DePaul Blue Demons vs. #25 Villanova - Wednesday, January 16th, 8:00 p.m. (Central) – Villanova, PA
Television – ESPN-U
Radio – none
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Game Preview – Or the Quest for .500
At 7-8, the Blue Demons are on a quest for .500 as they head into Philadelphia for Wednesday night's game with the 25th ranked Wildcats. While Villanova (11-3, 1-2) is looking for revenge after losing 84-76 to DePaul on January 3rd at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.
DePaul is looking to improve upon their 3-1 Big East record. To do that, the Blue Demons will have to do even better than they performed on the 3rd. Villanova is undefeated at home this season.
The Wildcats are still playing without 6-10 center Casiem Drummond, who has been out with a stress fracture in his right ankle since December 28th. Drummond was cleared to return to practice this week on a limited basis. Nova coach Jay Wright said that Drummond would not return for the DePaul game.
Villanova is coming off of a 69-66 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday. Rashad Bishop's three pointer with 22 seconds on the clock lifted the Bearcats to the win over Nova.
The bright spot for Nova was a season high 32 points from Scottie Reynolds. The Demons held Reynolds to 11 points in the last contest. But, Reynolds is now "getting healthy" after recovering from injuries to his left hand and right knee.
The last time the two teams met, it was DePaul's seniors that led them to victory. Since then, many of the upperclassmen have struggled. DePaul may have to put out an All Points Bulletin on guard Draelon Burns, who has been in a slump since the win over Villanova. Burns made some poor decisions in Saturday's win over St. John's. Draelon will need to shake out of the slump, for DePaul to have a chance to even their record.
Blue Demons coach Jerry Wainwright feels that a good start is the key to the game. "What we have to do is avoid the Mike Tyson knockout punch early," Wainwright told WSCR radio. "We have to make some shots early. There is going to be great emotion in that arena. We've got to turn that emotion back to pressure on them by standing tall. We've got to stand tall and take their best shot. That initial onslaught is really what's going to dictate the game."
One area where DePaul can dominate is on the boards. Without Drummond, Nova has been weak on the glass. After going 39 minutes in the St. John's game, senior center Wesley Green will be counted upon to step up on defense and on the boards.
Besides Reynolds, the Blue Demons will need to key on freshman point guard Corey Fisher, who led all scorers with 23 points at Allstate Arena, and junior Dante Cunningham who excelled shooting six of nine from the field with 16 points.
It would be a tremendous boost for DePaul to pull off another Big East road victory to even their record going into a two game homestand where they could conceivably get to 10-8.
Blue Demons freshman point guard Michael Bizoukas is not expected to play due to illness. Bizoukas had been recovering from a bout with mononucleoisis.
The Last Time
All four DePaul seniors led the Demons to a 84-76 win over the Wildcats on January 3, 2008 at Allstate Arena. The Blue Demons had six players finish in double figures with Draelon Burns leading the way with 20 points. Villanova's Corey Fisher led all scorers with 23 points.
No. Name Pos. Cl. (EXP) Ht. Wt. Hometown High School
0 Antonio Pena Forward RS FR (1L) 6-8 235 Brooklyn, N.Y. St. Thomas More
1 Scottie Reynolds Guard SO (1L) 6-2 190 Herndon, Va. Herndon
3 Malcolm Grant Guard FR 6-0 175 Brooklyn, N.Y. Winchendon Academy (Mass.)
4 Jason Colenda Guard SO (HS) 6-0 205 Fairfax, Va. Bishop O'Connell
5 Casiem Drummond Center SO (1L) 6-10 275 West Orange, N.J. Bloomfield Tech
10 Corey Fisher Guard FR 6-1 200 Bronx, N.Y. St. Patrick's (N.J.)
15 Reggie Redding Guard SO (1L) 6-5 205 Philadelphia, Pa. St. Joseph's Prep
20 Shane Clark Forward JR (1L) 6-7 205 Philadelphia, Pa. Hargrave Military Academy
21 Andrew Ott Forward RS FR (1L) 6-10 230 Abington, Pa. Germantown Academy
22 Dwayne Anderson Guard/Forward JR (2L) 6-6 215 Washington, D.C. St. Thomas More
24 Corey Stokes Guard FR 6-5 220 Bayonne, N.J. St. Benedict's
33 Dante Cunningham Forward JR (2L) 6-8 230 Silver Spring, Md. Potomac
42 Frank Tchuisi Forward JR (2L) 6-8 215 Douala, Cameroon St. Benedict's
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