DePaul Blue Demons vs. UC-Irvine Anteaters – Wednesday, December 20, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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After scoring their first road win of the year at Rhode Island, the DePaul Blue Demons return home on Wednesday night for the first of three games at Allstate Arena to close out the 2006 non-conference schedule. The Blue Demons (6-5) are undefeated at home as the California-Irvine Anteaters come calling on Wednesday.
UC-Irvine has to have one of the more unusual nicknames in collegiate sports next to the Banana Slugs of UC-Santa Cruz. The Anteaters (4-6) have done very well at home, scoring an upset victory over South Carolina and have also remained undefeated at home. The road has been a different story for the Anteaters where they have yet to win a game. UC-Irvine has recorded some big road losses at Oregon (85-42) and Nevada (83-64). This is the first of a two game swing through Chicago as Irvine plays at Loyola on Friday night.
Irvine recently welcomed back senior captain Nic Campbell who missed the first nine games with a bulging disc. Campbell scored 10 points in his return, a 70-62 overtime victory over Sam Houston State.
The Anteaters have three other players who average in double figures. Patrick Sanders leads all scorers at 12.8 points per game. In the upset of South Carolina, Adam Templeton led the way with 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, he's averaging 11.5 ppg. 6-7 Darren Fells has been contributing with 11 ppg and leads the Anteaters with 6.6 boards per game.
While only averaging 6.6 ppg, junior guard Chuma Awaji had a career high 15 points and 14 rebounds in last week's overtime win over Sam Houston State.
The Anteaters rely heavily on an eight man rotation. If any of their starters get into trouble, the Blue Demons depth will be overwhelming. Irvine doesn't start anyone over 6-6, so DePaul can definitely dominate with their size upfront.
After starting out the season with losses at Bradley and Northwestern DePaul has now won four of their last five. The Blue Demons have also ratcheted up their defense, holding opponents to under 39% shooting in their last two games.
As long as there is no underestimating or letdown from the Rhode Island game, the Blue Demons should run away with this opponent. Is there a concern about a letdown? "We've got a tape of Cal-Irvine beating South Carolina," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright told WSCR radio. "The biggest competition in our program for the guys should be for playing time. As long as we keep that first and foremost in their mind; I don't mean that in a cuthroat way. I don't think there will be that kind of letdown. We're really anxious to play at home and not travel. I'm looking forward to us really, really taking a big step with our play."
No. Name Pos Ht Wt Yr Hometown/Previous School
1 Michael Hunter G 5-10 155 Fr. Aurora, CO (Maine Central Institute)
2 Marcus McIntosh G 6-1 188 Jr. Aurora, CO (Texas A&M)
3 Chuma Awaji G 6-3 199 Jr. Los Angeles, CA (Lon Morris College)
11 Nic Campbell F 6-6 225 Sr. Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
12 Chad McDaniel G 6-0 175 So. Rosamond, CA (Lancaster HS)
15 Mark Kelley F/C 6-8 240 Sr. Pasadena, CA (Citrus College)
20 Justin Johnson G 6-2 165 Fr. El Segundo, CA (El Segundo HS)
21 Patrick Sanders F 6-6 198 Jr. Corona, CA (Orange HS)
22 Chad DeCasas G 6-5 215 Fr. Mission Viejo, CA (Capistrano Valley HS)
32 Adam Templeton F 6-6 212 So. Rapid City, SD (Rapid City Central HS)
33 Darren Fells F/C 6-7 250 Jr. Fullerton, CA (Fullerton HS)
40 J.J. Cannizzaro G 6-3 190 Jr. Millbrae, CA (Foothill College)
42 Kevin Bland F 6-8 235 Jr. Tracy, CA (San Joaquin Delta College)
45 Wolfgang Gieler C 6-9 255 Fr. Bonn, Germany (Peter-Joerres Gym.)
Head Coach: Pat Douglass (10th Season)
Assistants: Tod Murphy (4th Season), Ross Land (1st Season), Rhett Soliday (1st Season)
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