DePaul Blue Demons vs. Saint Louis Billikens - Monday, December 22nd, 7:00 p.m. Central – Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
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The Blue Demons meet the Billikens, their old rival from the Great Midwest and Conference USA on Monday night. After two games on their respective campuses, the teams move on to the semifinals of the Findlay Toyota Lad Vegas Classic. This is the first time the two teams have met since DePaul joined the Big East and SLU joined the Atlantic 10 conference four years ago.
Saint Louis is in their second year of rebuilding under coach Rick Majerus. The Billikens have done well at home, but have struggled away from Chaifetz Arena this season. SLU has yet to win a game on the road losing at Southern Illinois, Detroit, and Nebraska.
Majerus has a lot of newcomers on this squad. SLU brought in seven players in their 2008 recruiting class and have already lost one of them. Guard Ruben Cotto, who averaged 22.3 points at Alton (Illinois) high school last season, has left the team.
Freshman point guard Kwamain Mitchell is fitting in nicely having started in all 10 games for SLU while averaging 7.3 ppg and 3.8 assists per game.
With all those newcomers it is the experienced senior guards Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell III that are the anchors for this Billiken team. Lisch is leading the Bills with 14.1 ppg. Lisch scored 20 points in Friday's win over Liberty and moved into ninth place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,378 career points.
Liddell had his second straight double-double with 15 points and 11 boards in the win over Liberty. He is averaging 13.4 ppg and 7.4 rebounds per game.
The Blue Demons and Billikens seem to matchup pretty evenly going into this game and even have identical 6-4 records.
The two teams have had some common opponents in their non-conference schedule. DePaul beat Detroit-Mercy 71-62 , while SLU lost at Detroit 62-57. The Demons fought off a late charge from Liberty last week to win 64-63, while the Billikens pulled out a three point win over Liberty on Friday night when they had led by 17 points with four minutes to go.
One area where the Demons could have the advantage is on the inside. SLU features only one starter that is taller than 6-6. DePaul can benefit from taking it inside to their big men in the paint and pounding the glass hard.
The winner of this game takes on the winner of Monday's battle between Creighton and Fresno State on Tuesday night in Vegas.
What is a Billiken?
By Steve Rogers "Billikens.com"
I have received many e-mails asking me "What really is a billiken?" Well, this page is here to answer that question.
Contrary to popular belief, the billiken did not originally come from the billikenmania or the 1910 and 1911 era. It was originally created in 1908 by the Craftsman's Guild in Highland Park Illinois. It seems to be based directly on the Japanese "Piriken or "Pilliken" of Osaka. The Piriken or Pilliken is something who has a box of money offerings in front of him. Those who offer a coin will have their wish granted if they kiss his upturned feet. The base of the plaster figure is inscribed, "Biliken - the god of things as they ought to be"
For the previous paragraph I would like to greatly thank Ranney Dohogne, Class of 1962.
Also there is the definition that SLU has posted on their site which states that the Billiken was considered a good luck charm during Billikenmania in 1909 and 1910. Later on in 1910 a sportswriter, William O'Connor, thought that the face of John Bender, a SLU football coach, resembled the billiken. And with that the face of the Billiken was posted in a drugstore window and the SLU football team became known as Bender's Billikens. From then on the name just caught on. Also the Billiken has no specified gender.
The Last Time
On February 26, 2005 at Allstate Arena, the Demons defeated SLU 53-48. Senior guard Drake Diener led all scorers with 14 points. Marlon Brumfield chipped in with 11 while Quemont Greer added 10. The Billikens were led by Anthony Drejaj with 13 points and Izik Ohanon with 10.
Saint Louis Roster
NO NAME YR POS HT WT Hometown (Last School)
3 Kwamain Mitchell FR G 5-10 165 Milwaukee, Wis. (Dominican)
10 Paul Eckerle SO G 6-1 185 Washington, Mo. (St. Francis Borgia)
12 Femi John FR G 6-2 190 St. Louis, Mo. (McCluer North)
14 Brian Conklin FR F 6-6 220 North Eugene, Ore. (North Eugene)
15 Barry Eberhardt SR F 6-6 250 Inkster, Mich. (Coffeyville C.C.)
20 Daniel Lisch FR G 6-2 185 Belleville, Ill. (West)
21 Kevin Lisch SR G 6-2 190 Belleville, Ill. (Althoff)
22 Johnathan Parker FR G 6-3 180 Milwaukee, Wis. (Marquette U. High)
23 Kyle Cassity FR G 6-3 185 Pinckneyville, Ill. (Pinckneyville)
25 Tommie Liddell III SR G 6-4 195 East St. Louis, Ill. (Hargrave Military Academy)
33 Willie Reed FR F 6-9 195 Kansas City, Mo. (Bishop Miege)
41 Brett Thompson FR C 6-10 260 Vienna, Ill. (Vienna)
44 Andre Craig SO G 6-3 175 St. Louis, Mo. (SLUH)
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