DePaul Blue Demons vs. Louisville Cardinals – Saturday, January 20, 2007 – 11:00 a.m. CST – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
There is no local radio broadcast for this game.
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Louisville Official Athletics Site
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Inside the Ville
Louisville comes into town after suffering a 74-65 loss at the hands of Marquette. The game was close throughout the first half, but Marquette's guards Wesley Matthews, Dominic James, and Jerel McNeal were uncontrollable in the second half and put the game away. DePaul on Tuesday beat St. John's 71-63 after a lackluster first half that saw DePaul fall behind by eight points at halftime. A strong 18-0 run got DePaul in the lead for good and was led by a number of DePaul's non-starters, namely Jabari Currie and Marcus Heard.
In last year's match at Louisville, the Blue Demons and Cardinals battled really hard and the game was close for the first 30 minutes until Louisville broke it open with a 10-0 run midway thru the second half and won 65-53. Wilson Chandler had a big game for DePaul with 21 points and nine rebounds, and Draelon Burns had 15 points, but Sammy Mejia was held to only eight points.
This is not quite the same Louisville team as in the past. They have an 11-6 record despite only having played three true road games the whole year. This is a very young team, with only one senior averaging double digits in minutes. They don't have any power wins to show for this year, and have an RPI in the mid-80's. DePaul and Louisville have played two common opponents so far. Louisville beat Northwestern State 100-87 after being down 11 at halftime, while DePaul struggled in the first half but smoked NSU in the second half and won by 30 in a 97-67 rout. Louisville also lost at home to Kentucky 61-49 while DePaul lost to Kentucky 87-81 in the opening round of the Maui Classic.
The team has had its share of injuries. Brandon Jenkins broke his leg over the summer and is slowly coming back into form. Andre McGee, thought to be a strong candidate for the starting point guard slot, had knee surgery. He reinjured himself in early January after just coming back from the surgery and may be done for the season. Starting power forward Juan Palacios has also been out for a period of time but played against Marquette and will play against DePaul. Center David Padgett has been slowed all year by knee injuries, and his availability for the DePaul game is iffy. Because of all the injuries, Coach Pitino has gone many times to a three guard and sometimes four guard lineup, which may provide some matchup problems against the wing-oriented DePaul team.
The team is led by sophomore 6-6 forward Terrence Williams, who averages 13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds a game, and 3.7 assists a game, all team highs. 6-1 freshman PG Edgar Sosa averages 11 points and three assists per game. The 6-3 senior wing guard Jenkins is the team's defensive stopper, but his numbers are down from last year. 6-11 junior center David Padgett's numbers are also down from last year. The 6-8 250lb. junior Palacios is the starting power forward (assuming that he starts) and can play the three as well.
6'9" 290 lb. Derrick Caracter was supposed to be the superstar freshman stud coming in, but he has had numerous suspensions this year and he hasn't lived up to his enormous potential. 6-1 freshman G Jerry Smith has played a lot this year and has been a spot starter for Louisville and provides tremendous shooting for a team that has been lacking in shooting touch for much of the year. 6-8 forward Earl Clark is a very talented freshman, but his play has been very sporadic this season.
DePaul Coach Jerry Wainwright on the Cardinals
"We have Coach Pitino's team, which I think is one of the faster and more improved teams in our league. Coach Pitino has had to kind of mix and match because of the injuries that he's had in his program. They've gone to a three guard lineup a lot. Two of them are freshman kids that are going to be great players in our league. Obviously they have tremendous speed when they do that. When they move the young man Williams to the four spot, they are a giddy-up and go team. I was fortunate enough to be around the young man (David) Padgett at the 22-and-under team a couple years ago. He's such a quality kid. He's really improved his body. When he's healthy, he's as good an inside player as there is in the league. I don't know if it's small-ball, but you better be able to match their speed. There's a saying in coaching ‘if you don't have speed, you're chasing it'."
"I think we're better in the open court. Obviously we play a lot of kids. We're probably a wing-oriented team. Our kids are comfortable playing in open court situations. Coach Pitino's history has been that he's as good an uptempo coach as there is in the game. I would imagine that this game will probably be a little more fast-paced."
Louisville Coach Rick Pitino on the Blue Demons
"We have our work cut out for us, needless to say, against DePaul, who's won the last 10 out of 13. Since coming back from Hawaii, they've played outstanding basketball. Of late they've blown some teams out. They've beaten Cal by 28. They beat Villanova at Villanova by eight. They held Rutgers to 37 points at Rutgers. They're playing great basketball right now. They handle the basketball well. They're a low turnover team, only averaging 11 per game. They have a plus seven field goal percentage over their defense. So their statistics are quite impressive"
Pitino on injuries and his young team
"We didn't expect to be this young this year. We've had a lot of injuries that have made us go in this direction. Juan Palacios being out for that time made us go to four guards. Andre McGee, who we thought would be our starting point guard, had knee surgery. We wound up playing Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith as a freshman backcourt and also Earl Clark of late because of Palacios' injury. They're gaining a lot of experience as freshman. Which is tough to do in the Big East, but it will definitely help us in the long run."
NO NAME HT WT POS CL HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)
0 Stuart Miller 5-10 170 G FR Harrogate, Tenn. (Middlesboro)
1 Terrence Williams 6-6 210 F SO Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)
3 Juan Palacios 6-8 250 F JR Medellin, Colombia (Our Savior New American)
4 David Padgett 6-11 245 F/C JR Reno, Nev. (Univ. of Kansas)
5 Earl Clark 6-8 220 G/F FR Rahway, N.J. (Rahway)
10 Edgar Sosa 6-1 175 G FR New York, N.Y. (Rice)
11 Brandon Jenkins 6-3 185 G SR Detroit, Mich. (Southeastern HS)
12 Brad Gianiny 6-1 170 G SR Alpharetta, Ga. (Fork Union Academy)
15 Perrin Johnson 6-5 215 G/F SR Claremont, Ca. (Claremont HS)
20 Will Scott 6-3 185 G SO New York, N.Y. (Cornell University)
21 Chris Current 6-4 185 G SR Frankfort, Ky. (Frankfort HS)
30 Jonathan Huffman 7-0 230 C SO Montgomery, Ala. (Central Park Christian)
32 Derrick Caracter 6-9 275 F FR Fanwood, N.J. (Notre Dame Prep)
33 Andre McGee 5-10 180 G SO Moreno Valley, Calif. (Canyon Springs)
34 Jerry Smith 6-1 200 G FR Wauwatosa, Wis. (East)
43 Terrance Farley 6-10 245 C JR Louisville, Ky. (Pleasure Ridge Park)
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