DePaul Blue Demons at. Providence Friars - Saturday, January 3rd, 6:00 p.m. Central, Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
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Providence is in their first year under former Drake coach Keno Davis, who replaced former coach Tim Welsh. The Friars struggled early in their non-conference schedule with a 70-66 loss to Northeastern in their home opener, but have bounced back with a strong effort in their 75-54 Big East opening win over St. John's on New Year's Eve.
The Friars were led by senior Randall Hanke (9.1 ppg) with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and three blocks. Point guard Sharaud Curry (8.8 ppg) scored 16 points and had eight assists. Sophomore Marshon Brooks (13.6 ppg) added 15 points and three steals for Providence.
Providence returns basically everyone that DePaul faced last season plus they now feature a healthy Curry, who sat out last year with a foot injury. Curry is the guy that runs the PC offense. Had Curry been healthy last season, Welsh would likely still be the Friars coach.
For DePaul to pull out a win on the road in the Big East, they will need the kind of effort that they had in their 92-82 loss to Notre Dame on New Year's Eve. They will also need someone other than sophomores Dar Tucker and Mac Koshwal to step up. While seniors Matija Poscic and Jabari Currie had strong contributions against Notre Dame, the Demons could really use junior guard Will Walker to bust out of his scoring slump.
DePaul can count on seeing a tougher defensive effort than they received from Notre Dame. The Friars' defense dominated the Red Storm. St. John's was held to 35.4% shooting from the field and 11.8% from behind the arc. The Red Storm's 54 point total was their lowest of the season.
For the Demons to be successful, they are going to have to knock down perimeter shots against the PC zone.
Freshman forward Devin Hill is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. Hill returned to practice on Friday and is a likely game-time decision for the Demons.
The Last Time
In February of 2008, the Friars got hot in the second half on their way to a 79-65 win over the Blue Demons. Junior Randall Hanke scored 21 points and Geoff McDermott recorded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Dwain Williams added 20 points for Providence, 18 of which came in the second half. The Blue Demons were led by Draelon Burns with 17 points and Will Walker with 13.
NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School
0 Alex Kellogg SO 6-7 225 Forward Columbus, Ohio/DeSales High School
1 Jeff Xavier SR 6-1 185 Guard Pawtucket, R.I./St. Raphael Academy
2 Marshon Brooks SO 6-5 190 Guard/Forward Stone Mountain, Ga./Tucker High School
4 Sharaud Curry JR 5-10 170 Guard Gainesville, Ga./Wheeler High School
11 Geoff McDermott SR 6-8 235 Forward New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle High School
12 Luke Burchett JR 6-0 185 Guard Western Springs, Ill./Fenwick High School
13 Weyinmi Efejuku SR 6-5 210 Guard/Forward Fresh Meadows, N.Y./Brewster Academy
15 Jamine Peterson SO 6-6 225 Forward Brooklyn, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep.
21 Chris Baudinet SR 6-5 210 Forward Watertown, Conn./Taft School
23 Brian McKenzie JR 6-4 205 Guard Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian High School
25 Brian Beloin SR 6-5 200 Forward Avon, Conn./Avon High School
31 Connor Heine SR 6-4 185 Forward Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep School
32 Randall Hanke SR 6-11 240 Forward/Center New York, N.Y./Trinity-Pawling School
34 Jonathan Kale SR 6-8 245 Forward/Center Mattapan, Mass./St. Andrew's School
42 Bilal Dixon FR 6-8 228 Forward/Center Jersey City, N.J./Queen of Peace
55 Ray Hall JR 6-11 265 Center Denver, Colo./J.K. Mullen High School
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