DePaul vs. West Virginia Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com previews Sunday's showdown between the DePaul Blue Demons and the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown, WV.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. West Virginia Mountaineers – Sunday, January 28, 2007 – 1:00 p.m. CST – Morgantown, WV

Television -

WFBT (channel 48 – 248 on Comcast Digital) in Chicago

& ESPN FullCourt

Internet Video Link to Watch Live

ESPN Fullcourt $14.95

Radio

There is no local radio for this game.

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

WVAQ - WVU Broadcast

WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link

Chat Room

West Virginia Official Athletics Site

Official West Virginia Athletics Site

West Virginia Fans Site

Blue & Gold News


Game Preview

When viewing the Blue Demons schedule before this season began it was plain to see that this week would be the toughest for the DePaul Blue Demons. With back-to-back road games at Georgetown and West Virginia, it was obvious that the Blue Demons would be in for a tough challenge this week. At the WVU Coliseum, the Mountaineers are undefeated at 10-0 this season and are 23-2 over the last two years. While WVU has struggled on the road in Big East play, they are awfully tough to beat at home.

This opponent will be a new experience for DePaul, since the Mountaineers and Demons didn't meet at all last season. The two teams haven't met since George Mikan led DePaul to the 1945 NIT Championship. DePaul will need to get familiar with WVU real quick to have any chance in this one.

The Mountaineers are coming off of a 77-63 win over in-state rival Marshall. In that game senior forward Frank Young led all scorers with 25 points. But the Mountaineers had trouble taking care of the basketball and turned the ball over 17 times while Marshall scored 25 points off of turnovers.

West Virginia coach John Beilein likes to spread the floor on offense and gets a lot of shots from the perimeter. Cincinnati had success beating WVU in overtime last week by deploying a full court press against the Mountaineers to disrupt their offensive rhythm. Notre Dame also managed to defeat WVU by using a 1-3-1 defense. But, both those losses came on the road. As mentioned earlier the Mountaineers are very tough to beat at home.

On the defensive end, Beilein predominantly uses a 1-3-1 and will throw in some man-to-man defense. Based on the last couple games, the Blue Demons had better get used to seeing zone.

The Mountaineers have some balanced scoring with five players averaging near double figures. Young leads the team with 14.8 ppg, while sophomore Joe Alexander averages 11.9 ppg. Floridian (and former Dave Leitao recruit) Alex Ruoff has contributed 10.1 ppg. Junior guard Darris Nichols averages 9.8 ppg, while former DePaul recruit Da'Sean Butler has chimed in with 9.1 ppg.

Former DePaul recruit Devan Bawinkel (Winnebago High School) is averaging a mere 2.2 ppg off the bench as a freshman for WVU. Bawinkel's minutes have been limited in conference play as Beilein has gone to a shorter bench.

Both Beilein and DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright came to the Big East following successful stints at Richmond, where they both led the Spiders to the NCAA tournament.

Jerry Wainwright on the Mountaineers

"These road games are tough," Wainwright told WSCR Radio. "Most of their home games are sellouts. It will be long possessions, they shoot a lot of threes, they play a lot of zone, so we may not shoot a free throw for the rest of the year I guess. It's a great challenge for us."

West Virginia Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

11 Joe Alexander F 6-8 200 So. Mt. Airy, Md.

15 Devan Bawinkel G 6-5 185 Fr. Winnebago, Ill.

1 Da'Sean Butler F 6-7 205 Fr. Newark, N.J.

25 Dennis Gagai G 6-2 185 Fr. Ironton, Ohio

34 Jacob Green F 6-9 210 Fr. Clinton, Md.

3 Joe Mazzulla G 6-2 180 Fr. Johnston, R.I.

14 Darris Nichols G 6-2 190 Jr. Radford, Va.

22 Alex Ruoff F 6-6 210 So. Spring Hill, Fla.

43 Jamie Smalligan C 7-0 255 Jr. E. Grand Rapids, Mich.

35 Wellington Smith F 6-7 195 Fr. Summit, N.J.

24 Josh Sowards F 6-7 200 So. Scott Depot, W.Va.

33 Rob Summers C 7-0 240 Sr. Columbus, Ohio

32 Ted Talkington G 6-2 180 So. New Martinsville, W.Va.

2 Cam Thoroughman G 6-7 185 Fr. Portsmouth, Ohio

4 Jonnie West G 6-3 170 Fr. Memphis, Tenn.

21 Frank Young F 6-5 215 Sr. Tallahassee, Fla.

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