DePaul Blue Demons vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Saturday, January 19th, 1:00 p.m. (Central) – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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The Scarlet Knights (8-10, 0-5) are coming off of a 81-59 loss to Syracuse on Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome. Rutgers is a young team that was led by freshmen Corey Chandler (16 points) and Mike Coburn (11 points). Another highly regarded freshman, Justin Sofman, contributed six points.
Second year coach Fred Hill, Jr. has been pleased with the efforts of his youngsters. "The guys are working very hard actually," said Hill. "The morale has been very, very good. We've been competitive at home. It's been a little bit more of a struggle on the road. We've got to find a way to shoot the ball better and get some more easy baskets. We've defended extremely well."
The Scarlet Knights tried to turn up the defensive intensity against Syracuse. For their efforts, they did manage 12 steals and forced the Orange into 17 turnovers.
Rutgers adds to that defense with a 6-11 intimidator in the middle. "A bright spot has been (sophomore center) Hamady Ndiaye," said Hill. "He's one of the leaders in the country in blocked shots. He's defended all of the post players in the league extremely well. He's a guy that brings a lot of enthusiasm and energy."
Juniors J.R. Inman (14.7 ppg) and Anthony Farmer (10.5 ppg) are the veteran leaders of this youthful RU squad.
While Rutgers hasn't played their best ball on the road, DePaul (7-9, 3-2) coach Jerry Wainwright will need to have the Blue Demons ready for the energy that Hill's young team brings. "Fred's rebuilding a program with a lot of exciting young players," said Wainwright. "The one thing I know is that whether they're home or on the road, they bring their best every night."
While he led RU in scoring on Wednesday, Chandler has not been 100% and has played limited minutes. "We've brought in a young man in Corey Chandler, that really stepped in and helped us on the offensive end," Hill remarked . " He was playing terrific until he got a stress fracture in the North Carolina game."
Coming off a tough loss at Villanova on Wednesday night, the Blue Demons will be looking to inflict some pain on the visitors. Hill knows that he will have his hands full at Allstate Arena on Saturday. "Going on the road in the Big East is always tough," Hill observed. "In Chicago we have to play a tough DePaul team. They're athletic. They're really starting to shoot the ball very well. They've got some really good young talent. Jerry does a great job defensively. They're always difficult to score against."
Rutgers guard Courtney Nelson played his freshman year under Jerry Wainwright at Richmond. Nelson transferred to RU after Wainwright accepted the job at DePaul.
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
On January 14, 2007, the Blue Demons walked away from the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) with a 60-37 victory. DePaul stifled RU with their defense, holding the Scarlet Knights to 26.5% from the field. Karron Clarke led all scorers with 21 points. Draelon Burns and Marcus Heard contributed 10 points apiece off the bench. J.R. Inman led Rutgers with 10 points.
No. Name Pos Cl. Ht. Wt. School/Hometown
1 COREY CHANDLER G Fr. 6-2 190 East Side HS/Newark, N.J.
2 ANTHONY FARMER G Jr. 6-1 190 St. Augustine's Prep/Millville, NJ
3 COURTNEY NELSON G Jr. 6-1 180 Bloomfield Tech/U of Richmond/Newark, N.J.
5 HAMADY NDIAYE C So. 6-11 235 Stoneridge Prep (CA)/Dakar, Senegal
10 CHARLIE RIGOGLIOSO G Fr. 6-2 180 Wayne Valley/Wayne, N.J.
11 EARL PETTIS G Fr. 6-5 225 Patterson School (N.C.)/Philadelphia, Pa.
15 JR INMAN F Jr. 6-9 220 St.Joseph's Montvale/Pomona, N.Y.
21 BYRON JOYNES C Sr. 6-9 265 Towson Catholic HS/Oak Hill Academy/Baltimore, Md.
22 THOMAS ASKEW F Jr. 6-4 210 Passaic Community College/Paterson, N.J.
24 JUSTIN SOFMAN G Fr. 6-4 210 St. Thomas More Prep (Conn.)/West Milford, N.J.
30 KOFI GENFI F Fr. 6-4 195 Sayreville War Memorial /Sayreville, N.J.
31 MIKE COBURN G Fr. 6-0 195 Mt. Vernon HS/Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
32 JARON GRIFFIN G/F Jr. 6-7 210 Manchester Township/Manchester, N.J.
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