DePaul Blue Demons vs. Georgetown Hoyas – Tuesday, January 31, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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Tuesday night the DePaul Blue Demons (8-10, 1-6) host the Georgetown Hoyas (14-4, 5-2) at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 CST. This game will be televised on ESPN Classic.
As of Sunday afternoon the Hoyas had earned themselves an AP top 25 ranking of 21, and had garnered 38 votes in the Week 12 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll; only four back of Michigan for the 26th slot, and only 11 behind North Carolina for the 25th. When the next poll is released, that will have changed. Georgetown is riding a four game winning streak that includes victories over then #1 undefeated Duke, a double-overtime win in South Bend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and most recently a comfortable win over a good Cincinnati Bearcat team. Before their Saturday match-up against Cincinnati, Bearcat Coach Andy Kennedy said that Georgetown "is playing as well as anybody in our league, if not the country at this point."
Coach Kennedy also said, "The great thing about this league is that we have an opportunity for redemption." Though he was talking about his team, this statement holds validity for all. The DePaul community can heed these words, the program has a great opportunity with Georgetown at Allstate to break a five game skid, and get the train rolling so as to make a good run towards the BIG EAST Conference Tournament.
DePaul, sitting at the bottom of the Big East standings, will get to take some shots for redemption during their last nine games of the regular season. In their five game slump they dropped the ball in a heart breaker at then #11 Pitt, lost to Rutgers, Marquette (twice), and Providence.
Maybe here they can get revved up and change the beat. This game has to showcase part of the heart of DePaul's season. Depaul could be playing without who DePaul Blue Demon Head Coach Jerry Wainwright has called their, "unquestioned leader," Sammy Mejia. Sammy is potentially out with an ankle injury he suffered in the first half vs. Marquette on the 25th. X-rays taken for broken bones came back negative.
Editor's Note: On Monday, Mejia's status was upgraded to "expected to play".
Georgetown, traveling from the nation's capital, will probably do more of the same things that had allowed them to domineer a seven game win streak that lasted just short of a month (December 11th - January 8th), and those that have since allowed them to continue with their winning ways during the time of this their most recent four-game winning streak.
The team is trailing closely behind four ranked teams in the Big East, all of them ranked in the top 15 by both major polls (#13 West Virginia , # 1 Connecticut, #10 Pittsburgh, and #6 Villanova, by ESPN/USA Today Coaches). These Big East teams are some of the best teams in the nation. Hoya Head Coach John Thompson III has his players in-line with the best in the conference, and with evidence by their victory over Duke, this is a team capable of beating anyone.
It appears as if every one of the Hoya starting five can score between 10 and 20 points a game, and 6-7 senior G-F Darrel Owens could be one of the best sixth men in college basketball. Georgetown sophomore center Roy Hibbert shoots 60% from the floor, good for 5th in the Big East. Georgetown as a team is shooting a whopping 48.9% from the floor, good for the best in the Big East. Georgetown also is also shooting upwards of 37% from beyond the 3-point line, good for 4th in the Big East (Big East Rankings as of Sunday).
Potentially losing one of their best defenders and leading scorer, Mejia, will be the focus of many people before and after the game. DePaul gets a ton of minutes from Mejia, and he will probably be below his average on Tuesday. 6-4 sophomore guard Draelon Burns and 6-1 sophomore guard Cliff Clinkscales are likely to touch the ball more than their usual.
There is no picking up the slack for Sammy. Sammy never slacks. This game is the biggest test of the basketball season for the DePaul players. They will either win as a team or lose as a team. Heart may be the X factor. Or, Georgetown may just be the better basketball team on this night. Though at Allstate, this is a very competitive and strong Georgetown team with a Princeton educated coach, and there is a lot of momentum behind them. Not quite like the setup of beating Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, but… fans that root for the underdog, this game has a good mix of emotional ingredients that could help the Blue Demons pull out a win.
DePaul will have a chance to beat one of the nation's best teams, end the loosing streak, and most importantly increase their conference winning record to two. That number, though small, means a lot at this stage of the season. If they can get a win here they will nearer the tally of Seton Hall, Louisville, and Providence: all teams that they will play in the eight games after this one.
A Georgetown win would inch their team closer to a first round bye in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament, and stack further their 14-4 overall record to 15-4. Georgetown has games in the near future against Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Villanova. Even with the resounding wins they have managed to pull off in the last week and half, this game reigns important for the Hoyas, but a win or loss is not exactly the key to any lock.
NO NAME HT WT POS YEAR Hometown/High School
0 Ashanti Cook 6-2 185 Guard SR Inglewood, Calif./Westchester
1 Brandon Bowman 6-9 223 Forward SR Santa Monica, Calif./Westchester
2 Jonathan Wallace 6-1 188 Guard SO Harvest, Ala./Sparkman
4 Kenny Izzo 6-9 230 Forward JR Chicago, Ill./Fenwick
20 Darrel Owens 6-7 215 Forward/Guard SR Napoleonville, La./Assumption
21 Jessie Sapp 6-3 205 Guard FR New York, N.Y./National Christian
22 Tyler Crawford 6-3 206 Guard/Forward SO Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee
23 Josh Thornton 6-2 174 Guard FR Rochester, N.Y./Caesar Rodney
24 Octavius (Tay) Spann 6-7 215 Forward FR College Park, Ga./Banneker
32 Jeff Green 6-9 235 Forward SO Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern
34 Marc Egerson 6-6 225 Forward FR Wilmington, Del./Glasgow
40 Ryan Beal 6-5 210 Guard SR Coral Gables, Fla./Ransom Everglades
44 Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw 6-9 240 Forward/Center RS SR Washington, D.C./St. Alban's
52 Sead Dizdarevic 6-9 240 Forward JR Serbia & Montenegro/North Highland
55 Roy Hibbert 7-2 283 Center SO Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep
John Thompson III - Head Coach
Robert Burke - Assistant Coach
Kevin Broadus - Assistant Coach
Sydney Johnson - Assistant Coach
Matt Henry - Director of Basketball Operations
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