DePaul Blue Demons vs. Ole Miss Rebels - Thursday, December 20th, 4:30 p.m. (Central) – San Juan, Puerto Rico
Television – none
Radio – XM Radio Channel 200 (Ole Miss broadcast)
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Game Preview – "Or Changes in Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes?"
Jimmy Buffett once sang about "Changes in Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes." Can the 2-5 Blue Demons take on a winning attitude as they head to the warmer climes of San Juan, Puerto Rico? DePaul without a doubt needs a change in attitude. They need to shake the rust of their losses in the frozen Midwest as they travel to the Caribbean.
Could a change of scenery be just what the doctor ordered for this DePaul team? It certainly won't be easy as they take on the undefeated Ole Miss Rebels (8-0) on Thursday afternoon.
DePaul is riding a three game losing streak coming into this game and is looking to bounce back. "We have to pick up our spirits and get after it," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "There is nobody who is going to help us get out of this except ourselves. We just need to get better."
"The great equalizer in sports is what you do when things don't go well," Wainwright remarked. "The best times in life are when you regroup and overcome adversity."
If the Blue Demons are to bounce back on Thursday, they are going to have to find a way to limit the third highest scoring team in the nation. The Rebels are averaging 89.9 points per game and have broken the century mark twice.
Mississippi is in their second season under former Cincinnati interim coach Andy Kennedy. The Rebels finished 21-13 in Kennedy's first season in Oxford as Andy was named SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. Like DePaul, Ole Miss advanced to the final eight of the NIT in March. The Rebels season ended at the hands of fellow San Juan tournament participant Clemson.
Kennedy has his team playing an uptempo style of "pressure" basketball. The Blue Demons have been involved in a number of high octane, fast-paced, high-scoring games this season, so expect this one to be no different.
Former Chicago Whitney Young center Dwayne Curtis was named SEC Player of the Week after his 22 point and 10 rebound performance in a 76-71 win over Winthrop. The senior shot 10 of 12 from the field. Curtis is a force in the middle and is leading the Rebels in scoring with 14.8 ppg. Dwayne is also averaging 8.4 rebounds per game.
Right behind Curtis is freshman point guard Chris Warren, who is averaging 14.6 ppg and dishing out six assists per game. Senior forward Kenny Williams is leading Ole Miss on the boards with 8.8 rpg.
The Rebels have five players averaging in double-figures – Curtis, Warren, Williams (10.3 ppg), sophomore guard Eniel Polynice (11.5 ppg), and freshman guard Trevor Gaskins (11.4 ppg).
The Blue Demons' Holiday wish is to change their attitude and be able to turn things around in San Juan.
Note: Blue Demons freshman point guard Mike Bizoukas is not expected to play in San Juan due to illness. Bizoukas had been recovering from a bout with mononucleoisis.
The Last Time
The Demons last met Ole Miss in the National Invitational Tournament on March 25, 1983 at the Rosemont Horizon. Ray Meyer's Blue Demons advanced to the semi-finals of the NIT by winning 75-67. Bernard Randolph contributed 19 points and Tyrone Corbin grabbed 12 rebounds for DePaul in the win.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
1 Jones, Rodney G 6-3 190 So. Alexandria, La. (Peabody Magnet HS)
3 Smith, Brian G 5-11 170 Sr. Lexington, Ky. (Fork Union Academy) (Lexington Catholic HS)
5 Poole, Will G 6-3 190 RFr. Batesville, Miss. (IMG Academy) (North Delta Academy)
00 Parnell, Jermey F 6-8 245 Sr. Gosnell, Ark. (Gosnell HS)
10 Watson, Terrence F 6-5 220 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Mott CC) (Murray-Wright HS)
12 Warren, Chris G 5-11 170 Fr. Orlando, Fla. (Dr. Phillips HS)
14 Polynice, Eniel G 6-5 200 So. Sarasota, Fla. (Booker HS)
20 Jones, Wesley F 6-7 220 Jr. Beatrice, Ala. (Pearl River CC) (J.F. Shields HS)
21 White, Malcolm F 6-9 225 Fr. Greensburg, La. (Genesis One Christian Academy) (St. Helena Central HS)
22 Spach, Patrick G 6-1 165 Jr. Memphis, Tenn. (Briarcrest HS)
23 Gaskins, Trevor G 6-2 205 Fr. Alpharetta, Ga. (Chattahoochee HS)
25 Brown, Ryan G 6-1 200 Jr. Texarkana, Texas (Colorado State) (Pleasant Grove HS)
32 Graham, Zach G 6-5 220 Fr. Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge HS)
33 Huertas, David G 6-5 195 So. Humacao, Puerto Rico (Florida) (Arlington Country Day HS)
34 Cantinol, Kevin F 6-9 240 Fr. Guadeloupe, French West Indies (Calvary Christian HS (Fla.))
44 Curtis, Dwayne C 6-8 280 Sr. Chicago, Ill. (Auburn) (Whitney Young HS)
50 Williams, Kenny F 6-8 240 Sr. Miami, Fla. (St. Petersburg CC) (American Senior HS)
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