DePaul vs. Chicago State Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com previews Wednesday's game between the Chicago State Cougars and the DePaul Blue Demons at Allstate Arena. Plus we have a bonus Q & A with Jerry Wainwright and Sammy Mejia.

** WeAreDePaul.com's William Haley, Steve Newhouse & Scott Phillips contributed to this report

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Chicago State Cougars – Wednesday, December 6, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena - Rosemont, Illinois

Television -

There is no television for this game.

Radio

WSCR – The Score - AM 670 - Chicago

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

WSCR Broadcast

WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Chicago State Official Athletics Site

Official Chicago State Athletics Site


Game Preview – Can't Play the Name on the Uniform

Coming off a 64-57 upset of fifth ranked Kansas on Saturday, the DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball team now face the Chicago State Cougars on Wednesday night. DePaul needs to avoid a letdown and can't underestimate a much improved Chicago State team. "That's the greatest battle, the battle against human nature," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "The great teams play against the game, the up and down teams play against the name on the uniform. That's something that we've really struggled with."

DePaul needs to bring the same kind of effort that they brought against Kansas. "Chicago State and Northwestern State, these teams coming in, I know they sound funky," Wainwright said. "They're all good. They've got unbelievable incentive to play. But why shouldn't we have the same incentive is my question."

Wainwright has to make sure that his team takes the right mental approach to this game. "When you have Chicago State, they aren't Kansas, so your job is to try and sell them to play well. Especially a local team, a lot of our guys have played against their guys in the summer and there is a built in respect factor at any level. Can you be distracted? You can be distracted against anybody you play. We won't be."

Jerry is looking to keep his team on an even keel. "People get way, way too low on losses, way too high on wins and one of the things we try to preach is consistent attitude, enjoy each day. They've been pretty good you know. I think it's really helped us that we're on break and practicing, but they bounce right back and they're going to respect the next opponent like they did Kansas."

Chicago State is 3-5 coming in. CSU is familiar with playing on the road with only one home game so far this year. Chicago State's most impressive win was against UTEP on the road. The Cougars have played tough opponents in Indiana, Texas, Wichita State, and New Mexico State. Wichita State is now ranked in the top ten in the nation, so the Cougars will not be intimidated by DePaul in the least. "You look at who Chicago State has played and where they've played, they have a fearless coach, they're a fearless team and they'll be more than good competition," Wainwright expressed. "They are a team you have to beat, they aren't going to beat themselves."

CSU's offense is paced by 5'8" David Holston (18ppg) with a high game of 43 vs St. Bonaventure and 5'9" Royce Parran (12 ppg). Last year Parran had high games of 37 and 39. The Cougars' smaller and quicker guards may create matchup problems for DePaul.

Other double figure scorers are Cam-ron Clay (12ppg) and Michael Henderson (14.9ppg). Guard Kevin Jones, Jr. is the son of head coach Kevin Jones.

CSU lost in the Mid-Continent tournament championship game last year. This year they are an Independent. The Demons should be able to exploit the lack of height and depth of the Cougars. DePaul needs to build on the momentum from the Kansas win and attempt to stack up some wins.

Q&A with Coach Jerry Wainwright

In exhibitions and with opponents like Chicago State do you try to do things to get ready for the Big East?

"Well you know you try to play different styles, Northwestern's style is really a West Virginia or Georgetown kind of style. I think that Chicago State is high octane, pressure, you know they shoot it up now, and they get up and down the court. They'll play as hard as anyone we play. You know it's kind of like what you'll face with a Connecticut or a Villanova."

Coach, Chicago State is a smaller team, how will that affect the gameplan?

"I like to think we have the ability to play small or big. I think you have to get a feel for how the game goes. We need to get our big guys involved in the game. We're trying to settle on who's an inside player for us. Keith's appearance in our lineup has really helped, it's really helped in practice. You know we got to do what we do, we can't really worry so much about what they do. But they are small and quick, a lot like a Bradley team that we played earlier on. I think we learned some lessons there that we will hopefully be able to apply (Wednesday) night."

Also with the solid play of Jabari Currie, what can we expect his role to be in upcoming games?

"Well you know I don't mean this disrespectfully, but he better concentrate and have a solid role in each and every game. I thought he came into the season with a lot of experience and he really played well at the end of last season, you know he's got to relax and get after it and I thought he did against Kansas. I think he's been fighting his game and trying to do things, that extra special play, he's a good player, we need him to play well. He just needs to continue to get minutes and do what he does, because we know he changed the game with his speed and his size and that could be a big factor (for Wednesday) night's game as well."

Q&A with Sammy Mejia

You're playing Chicago State, the Kansas game means something, how do you come through on these other games?

"This is a game where we can't feed off of the crowd like the Kansas game. We can't feed off the same emotion as Kansas. Both teams are coming here trying to beat us. We have to prepare for Chicago State the same way we prepared for Kansas. Hopefully we'll come out with the same energy and enthusiasm and excitement to beat Chicago State as we did for Kansas."

Do you have to be more mentally prepared for a Chicago State game?

"Definitely, we know what type of team Chicago State is, they pretty much play unconscious. They're not afraid to take any shot in any time of the game. We need to do a good job of not letting them get a good start and feed off a couple of shots, and gaining momentum, and playing faster. They have some short guards who will run around and shoot threes all day, so we have to make sure we contain them to a minimum."

You've cramped up a couple times in games this year. Is that going to stop now that you're more in game?

"Hopefully that'll stop with me being in better game shape day in and day out. I just got to drink a lot more fluids. Sometimes you get caught up in the season and everything and focus on the little things such as eating right, drinking water. I'm going to start drinking a lot more water, a lot more Gatorade and keep my body hydrated."

Chicago State Cougars Roster

No. Name Pos. Hgt. Cl/Exp Hometown (High School/Previous)

1 Tony Mane F 6-1 Fr.-HS Milwaukee, WI (St. Thomas More HS)

3 David Holston G 5-8 Jr.-1L Pontiac, MI (Avondale HS)

4 Walter Woghiren G 6-0 Sr.-TR Richton Park, IL (University of Dubuque)

11 Royce Parran G 5-9 Sr.-3L Chicago, IL (Lincoln Park HS)

12 Michael Henderson F 6-5 Sr.-1L Chicago, IL (Lincoln College)

20 Kevin Jones, Jr. G 6-2 Sr.-2L Indianapolis, IN (Coastal Christian Academy)

21 Kourtney Calvin F 6-8 Sr.-1L New Orleans, LA (Highland CC)

23 John Cantrell G 6-2 *Jr.-1L Pontiac, MI (Northern HS)

30 Aaron Williams G 6-3 Sr.-1L Peoria, IL (Lincoln College)

31 Cam-Ron Clay F 6-8 Sr.-1L Maywood, IL (Santa Monica City College)

32 Chidozie Chukwumah C 7-0 Jr.-TR Columbus, OH (St. Catharine's College)

44 Carl Ross C 6-10 So.-TR Chicago, IL (Prairie State College)

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