DePaul vs. North Carolina A&T Game Preview

WeAreDePaul.com previews the battle between the DePaul Blue Demons and the North Carolina Aggies at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon...

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. North Carolina A&T Aggies - Saturday, November 24th, 1:00 p.m. - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television - None

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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NC A&T Athletics

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Game Preview

The Blue Demons have put final exams behind them now and are focused solely on basketball and Saturday's game at Allstate Arena. With classes in the rear view mirror, DePaul has been able to put in more time practicing this week. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week have really been tremendous," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "We've been able to stay on the court longer, teach more and play more. We're trying to get back to more of a flow game. Act more than react."

"I like where were at right now," Jerry said. "I was able to shoot with Mac (Koshwal), Wes (Green), and Matija (Poscic). I was able to be at a basket with them for a half hour and work on jump hooks and turnaround jump shots. There was no way we could have done that before, that might have been five minutes (in practice) during the last two weeks. We're really going to concentrate on things we need to do to get better."

One advantage the holiday weekend brings was the opportunity for DePaul to practice at Allstate Arena on Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

DePaul captain Draelon Burns managed to sink the game winning shot versus Northwestern, yet was limited to 19 minutes due to a shoulder injury. Burns returned to practicing on Tuesday. "I don't know if he's 100% yet," Wainwright said. "I think the best balm or salve was the game winner."

When the North Carolina A&T Aggies (3-2) come calling to Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon, DePaul will see a team that has been tested early this season. The Aggies, from the MEAC conference, finished 15-17 last season. They are 30-89 under coach Jerry Eaves who is in his fifth season. Eaves returns 11 scholarship players from last season and is hoping to return the school to the level of success that they had in the eighties.

Senior guard Steven Rush is a first team All-MEAC selection. The sharpshooter averaged 17.3 ppg last year and holds the school record for trifectas made in a season. Rush is usually a deadly marksman, but has been in a slump this season going 8 for 42 from behind the arc. Senior Power Forward Jason Wills is NC A&T's man on the boards averaging eight rebounds per game. He's also leading the team in scoring with 13 ppg while Rush goes through his scoring slump.

"They're very well coached," Jerry remarked. "They're really uptempo, very aggressive, older and very experienced. Just watching them on tape, I like their team, they looked unselfish. They're a very good rebounding team. We probably want to get it going up and down a little bit. It's a game where if we make a few jumpshots early hopefully we'll be OK."

The Aggies opened up the season by playing St. Louis tight in Rick Majerus' debut as the Billikens coach. NC A&T was down 33-32 with 14:19 remaining in the game before St. Louis went on a run to win 54-43.

NC A&T followed that game up with a 88-61 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Aggies have bounced back from those two losses with a string of three straight victories. Although all three came against opponents outside Division I.

Soccer Note: On Saturday night, the DePaul men's soccer team will be playing in their first NCAA tournament as they take on the Bradley Braves in Peoria. DePaul fans can follow the game live on the NCAA website… NCAA Sports Live Soccer Stats

North Carolina A&T Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown Previous School

1 Steven Rush G 5-11 170 SR Greensboro, N.C. UNC Asheville

2 Glenn Nelson G 6-3 185 SR Baltimore, Md. Cecil CC

3 Austin Ewing G 5-11 160 SR Atlanta, Ga. Woodward Academy

4 Trahern Chaplin G/F 6-6 200 SR Chapel Hill, N.C. Northwood

5 Tavarus Alston G 6-0 165 SO Greensboro, N.C. Smith

10 Angelo Hernandez G 6-3 185 SR Philadelphia, Pa. Overbrook

11 Patrick Gregg F 6-7 190 SR Florence, S.C. Lincoln Trail CC

15 Kam Shepherd F 6-8 215 FR Orlando, Fla. Osceola

20 Jason Wills F 6-6 208 SR Upper Marlboro, Md St. John's Prep

21 Ed Jones F 6-7 215 JR Leesburg, Va. Butler CC

23 Thomas Coleman F/C 6-9 220 FR Louisville, Ky. Jeffersontown

30 Julian McClurkin F 6-8 225 JR Columbus, Ohio Tiffini

33 Nicholas Wilson F 6-5 210 JR Trenton, N.J. Bowling Green

34 Robert Johnson F 6-6 200 SO Greensboro, N.C. Dudley

43 Chad Webster C 6-10 210 JR Durham, N.C. Riverside

50 James Porter C 6-9 220 JR Raleigh, N.C. Sanderson

Head Coach: Jerry Eaves (Louisville, ‘86,5th Season at N.C. A&T)


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