DePaul Blue Demons vs. Seton Hall Pirates – Saturday, February 25, 2006 – 2:00 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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Tough Talk from DePaul Head Coach Jerry Wainwright
"As we look at the rest of the season, the minute anybody in our program stops competing or doesn't play to win, if there is one kid in our program who doesn't down the stretch here, he won't be part of DePaul basketball in the future."
Wainwright on the Seton Hall Pirates
"You're talking about a terrific, terrific person in Louis Orr. I'm old enough to have remembered him as a player. I think he's had a tremendous calming effect on his team and allowed them to come back during the year after kind of bumpy start. Their guard play right now is as good as anybody in the league. Copeland and Nutter are playing terrific. Kelly Whitney is a Chicago kid and I've always liked him. He's built his body up and he's given them an inside presence."
What does DePaul have left in its tank after another disappointing loss to Louisville (65-53) on Wednesday? Well, if they have any chance of somehow getting to New York for the Big East Tournament, they might have to run on fumes if they have any hope. It doesn't get any easier as the Seton Hall Pirates come to town on Saturday afternoon for yet another "Must-Win" game.
The silver lining is Seton Hall is struggling a bit after all but securing a NCAA bid earlier in the season with wins over Syracuse, N.C. State, and West Virginia. But they are coming off a bad loss on Tuesday as St. John's defeated the Pirates 58-47. The Pirates are squarely on the bubble losing their last two games to fall to 16-9 overall and 7-6 in Big East play. Both teams will view this as a "Must-Win", but for different reasons. Seton Hall needs a win to get back in the good graces of the NCCA Tournament committee and as said earlier, DePaul needs this if they have any fading hope of getting to New York for the Big East Tournament.
Seton Hall is a balanced squad with three players in double figures in scoring. Leading the way is 5-10 senior guard Donald Copeland (15.5 ppg and also a team high 112 assists). He is flanked in the backcourt by 6-2 junior Jamar Nutter (12.3 ppg). They are an experienced backcourt that can be dangerous against DePaul's young squad.
But the player to keep an eye on, is the player who calls Chicago home, 6-8 senior forward/center Kelly Whitney. Whitney is second on the team in scoring with 15 ppg, first in rebounding (7.9 rpg) blocks (21), and minutes (36.2 mpg). He is the anchor in the middle and playing in front of his home crowd can only help. He is helped in the frontcourt by 6-5 Sophomore Brain Laing (6.1 ppg) and 6-10 Junior center Grant Billmeier (4.5 ppg).
Much like DePaul has a few New York kids (Sammy Mejia, Karron Clarke, and Cliff Clinkscales), Seton Hall can combat that with a few Chicago players of their own. Not only do they have Whitney on roster, but also a key reserve is 6-7 junior forward Stan Gaines (5.6 ppg 4.4 rpg). Gaines is also from Chicago and prepped at Providence St. Mel. He played at Minnesota before transferring to Seton Hall. Also on the roster is Carl Marshall of Chicago (Crane High School). Those two provide depth along with 5-11 freshman Paul Gause and 6-10 sophomore Marcus Cousin.
For DePaul to win they must again take care of the ball and get in the hands of Mejia (14.7 ppg). Also the emerging play of freshman Wilson Chandler (21 points and 9 rebounds against Louisville) and for him to establish a rhythm is crucial. But what DePaul more than likely have to do is REBOUND. They were crushed on the boards against Louisville getting out-rebounded 39-31. Whitney will pose a big threat and Marlon Brumfield, Chandler, and company must hold their own on the glass.
Even if the Big East Tournament is a stretch, the team must play with pride and passion for at least gaining some momentum heading into next season. DePaul can ill afford any more losses on its battered ego.
DePaul center Wesley Green has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and is not expected to play against Seton Hall.
Seton Hall Roster
No. Name Cl. Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Hometown/High School
33 Grant Billmeier Jr. C 6-10 252 Pennington, N.J./St. Patrick's
10 Donald Copeland Sr. G 5-10 170 Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony
25 Tyrell Cotten So. G 5-8 160 Corona, N.Y./St. John's Prep
50 Marcus Cousin So. F/C 6-10 245 Baltimore, Md./Randallstown
23 Stan Gaines Jr. F 6-7 242 Chicago, Ill./Providence St. Mel/Minnesota
31 John Garcia Fr. F/C 6-9 265 Bayshore, N.Y./Brentwood
22 Paul Gause Fr. G 5-11 188 Pittsgrove, N.J./Arthur P. Schalick
14 Brian Laing So. G/F 6-5 215 Bronx, N.Y./St. Raymond's
20 Carl Marshall Jr. G 5-11 180 Chicago, Ill./Crane/Indian Hills CC (Iowa)
21 Mani Messy Jr. F 6-7 220 Gloucester, Ontario/St. Benedict's Prep (N.J.)
2 Jamar Nutter Jr. G 6-2 205 Bloomfield, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
32 David Palmer Fr. F/C 6-9 240 Antioch, Tenn./Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
15 Mike Pilgrim So. F 6-8 240 Cincinnati, Ohio/Brewster Academy (N.H.)/Cincinnati
1 Kelly Whitney Sr. F/C 6-8 240 Chicago, Ill./Christian Faith Center Academy (N.C.)
Louis Orr (Syracuse '80)
Billy Garrett (Indianapolis '91)
John Dunne (Ithaca '92)
George Jackson (Wittenberg '78)
John Morton (Seton Hall '90)
Director of Basketball Operations:
Lori Perillo (Buffalo '97)
DePaul vs. Seton Hall Game Preview
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