DePaul vs. Albany Game Preview

After starting the season with a road loss the last two seasons, the Blue Demons open the basketball season on campus for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. WeAreDePaul.com's Eddy Rivera talks with DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright as we preview Monday night's game.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Albany Great Danes - Monday, November 17th, 7:30 p.m. (Central) – McGrath Arena, Chicago, Illinois

No Television for this game

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

A Look At Albany:

The Great Danes began their season Friday night on the road against a nationally-ranked Villanova squad (#23 AP/#25 ESPN/USA Today) looking to spring the upset but were held off, losing 78-60. Albany was led by junior forward Will Harris, a Virginia transfer, who finished with 13 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds as well as freshman guard Anthony Raffa, who finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Facing DePaul will see the Great Danes square off against their second consecutive Big East opponent.

DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright had high praise for Harris, a player he's familiar with when he recruited him out of high school.

"He's a strong kid," said Wainwright. "I think he's a good player and certainly he has practiced at a high level [at Virginia]. He'll bring a physical presence to the game."

Wainwright noted that having a game under the belt will help Albany.

"Certainly the experience of playing a game, I think, always helps a team," said Wainwright.

The point guard position was one of a few question marks to begin the season for Albany, with Anthony Raffa and Mike Johnson jostling for the starting role, but Raffa may have provided an answer for Great Danes coach Will Brown with his performance against Villanova.

A Look At DePaul:

Picked to finish 15th in the Big East according to a pre-season poll conducted by the coaches in the conference, DePaul has a steep hill to climb to prove their peers wrong. With a manageable non-conference schedule, the Blue Demons hope that they'll develop confidence for when Big East play arrives.

The Blue Demons begin their quest Monday night when the team faces off against Albany at McGrath Arena. It'll be the first time DePaul has played on-campus since 2006, when the Blue Demons defeated Hofstra in the opening round of the NIT.

Question marks at both the point guard and center positions, coupled with the lack of experience on the team, have been the main storylines for DePaul heading into the new season.

"We have a lot of question marks," said Wainwright. "We obviously have young guards. We're young in the post. We're really young everywhere."

Wainwright added that the three freshman - Devin Hill, Jeremiah Kelly, and Krys Faber - "have to contribute minutes."

"Are they ready for this? Of course not, no freshman is," said Wainwright. "But I think they'll improve rapidly and they're a very important part of the team."

Looking to lead the young Blue Demons will be sophomore Dar Tucker. who dazzled last year as a freshman. Tucker is expected to be the anchor for the squad and is looking to build upon his successful campaign last year where he averaged 13.9 points per game in only 23.6 minutes of playing time.

"He's a very, very gifted offensive player," said Wainwright. "However, it goes beyond points. He's capable of being our best defender. That's really the challenge for him."

Many DePaul fans hope that Tucker is up to the challenge.

Albany Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)

1 Allen, Billy F 6-6 210 RFr. Hamilton, Ohio (Hamilton)

2 Aronhalt, Logan G/F 6-3 215 Fr. Zanesville, Ohio (Zanesville)

3 Harris, Will F 6-6 240 Jr. Corona, N.Y. (Brewster Academy)

5 Hastings, Jerel F 6-5 215 Sr. Dallas, Texas (South Oak Cliff)

11 Raffa, Anthony G 6-0 175 Fr. Strathmere, N.J. (Wildwood Catholic)

12 McRae, Scotty F 6-8 210 Jr. Rosedale, N.Y. (Benjamin Cardozo)

21 Johnson, Mike G 6-1 195 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y. (Sheepshead Bay)

23 Ambrose, Tim G 6-0 220 So. Brentwood, N.Y. (Our Savior New American School)

24 Lindfors, Jake F 6-10 225 Fr. Elk Grove Village, Ill. (Driscoll Catholic)

32 Barraza, Louis G/F 6-5 200 So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Trevor Browne)

33 Connelly, Brian F 6-8 225 Sr. Audubon, N.J. (Camden Catholic)

42 Covington, Jimmie F/C 6-7 245 Sr. Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)

54 Gifford, Brett C 6-11 260 Jr. Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge)


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