DePaul vs. Providence Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com previews the Big East conference rematch between the DePaul Blue Demons and the Providence Friars.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Providence Friars – Tuesday, February 7, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television -

There is no television broadcast for this game.

Radio

WKCG 105.9 FM Chicago

WSKO 99.7 FM - Providence

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

WCKG

Providence Radio – Pay to Listen

WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Providence Official Athletics Site

Official Providence Athletics Site

Providence Fans Site

Friar Insider


Game Preview

A must-win game? It is a phrase that is quite often used and abused in the sports world, but it does fit the game slated for Tuesday night at the Allstate Arena when the Blue Demons attempt to defend their home court against the Providence Friars. It is a must win for both teams if they have any aspirations of making it to Madison Square Garden in four weeks for the Big East Tourney. In a rematch of the January 21st 76-75 Friar victory, the Demons will look to avenge that loss and start a conference winning streak of their own.

Both teams come in to the game victorious in their last outings with the Demons traveling to South Florida and coming home with an 80-66 victory; and the Friars holding off St. Johns' at home by a 81-73 final. However, this will be a different Demon team that takes the court this game. In the last meeting, both Wilson Chandler and Wesley Green were not available; and leading scorer Sammy Mejia did not start due to a violation of team rules. However, Mejia did come off the bench to lead the Demons with a season and career high of 30 points.

The Demons will use the extra big men to try and do a better job of containing 6'11" Sophomore Center, Randall Hanke, this time around. Hanke had 19 points and 6 rebounds in the first game, and for all intents and purposes owned the paint offensively and defensively as he also altered or disrupted numerous Demon shot attempts. It will fall on the tag team of Brumfield and Green to push Hanke out of his comfort zone in the box, and disrupt the inside-outside game the Friars employed in their earlier victory.

As usual, Mejia will not only be counted upon to score for the Blue Demons; but he will also draw the task of defending the lone senior in the Friar starting lineup, 6'4" sharpshooter Donnie McGrath. McGrath put up 16 points in the first meeting, while hitting 4 of 9 shots from behind the 3-point arc. After his 30-point outburst in the first meeting, Mejia will no doubt be the focus of the Friar defensive attention this time around. That should create opportunities for the Demon big men and wings to get the ball in favorable one on one match up situations.

Joining Hanke and McGrath in the starting lineup for the Friars is current Big East Rookie of the week, 5'10" point guard Sharaud Curry; previous (week of 12/27) Big East Rookie of the week, 6'7" forward Geoff McDermott; and the third freshman starter, 6'5" guard Weyinmi Efejuku. Curry is a quick water bug type of point guard who the Demons must contain so that the Friar big men do not get easy lay ups off his dribble penetration. That job will fall to the point guard duo of Jabari Currie and Cliff Clinkscales. While Clinkscales has been receiving the starting nod the past few games; both players have seen pretty equal court time in Coach Wainwright's rotation as of late.

Karron Clarke and Wilson Chandler seem to match up well on paper with McDemott and Efejuku in terms of size and statistical output, but the Demons must do a much better job this game of disrupting the Friar offense. As a team they shot 50% (26-52) from the floor last game, and if you back out their 5-20 performance from the 3-point line; the Friars shot a sizzling 65% from the floor!

On offense, the Demons will look to build on the positive momentum the South Florida victory provided on Friday. "I thought the key to the game for us was our ability to pass the basketball," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. "We had a great number of assists to baskets. We've worked on a lot of things and tried to get it to mesh, and it got to clicking a little bit tonight where we moved the basketball better than we have in a long time." The Demons used 21 assists on 30 baskets to propel them to a season best game FG % of 57% against the Bulls.

Many Demon fans are pointing to the growth of this Demon squad over their last seven regular season games as the barometer of the future of the program. If part of that growth is to be a berth in the 2006 Big East tournament and the NIT, this is truly a must-win game for Coach Wainwright and his Blue Demons.

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

Coaches

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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