DePaul vs. Northwestern Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com's Michael Whiteside previews the battle between the DePaul Blue Demons and the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, Illinois on Tuesday night...

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Northwestern Wildcats - Tuesday, November 14th, 7::00 p.m. - Welsh-Ryan Arena, Evanston, IL

Television - None

Radio - WGN AM 720 Chicago

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

DePaul Broadcast

WGN Radio

WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Scout.com Northwestern Fan Site

PurpleWildcats.Com


The Last Time

On November 26, 2005 at Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons downed Northwestern 59-49 in what was Jerry Wainwright's first victory at DePaul. Senior Vedran Vukusic finished with 22 points to lead all scorers for the Wildcats. Karron Clarke recorded a double-double as he racked up 15 points and 10 boards for DePaul. Jabari Currie chipped in with 13 points in his second game as a freshman.

Game Preview - Blue Demons, Wildcats looking to bounce back

It's too bad that college basketball teams don't share the same benefit that the average weekend hacker enjoys on the golf course of being able to take a "Mulligan" after slicing that first tee shot about 100 yards to the right and into the woods.

Surely, both DePaul and Northwestern would love to be able to pretend like their respective opening night games never happened.

In Friday night's season opener, the rebuilding Wildcats of the Big Ten Conference dropped a 64-61 decision at home to Cornell, an Ivy League school not exactly renowned as a college basketball power. The 3-point triumph for Cornell was the school's first victory over a Big Ten team since the 1967-68 season.

Twenty four hours later, the Blue Demons were dealt a surprisingly easy 20-point blowout loss on the road in Peoria at the hands of Bradley. Since the Braves lost arguably their top four players from last season's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team, including big man Patrick O'Bryant who was a lottery pick in the June NBA draft, DePaul entered the game as a 3-point favorite over the Missouri Valley Conference school that has now defeated the Blue Demons three straight years.

But the good news for both DePaul and Northwestern fans is that one of their teams will walk out of Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston a winner after Tuesday night's meeting.

Unlike the Blue Demons, who return all but one starter from the youthful 2005-06 squad that finished the season with a 12-15 record in the school's inaugural campaign in the extremely difficult Big East conference, seventh-year head coach Bill Carmody's Wildcats have major holes to fill after the loss to graduation of the Big Ten's second leading scorer, Vedran Vukusic (19.0 ppg), and Mohamed Hachad (11.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg), who was also the team's best defender.

Northwestern returns no players from last year's team who averaged double figures in Carmody's low-scoring offensive system that he brought with him from Princeton.

This season, the Wildcats will rely on a relatively inexperienced roster that features only one senior, Tim Doyle, who played double digit minutes last year. Doyle, a fifth-year transfer from St. John's, will be asked by Carmody to assume more of a leadership role this year and step-up his 8.0 ppg scoring average.

"Tim has to be a leader this year," Carmody said. "He has been here for a few years now and has played a lot of minutes. We lose a lot of leadership so I think he has to stand out. He has to score more, rebound more and have more of an impact and I think he is capable of doing that. He has to be the hardest worker on the team. Sometimes you don't realize it, but when he gets out on that court, he goes at it pretty hard. He competes and doesn't like to lose."

Doyle, a 6-5 swingman, scored 11 points during the first half in the loss to Cornell, but was held scoreless in the second stanza.

In addition to Doyle, other key returnees for the Wildcats include 6-4 guard Craig Moore (6.8 ppg), 6-10 center Vince Scott (3.0 ppg), and 6-4 guard Sterling Williams from Chicago Whitney Young high school (3.4 ppg).

"After losing some very good players, it's time for our other guys to come into their own," Carmody expressed. "We'll see how Tim and Vince have progressed. We were very happy with Sterling and Craig last year but they will have to be more consistent this time around."

A pair of highly-touted local freshmen are also expected to contribute this season for the Wildcats in 6-3 guard Jeremy Nash from Marist H.S. and 6-8 G/F Jeff Ryan from Glenbrook South H.S. Ryan recorded two steals in thirteen minutes of action in the Cornell contest.

"Jeremy is a Chicago product that we're very excited about," Carmody remarked. "He is a good-sized guard who makes open shots. He is a very fast learner and I think that is going to help him with his transition as well. Jeremy also has the potential to be a terrific defender."

"Jeff is just a solid all-around player," Carmody said. "He has looked good in all of his individual workouts. He does everything well and I think he is going to help us. He is a very hard worker and he's become much stronger in the past year. This should ease the transition from high school to college."

Kevin Coble, a 6-8 freshman forward from Phoenix, Arizona, earned a starting assignment against Cornell and tallied an impressive 10 points and seven rebounds.

"Kevin has done very well in his individual workouts," Carmody stated. "He has a knack for putting the ball in the basket. He needs to get stronger, but I expect him to help us this year. With Vedran and Mohamed gone, there are a lot of points out there to be had and we're hoping he can help us fill that void."

Notes: The Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath Award goes to the game's Most Valuable Player. DePaul's Wilson Chandler and Karron Clarke shared the award last year.

Northwestern senior Joe Kennedy is the son of former DePaul coach Pat Kennedy. He scored a total of six points last season for the Wildcats.

Northwestern Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Hometown/High School

00 Tim Doyle G/F 6-5 215 RS SR Merrick, N.Y./St. Dominic

1 Jason Okrzesik G 6-1 170 RS JR Wood Dale, Ill./Chicago Fenwick

2 Joe Kennedy G 5-11 195 SR Glenview, Ill./Loyola Academy

5 Jeff Ryan G/F 6-7 190 FR Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South

10 Patrick Houlihan F 6-5 190 SO Rockville Center, N.Y./Phillips Academy (Mass.)

11 Nikola Baran F 6-8 235 FR Zagreb, Croatia/Inova School

20 Craig Moore G 6-3 190 SO Doylestown, Pa./Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep

21 Ivan Peljusic F 6-8 195 FR Zadar, Croatia/V. Nazor Gymnasium

23 Jeremy Nash G 6-4 185 FR Chicago, Ill./Marist

25 Jean-Marc Melchior F 6-6 195 SO Contern, Luxembourg

32 Sterling Williams G/F 6-3 190 RS SO Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young

33 Matt Steger G/F 6-5 195 FR Northfield, Ill./Loyola Academy

42 Ivan Tolic C 6-9 285 GS Split, Croatia/Vladimir Nazor

44 Kevin Coble F 6-9 190 FR Phoenix, Ariz./Scottsdale Christian Academy

52 Vince Scott C 6-11 240 SR Phoenix, Ariz./Greenway

Coaches

Bill Carmody - Head Coach

Paul Lee - Assistant Coach

Mitch Henderson - Assistant Coach

Tavaras Hardy - Assistant Coach

Scott Barthlama - Athletic Trainer

John Davidson - Director of Operations

We Are DePaul Top Stories