DePaul Blue Demons at Syracuse Orange - Wednesday, January 7th, 6:00 p.m. Central
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The Blue Demons are off to a 0-2 start in the Big East going into the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night, where DePaul hasn't won since 1982. So, a 0-3 start for Jerry Wainwright's squad is very likely at this point.
The Orange are led by sophomore sensation Jonny Flynn. The ultra-quick point guard is averaging 16.8 points and is third in the Big East with 5.1 assists per game. Wainwright knows Flynn all too well having coached Jonny on USA Basketball squads in international play for two years.
Syracuse has five players that average in double-figures. That kind of balanced scoring is something that DePaul typically has trouble with.
Sharpshooter Andy Rautins is averaging 11.3 ppg and is shooting 39% from beyond the arc. Rautins and guard Eric Devendorf (13.9 ppg) are both back strong for the Orange after sitting out last season following ACL surgery.
Center Arinze Onuaku wreaked havoc on DePaul last season when he scored 22 points in the paint. Onuaku is averaging 12.2 ppg and is shooting 70% from the field to lead the nation in field goal percentage.
The Orange lead the Big East in field goal percentage as a team at .504.
Paul Harris is Syracuse's leading rebounder at 8.4 rpg and 12.9 ppg. Harris sat out the last game at South Florida after cutting his ring finger in the previous game.
"Paul Harris, pound for pound, is probably the best rebounder in the Big East in terms of rebounds per minute," Wainwright told WSCR radio. "He's a little bit of an undersized kid with long arms and is as strong as an ox."
Syracuse is coming off a 59-54 win at South Florida on Friday night. Rautins, the son of Syracuse legend Leo Rautins, led the Orange with 14 points in that game.
Of course no discussion of Syracuse would be complete without mentioning coach Jim Boeheim's trademark zone defense. DePaul will have to shoot lights out from the perimeter to have any chance against the zone in this one. That's a tall order given how poorly DePaul shot against Providence's zone on Saturday night. With their zone, Syracuse leads the Big East in three point field goal % defense at .264.
The Orange's only loss came at home to Cleveland State on a buzzer beating three-quarter of the court length shot. They own quality wins against three nationally ranked teams – Florida, Kansas, and Memphis.
Freshman forward Devin Hill has been day-to-day for DePaul with a high ankle sprain and has missed the last two games due to the injury, but has been practicing of late.
The Last Time
Syracuse defeated DePaul 60-55 at Allstate Arena back in January, 2008 despite playing just seven players and shooting one for 13 from three point range.
DePaul had no answer inside for Syracuse big man Arinze Onuaku who led all scorers with 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.
Freshman sensation Donte Green scored 14 points for the Orange, while sophomore Paul Harris chipped in with 10 points.
Sophomore guard Will Walker led the way for the Blue Demons, scoring 14 points, while picking up three assists and three steals.
Freshman captain Mac Koshwal scored 11 points on five of 13 shooting. Senior Karron Clarke contributed with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
No. Name Pos Ht Wt. Cl. Hometown/High School
00 Rick Jackson F 6-9 235 So. Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti
1 Andy Rautins G 6-5 193 Jr. Jamesville, NY/Jamesville-DeWitt
2 Justin Thomas G 6-1 182 Sr. Los Angeles, CA/Loyola High School
3 Mookie Jones F 6-6 210 Fr. Peekskill, NY/Peekskill
4 Wesley Johnson F 6-7 198 Jr. Corsicana, Texas/Corsicana/Patterson School (NC)/Eldon Acad.
5 Jake Presutti G 6-3 190 Sr. Belmont, NY/Genesee Valley
10 Jonny Flynn G 6-0 186 So. Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls
11 Paul Harris F 6-5 228 Jr. Niagara Falls, NY/Notre Dame Prep
12 Kristof Ongenaet F 6-8 215 Sr. Ghent, Belgium/College Melle/Cuesta C.C.
21 Arinze Onuaku F 6-9 258 Jr. Lanham, MD/Episcopal
23 Eric Devendorf G 6-4 178 Jr. Bay City, MI/Central High/Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
24 Brandon Reese G 5-11 155 Fr. Davie, FL/Pinehurst
25 Kevin Drew G 6-2 177 Fr. South Salem, NY/John Jay-Cross River
32 Kris Joseph F 6-7 220 Fr. Montreal, Quebec/Archbishop Carroll (D.C.)
33 Scoop Jardine G 6-1 192 So. Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti
45 Sean Williams C 6-11 228 So. Villa Park, CA/Villa Park/Notre Dame Prep
DePaul vs. #11 Syracuse Game Preview
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