DePaul vs. Providence Game Preview previews the first Big East conference battle between the Blue Demons and the Friars.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Providence Friars – Saturday, January 21, 2006 – 6:30 p.m. CST – Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island

Television -


ESPN Fullcourt Pay Per View

WWME – Chicago – Channel 23 on UHF, RCN Cable, and WOW Cable. Channel 223 on Comcast Digital Cable, plus DirectTV for those living in Chicago area

Cox Sports TV 3 in Providence


No Chicago Radio for this game

WSKO 99.7 FM - Providence

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

Providence Radio – Pay to Listen

Pay Per View Webcast – $14.95

ESPN Fullcourt PPV Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Providence Official Athletics Site

Official Providence Athletics Site

Providence Fans Site

Friar Insider

Providence Coach Tim Welsh on the Blue Demons

Providence coach Tim Welsh is familiar with DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright having played his Richmond team on numerous occasions. "Jerry and I have coached against each other, so we know each other's style," said Welsh. "Jerry's team's always play one way. They're very hard-nosed. They play good defense. They get up in your face. They are very similar to us in the fact that they're young. They rely a lot on some young players. They do have a veteran in (Sammy) Mejia, who is an outstanding guard. They're going to come at you every night. They have some talent and it's going to be a very, very challenging game for us."

Game Preview

1-4 and 0-4. Those are the conference records respectively of both DePaul and Providence as they get ready for a Big East battle on Saturday January 21st. By no means is it where either program wanted to be when this newly expanded conference got underway. But misfortune and inconsistency is where these two teams are now at and they are currently at or near the bottom of the Big East Standings. South Florida is the only other team winless in the conference. While Seton Hall, Louisville, and Notre Dame also share one win to give DePaul company at the bottom of the standings. A win here for DePaul would be critical for them to separate themselves from the bottom of the pack and try to compete to earn at spot at Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament.

Both teams are coming off losses on Tuesday. DePaul made a spirited run at home against Marquette (when down 19 at half) in the second halftime, but it was not enough as DePaul lost 82-79 to fall to 8-8 overall and 1-4 in Big East play. Providence didn't have it easier as they traveled to West Virginia for an always-tough game, but the Mountaineers proved too much for the Friars losing 64-48 dropping the Friars to 7-8 and 0-4.

While playing on the road is always tough, DePaul has been admirable away from Chicago going 3-4 while being in all but two road games. DePaul needs some much needed confidence and winning at Providence can be a major boost. While DePaul has struggled, it's been much tougher sledding for Providence who as said earlier, have not notched a Big East win and their non-conference schedule produced a 7-4 record with no marquee wins under their belt. That doesn't mean Providence will roll over. Quite the contrary, the Friars will view DePaul as a winnable game with DePaul equally struggling.

For DePaul to come away victorious, they have to bottle up the guards of Providence. Leading the way is 6-4 senior Donnie McGrath. He is averaging 14.2 PPG (second on team) while leading the Friars in minutes played and three pointers made. Also providing punch in the backcourt is speedy dynamo Sharaud Curry. Curry is a 5-10 (although that might be a stretch) freshman guard, who energizes the Friars when on the court. He leads the team in assists with 53. He is currently third in scoring (11.1 PPG) and also second in three pointers made.

The guards are not the only story for the Friars. The play of 6-10 sophomore center Randall Hanke has recently turned some heads. Hanke has shot a stunning 70.3% from the field so far this season in leading the Big East while leading the Friars in scoring with 14.9 PPG. He is a force to be reckoned with. He also chips in 5.2 RPG and leads the team in blocks with 30. Also adding a dimension for Providence is 6-7 Freshman Geoff McDermott. McDermott leads the team in rebounds with 8.5 RPG, placing him 6th in the Big East. McDermott contributes 10.6 PPG while also leading the team in steals with 30.

Providence Head Coach Tim Welsh has himself a balanced squad with four players in double figures in scoring and a fifth (6-5 Freshman guard Weyinmi Efejuku) who is right there with 8.9 PPG.

DePaul in many ways mirrors Providence. They both have leadership with guards Sammy Mejia (15.8 PPG) and McGrath. They both have impact freshmen point guards they rely on, Curry for Providence and Jabari Currie for DePaul (5.3 PPG). Both rely on freshmen to score, McDermott and Efejuku for Providence and Wilson Chandler (9.5 PPG) for DePaul. Although as of now, Chandler is under suspension for a violation of team policy. Chandler has already sat one game against Marquette. It is doubtful that he will play at Providence. DePaul center Wesley Green should be good to go, however, after sitting out the second half of the Marquette game with a slight ankle injury.

Both DePaul and Providence need to stop the bleeding if they hope to be one of the 12 teams included in the Big East Tournament. The winner will have a toe up on the other. And remember this is a mirror game, meaning this is one of the three teams DePaul will face twice. The second meeting will be in Chicago on February 7th.

Providence Roster

NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School

1 Donnie McGrath SR 6-4 190 Guard Katonah, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Catholic

4 Sharaud Curry FR 5-10 165 Guard Gainesville, Ga./Wheeler High School

11 Geoff McDermott FR 6-7 230 Guard/Forward New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle High School

12 Ray Cross SO 5-11 170 Guard Cumberland, R.I./St. Andrew's

13 Weyinmi Efejuku FR 6-5 205 Guard Fresh Meadows, N.Y./Brewster Academy

15 Herbert Hill JR 6-10 230 Forward/Center Kinston, N.C./Kinston

20 Chris Baudinet FR 6-5 200 Forward Watertown, Conn./Taft School

25 Sean VanDeWalle JR 6-4 205 Forward Elmhurst, Ill./Fenwick

31 Timothy Englert SR 5-11 165 Guard Ramsey, N.J./Bergen Catholic

32 Randall Hanke SO 6-11 230 Center New York, N.Y./Trinity-Pawling School

33 Charles Burch SO 6-6 218 Forward Dorchester, Mass./Tabor Academy

34 Jonathan Kale FR 6-8 240 Forward Mattapan, Mass./St. Andrew's School


Tim Welsh - Head Coach

Steve DeMeo - Associate Head Coach

Bill Courtney - Assistant Coach

Vince Cautero - Assistant Coach

Kevin Kurbec - Director of Basketball Operations

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