a team, Marquette ranks third in the Big East in three-point field goal percentage (38.5%) and fourth in three-point field goals per game (8.24).

James is Marquette's second leading scorer, with an average of 14.6 ppg to go along with his 5.8 apg (good for fourth in the Big East). Another local Chicago-area product, Jerel McNeal, a 6-3 guard from Hillcrest High School, ranks third in scoring for the Golden Eagles with an average of 11.2 ppg.

Marquette will be without the services of promising freshman guard, Wesley Matthews (9.5 ppg), who is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. Matthews started 13 games for the Golden Eagles before he went down with the injury.

Marquette Roster

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

1 Dominic James G 5-11 175 Fr. Richmond, Ind./Richmond

2 Matt Mortensen F 6-6 190 Fr. Provo, Utah./Timpview

5 Dan Fitzgerald F 6-9 200 So. St. Paul, Minn./Tulane/St. Thomas

10 Tommy Brice G 5-11 174 So. Bloomingdale, Ill./Lake Park

12 Dwight Burke F 6-8 240 Fr. Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Benedict s Prep (NJ)

20 Steve Novak F 6-10 220 Sr. Brown Deer, Wis./Brown Deer

22 Jerel McNeal G 6-3 185 Fr. Chicago, Ill../Hillcrest

23 Wesley Matthews G 6-5 200 Fr. Madison, Wis./Madison Memorial

32 Joe Chapman G/F 6-4 210 Sr. Chicago Heights, Ill./Bloom Trail

33 Chris Grimm F/C 6-10 245 Sr. Brighton, Mich./Brighton

40 Mike Kinsella C 7-0 245 Jr. Rochester, Minn./Minneapolis Tech/John Marshall

41 Ousmane Barro F 6-10 235 So. Dakar, Senegal/Chicago Julian

43 Ryan Amoroso F 6-8 242 So. Burnsville, Minn./Burnsville

51 Jamil Lott F 6-7 225 Jr. St. Paul, Minn./North Dakota School of Science

Head Coach: Tom Crean

Assistant Coach: Jason Rabedeaux

Assistant Coach: Dan Panaggio

Assistant Coach: Jean Prioleau

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