DePaul Blue Demons vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Saturday, March 4, 2006 - 3 p.m. CST – South Bend, Indiana
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The Blue Demons on the Fighting Irish
"It's a winner take all game," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "It's a great game. What a great game for young players to be a part of early in their career, where everything is on the line, especially on someone else's homecourt. I was told the game is sold out. You have to go into the coliseum and beat the lions. I think our kids will be excited about giving that a try."
"Obviously we're excited," said DePaul junior guard Sammy Mejia. "As long as we play hard and pay attention to scouting reports we feel we have the potential to get a win no matter where we go. We've been pretty good on the road this year. So, I'm confident going into Notre Dame."
"We just have to go out there to Notre Dame and do what we have been doing for the past couple weeks and hopefully get a win over there," commented Mejia.
"Coach mentioned that it was sold out," Mejia said. "It's going to be fun. Last time we played there, we got a win. Some of the guys that have been around, played there before. We did a pretty good job on the road this year. Our guys are never afraid. We always step up to the challenge. I'm extremely confident about our chances going into the game. I think we match-up well with them."
Game Preview - DePaul Wants a Chance at Some Dancing
DePaul will finish their inaugural Big East regular season at Notre Dame on Saturday. DePaul and Notre Dame are long time rivals going back to their independent days having played 93 games with Notre Dame holding the overall series record 50-43. DePaul enters the contest with a 12-14 record and Notre Dame at 14-12. Both teams are 5-10 in conference play. DePaul won the first match-up this season at Allstate Arena 73-67.
DePaul comes off a 108-69 thumping over Syracuse on Thursday. Notre Dame comes into Saturday's contest with a clutch road win at Providence 82-75. Both teams still have hopes for getting into the Big East tournament. DePaul needs a win and a little help in reaching the team's mid-season goal of playing in Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament. As many know already Notre Dame has had very little luck in the Big East this year with a bunch of close losses. Before Marquette beat Notre Dame by eight points last week, DePaul's win against them was tied with Syracuse as their biggest losing spread. It seems that both teams are playing pretty good basketball going into today's game.
Notre Dame, on offense, keys on penetration and kick out three pointers for a lot of their offense. They will begin most games hoping to establish the inside post so the court will open up and the three point shot will be more available later in the game. Notre Dame is good at the in-between game also. They will get shots from all places on the court. They are patient on offense and will make the extra pass for scores when necessary. On defense, Notre Dame will play pretty conservatively and won't jump out and try for steals or do a lot of overplaying defensively. They do have two big guys in the frontcourt that can block some shots. Overall most teams can score on them if they are patient.
Head coach Mike Brey is a former Duke assistant and patterns his offense from the Duke teams of today. This is Mike Brey's tenth year as a head coach with his first five being at Delaware. He has a career record of 215-120. Coach Brey is a perfect fit for ND because they know he will run a clean program, but still be real competitive in a conference like the Big East. The last couple of years has been tough on Notre Dame being a bubble team that barely missed out on an NCAA bid. Both years they had a winning conference record but a first round Big East tournament loss cost them an NCAA tournament berth. This year they are just trying to save face and make the conference tournament.
A key player for the Irish is pre-season honorable mention senior guard Chris Quinn who averages 18 points per game. Their main big guy is 6' 11" senior Torin Francis who averages 11 points and 10 rebounds. Other key players are sharp shooter junior Colin Falls and freshman Indiana Mr. Basketball Luke Zeller. Notre Dame is just full of role players that know their position in the Brey system such as starter Russell Carter and bench players Kyle McAlarney and Rob Kurz and the valuable Rick Cornett. Overall the Irish play an eight man rotation.
The key to beating Notre Dame will be to again get off to a fast start and match their Senior Day excitement by playing with poise and getting through the first ten minutes of the game. We need to stop penetration, not take chances on defense and also play smart patient offense. Being near home Wilson Chandler will play fired up but hopefully not too pumped up and take bad shots. DePaul will play in one of the best cozy environments in the Big East. They need to use that for their own motivation to make sure the Irish fans go home in disappointment.
Notre Dame Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Class Hometown Previous School
2 Chris Quinn, G 6-2 Jr. Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman
11 Rick Cornett, F 6-8 Sr. Country Club Hills, Illinois./Homewood Christian Acd.
15 Colin Falls, G 6-5 Jr. Park Ridge, Illinois/Loyola Academy
23 Kyle McAlarney, G 6-1 Fr. Staten Island, New York/Moore Catholic
24 Chris Murphy, F 6-6 Sr. Downers Grove, Illinois/Benet Academy
31 Bob Kurz, F 6-9 So. Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania/William Penn Charter
33 Zack Hillesland, F 6-8 Fr. Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit
40 Luke Zeller, C 6-11 Fr. Washington, Indiana/Washington
42 Ryan Ayers, G 6-7 Fr. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania/Germantown Academy
43 Russell Carter, G 6-4 Jr. Paulsboro, New Jersey/Paulsboro
DePaul vs. Notre Dame Game Preview
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