"I did commit a NCAA violation today," jested DePaul men's basketball coach Jerry Wainwright. "Midway in the game I gave Lorenzo Thompson 20 bucks so I could wear his socks. I put a third pair on."
If it was cold in the arena, the Blue Demons sure didn't show it. DePaul was led by junior Karron Clarke with 15 points. Sophomore forward Wilson Chandler contributed with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The game featured significant play from the DePaul bench. DePaul got 42 points from it's bench as twelve players managed to score. The only player who didn't score was starter Lorenzo Thompson. Even walk-on Adam Handler managed to get in on the act with one point and two rebounds.
"It's always good when you get every guy on the team some playing experience, because you never know when you might need them," said senior forward Marcus Heard.
"I'm really pleased with the development of some of our kids," Wainwright said. "Wilson Chandler and Sammy Mejia were seven for 18. Which isn't awful. They more than anybody else on our team were more drained this week emotionally (after Saturday's win over fifth ranked Kansas). Our second group all week was Cliff (Clinkscales), Jabari (Currie), Draelon (Burns), Wesley (Green) and Marcus Heard. All those kids are pretty experienced players. They've all played in big games. It seems like every time we went to the bench tonight, we got a great lift."
Mejia and freshman Will Walker each chipped in with eight points.
The Blue Demons held CSU to 32.3% shooting from the field. "Every day in practice, Coach always says ‘you're not going to play if you don't play defense'," said Clarke. "That's why everybody stepped it up on on defense."
"I thought the key to our effort tonight was if you looked at the defensive rebounding side, Sam had two, Will Walker had two, Jabari Currie had three, Draelon Burns had two, and Thijin Moses had one. Those are all perimeter guys. I think that we've really tried to stress rebounding down from the perimeter. In terms of how we play defense, it's really important that our guards rebound. I think that we've gotten really better at that the last few games."
It was a rough night for Chicago State. The Cougars have been playing a brutal road schedule against top teams as an independent with no conference affiliation. Even the cross-town trip from Chicago State to Rosemont felt like a road trip to CSU coach Kevin Jones. "It seems like it was out of town, it took us so long to get here."
"I'm going to give DePaul credit, because they were prepared and they were much stronger," said Jones. "Tonight we were overpowered by their size at every position. They're quick and athletic along with their strength. That's the most physical team we've played this year and we've played Indiana and Texas. They're going to have a good year. They beat Kansas the other night. That was no fluke, they've got a good team."
David Holston led the way for the Cougars with 12 points. Wainwright had a scout team simulate the play of the 5-8 Holston and 5-10 Royce Parran in practice. "All week he had Cliff (Clinkscales) and Jabari (Currie) playing as those two guys, shooting it from everywhere, just like how they play," said Clarke. "So we were pretty much used to it by the time the game came."
Official Box Score
DePaul Rolls Over Chicago State 83-56
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