DePaul vs. Northwestern Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com's Dan Stack previews the battle between the DePaul Blue Demons and the Northwestern Wildcats at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon...

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Northwestern Wildcats - Saturday, November 17th, 1:00 p.m. - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television - None

Radio – None

Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -

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Chat Room

Northwestern Athletics

Northwestern Athletics Site

Scout.com Northwestern Fan Site

PurpleWildcats.Com


The Last Time

On November 14, 2006 at Northwestern's Welsh-Ryan Arena, in an outing where the Blue Demons could not find ways to muster scoring, DePaul lost 49-39 to the Wildcats. Craig Moore led Northwestern with 10 points. Freshman Kevin Coble and senior Tim Doyle each contributed nine points. DePaul's Wilson Chandler led all scorers with 11 points and nine rebounds. Senior Marcus Heard had eight points and nine rebounds.

Game Preview

For the third year in a row (and fourth out of the last five years) the DePaul Blue Demons will play the Northwestern Wildcats in their second game of the season. This early season tilt is shaping up to be a good rivalry in the non-conference portion of the schedule.

This game will mark the home debut for DePaul as they take on the Wildcats on Saturday, November 17th at Allstate Arena. DePaul is trying to bounce back after a humbling defeat at Creighton, 74-62 on November 9th in their season opener. And much like the 2005-06 season, DePaul is hoping to find the remedy by defeating Northwestern for their first win. Northwestern is also 0-1 after playing host to 20th ranked Stanford on Thursday night. The Cardinal defeated the Wildcats 71-60. Michael Thompson led with 16 points in his debut. Sterling Williams added 10 for NU.

DePaul must come out of the gate hungry and expect to get in a tug-of-war with the Wildcats who love to employ the Princeton offense. Many of the games between the Demons and the Wildcats have been a grinder with no team winning by more than 10 points and neither school scoring more than 63 points in the previous four meetings. All four showdowns have been won by the host school, so that bodes well for the Demons.

Northwestern is a perimeter based team that loves to spread the floor and work the clock down and wait for a good shot.

NU is implementing some fresh new faces with three freshmen starting in their last game (Nikola Baran, Mike Capocci, and Michael "Juice" Thompson) as the team only has one senior, seldom used Jason Okrzesik.

Northwestern is also adjusting to the absence of Big Ten Freshmen team selection Kevin Coble, who has left the team to be with his ailing mother. Coble was NU's leading returning scorer and rebounder and was expected to be vital cog in the Wildcat rotation.

Look for the Wildcats to throw many bodies at the more taller and athletic Demons. Northwestern does return two other starters besides Coble. Craig Moore returns after averaging 8.1 ppg last season and was the main culprit last year as the Wildcats defeated the Blue Demons 49-39 at home. He scored a team high 10 points and hit a key three-pointer down the stretch.

The story of that game was turnovers as DePaul had 15 to Northwestern's five. Coincidentally, turnovers are what did DePaul in at Creighton as they committed a whopping 23 turnovers to Creighton's 12.

DePaul rushed out to an early 20-4 lead against Creighton but could not hold on and played sloppy and succumbed to Creighton's full court pressure. DePaul got good contributions from Will Walker (13 points on 6-10 shooting) and Wesley Green (10 points on 4-5 shooting).

In the loss against Creighton, DePaul senior leader Draelon Burns had one of his worst shooting nights going 3-16 and finishing with only seven points. For the Demons to win, Burns needs to shake off the rust and put that night out of his memory.

Obviously DePaul must take better care of the ball and the point guard play of either junior Jabari Currie, senior Cliff Clinkscales, or freshman Michael Bizoukas must be steady. They have to distribute the ball to scorers in Burns and freshmen Mac Koshwal and Darquavis Tucker.

Suffice it to say, DePaul must be hungry on the boards and push around the smaller and less athletic Wildcats. DePaul must get some solid low post games from Green, Koshwal, senior Karron Clarke and junior Matija Poscic.

Northwestern is a gnat-like team you just can't get rid of. They are scrappy and will bust their tails on the court. Head coach Bill Carmody is doing a good job lately of finding some good area players (Capocci, Thompson, sophomore Jeremy Nash, sophomore Jeff Ryan, and junior Sterling Williams) to help resurrect the dormant program.

Carmody has won 95 games in his first seven years which is seventh best in Wildcat history.

History dictates that this will be a low scoring defensive minded slugfest with the more patient team coming out victorious.

Bill Carmody on the Blue Demons

"They're a very well coached team," Carmody told WGN radio. "They play some young guys too. They pushed the ball up and down the court when they played Creighton. They had a 20 point lead. They score in transition. I don't think we can go up and down with them. It's the same old bug-a-boo – rebounding. They really bang the boards. It will be a tough game for us."

Note: The Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath Award goes to the game's Most Valuable Player. Northwestern freshman Kevin Coble won the award last year.

Northwestern Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Hometown/High School

1 Jason Okrzesik G 6-1 170 RS SR Itasca, Ill./Chicago Fenwick

3 Mike Capocci F 6-6 190 FR Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East

5 Jeff Ryan G/F 6-7 190 SO Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South

10 Patrick Houlihan F 6-5 190 JR Rockville Center, N.Y./Phillips Academy (Mass.)

11 Nikola Baran F 6-8 235 RS FR Zagreb, Croatia/Inova School

13 Marlon Day F 6-5 220 JR Mandeville, Jamaica/Whitney Young (Ill.)

20 Craig Moore G 6-3 190 JR Doylestown, Pa./Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep

21 Ivan Peljusic F 6-8 195 RS FR Zadar, Croatia/V. Nazor Gymnasium

22 Michael Thompson G 5-10 185 FR Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park

23 Jeremy Nash G 6-4 185 SO Chicago, Ill./Marist

25 Jean-Marc Melchior F 6-6 195 JR Contern, Luxembourg/Lycee Michel Rodange

32 Sterling Williams G/F 6-3 190 RS JR Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young

33 Matt Steger G/F 6-5 195 SO Northfield, Ill./Loyola Academy

44 Kevin Coble F 6-8 190 SO Phoenix, Ariz./Scottsdale Christian


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