DePaul Blue Demons vs. Northwestern Wildcats - Saturday, December 6th, 2:30 p.m. Central – Evanston, Illinois
Television – Big Ten Network
Radio – WGN AM 720 (NU broadcast)
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After a tough road loss to Cal, DePaul (4-1) travels to Evanston to face Northwestern (5-1). While Northwestern is typically a Big Ten doormat, they come into the game after an impressive win Wednesday over Florida State. The 73-59 win showed an impressive effort that forced 22 Florida State turnovers and held the Seminoles outside shooting in check. Using a 1-3-1 zone and with new added interior presences on defense, Northwestern is a much improved team.
The Wildcats are led by veterans Craig Moore and Kevin Coble. Moore, a 6-3 senior, is leading the Wildcats in scoring at 15.5 points per game while also shooting an impressive 51% from three point range.
Coble, a junior forward, is averaging 12.5 points a game while also being a versatile inside-outside threat. Moore and Coble are both experienced and disciplined enough to beat opponents in a number of ways thanks to Northwestern's Princeton style of offense.
While the Princeton offense typically means a slow and methodical style the Wildcats have a fair share of athletic players who can also push tempo. Leading the offense is sophomore Michael "Juice" Thompson. Thompson killed the Blue Demons last year with 24 points before fouling out. While his scoring numbers are slightly down this
year (at 9.7 a game compared to last season's 11.6 a game) Thompson has the added benefit of scoring help inside.
Inside the Wildcats rely on the play of two freshmen, John Shurna and Kyle Rowley. Shurna plays with tremendous effort inside to make up for being slightly smaller than most of the guys he is guarding. Shurna is also versatile enough to shoot from the outside.
Rowley is a big presence who is starting to find a feel for his game inside. While he is only playing 13 minutes a game, Rowley is big enough to alter shots and keep penetrating guards honest. Coming off the bench for Northwestern is forwards Jeff Ryan and Ivan Peljusic.
Both players are also capable inside-outside players that are versatile enough to step in and play.
While both teams come in with good starts to the season, a rivalry game like this means that the game will probably be close. For the Demons to come out on top they need to be patient enough on offense and defense to exploit opportunities and capitalize. This means playing defense for the full 35 second possession and not allowing offensive rebounds to give the Wildcats additional shots.
The perimeter defense of both teams will also be key. With Northwestern having so many threats from the outside it is important that DePaul stays tough on the perimeter and limits shots. While staying tight on the perimeter will be important the Demons also have to watch out for backdoor cuts and Princeton style screens that kill opponents if used correctly.
The Last Time
On November 17, 2007, the Blue Demons edged out the Wildcats 53-52 in their home opener at Allstate Arena on the late game heroics of senior guard Draelon Burns. Burns nailed the game winning leaner with 6.4 seconds to go in the game. Sophomore guard Will Walker earned the Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath award as the game's MVP with 13 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Jabari Currie chipped in with 10 points. Juice Thompson led all scorers with 24 points for the Wildcats.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Hometown/High School
3 Mike Capocci F 6-6 200 SO Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East
5 Jeff Ryan G/F 6-7 205 JR Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South
10 Patrick Houlihan F 6-5 210 SR Rockville Centre, N.Y./Phillips Academy (Mass.)
12 Luka Mirkovic F/C 6-11 235 FR Belgrade, Serbia/La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)
13 Marlon Day F 6-5 225 SR Mandeville, Jamaica/Whitney Young (Ill.)
15 Nick Fruendt G/F 6-5 195 FR Batavia, Ill./Batavia
20 Craig Moore G 6-3 185 SR Doylestown, Pa./Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep
21 Ivan Peljusic F 6-8 215 RS SO Zadar, Croatia/V. Nazor Gymnasium
22 Michael Thompson G 5-10 182 SO Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park
23 Jeremy Nash G 6-4 191 JR Chicago, Ill./Marist
24 John Shurna F 6-8 210 FR Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West
30 Davide Curletti F/C 6-9 232 FR Farmington Hills, Mich./Orchard Lake St. Mary's
32 Sterling Williams G/F 6-4 200 RS SR Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young
33 Matt Steger G/F 6-5 195 JR Northfield, Ill./Loyola Academy
44 Kevin Coble F 6-8 210 JR Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Christian Academy
54 Kyle Rowley C 7-0 280 FR Arima, Trinidad/Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy
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