DePaul Blue Demons vs. FGCU Eagles - Monday, January 21st, 7:30 p.m. (Central) – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – none
Radio – WSCR AM 670 The Score
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FGCU Athletics Site
Game Preview - or Steppin' Out
The Blue Demons (8-9) are stepping out of Big East conference play for a rare Monday night game with the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (6-12).
Who are the Eagles you say? Florida Gulf Coast University is located in Fort Myers and the Eagles are competing in their first season of Division I basketball after moving up from Division II.
FGCU coach Dave Balza is in his fifth year at FGCU and has the tough task of shepherding the Eagles to Division I status. Balza has his team playing an aggressive non-conference slate. Besides playing at DePaul, Balza is taking his team into hostile territory at Arizona State, Bradley, Iowa, and Marquette this season.
While the Blue Demons get a brief break from the likes of Georgetown and Marquette in the Big East, they need to be wary of a letdown against this team. FGCU competes in the Atlantic Sun conference. Other high majors have let down their guard in home games against Atlantic Sun teams this season and have paid the price for it. Gardner-Webb upset Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Mercer pulled off a stunning upset at USC. While Belmont upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The closest the Eagles have come to that type of upset was a 82-74 loss to Bradley in Peoria.
It may be a game against a 6-12 non-conference opponent from a low-major conference, but DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright's outlook is like any other game in the month of January. "Monday is another learning experience," Wainwright said. "My approach and I hope our kids' approach is we're treating this like a Big East game. It's during the conference schedule. We've got to get better Monday than we were (Saturday). Irregardless of who we play, we've got to keep on keeping on."
The leading scorers for FGCU are senior Casey Wohlleb (15.7 ppg), senior Adam Liddell (11.4 ppg), and junior forward Landon Adler (11.3 ppg).
Wohlleb led the Eagles to a 85-73 win over Kennesaw State on Saturday with 19 points. Junior guard Delvin Franklin recorded a career high of 17 in the win. Adler had 14 points to go along with 14 boards. Senior guard Rob Quaintance added a career-high 13 assists.
While FGCU may be new to Division I, many of their players aren't. Balza is getting the job done with transfers from Division I schools. Wohlleb arrived from Marshall. Liddell came to FGCU from Purdue, and Adler from Ball State. Next season he'll add Reed Baker, a transfer from Michigan who is sitting out this season.
While it may not be a Big East conference game, the Demons should follow Waiwnright's advice and look to this as a learning experience as they prepare for a battle at Marquette on Saturday night.
The Blue Demons will return a game to FGCU in Fort Myers during the non-conference schedule in the 2009-10 season.
The game will be a homecoming FGCU Senior guard who played at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Illinois.
Blue Demons freshman point guard Michael Bizoukas is not expected to play due to illness. Bizoukas had been recovering from a bout with mononucleoisis.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Last School
00/55 Harris Gelin G 6-3 175 Fr. Deerfield Beach, Fla./Grandview Prep
3 Reed Baker G 6-1 175 So. Naples, Fla/Michigan
4 Adam Liddell F 6-7 215 Sr. Auburn, Ind./Purdue
5 Rob Quaintance G 6-4 185 Sr. Glendale, Ariz./Yavapai C.C.
13/11 Chad Lutkenhaus G 6-5 180 Fr. Labelle, Fla./Labelle
20 Delvin Franklin G 6-2 190 Jr. Houston, Texas/Lamar CC
21 Landon Adler F 6-9 230 Jr. Decatur, Ind/Ball State
22 Ed Rolax F 6-6 205 Fr. St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic
23 Casey Wohlleb G/F 6-7 200 Sr. Boca Raton, Fla./Marshall
25 Casey Pond G 6-1 185 Sr. Gurnee, IL/Warren Township
31 Mbainai Narmbaye C 6-10 240 Sr. Chad, Africa/LaSalle
32 Yavney Neptune G 6-0 185 Sr. Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte
33 Tyler Rodriguez C 6-7 225 So. Colleyville, Texas/Case Western University
34 Kyle Marks F 6-7 230 Jr. Riviera Beach, Fla./Nebraska
40/10 Kyle Matheny G 6-0 180 So. Winter Park, Fla./Miami Dade CC
42/24 Justin Stokes C 6-7 180 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla./Fleming Island
50 Terike Barrowes F 6-7 230 Sr. Pompano Beach, Fla./Broward C.C.
DePaul vs. Florida Gulf Coast Game Preview
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