DePaul Blue Demons vs. South Florida Golden Bulls - Saturday, January 10th, 1:00 p.m. Central
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The Blue Demons are off to a 0-3 start in the Big East and realize that Saturday afternoon is their best opportunity for a conference win this season. This becomes a must win for DePaul. The game is also a needed win for USF as they also are winless in the league.
"Obviously, the next game has great significance," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "Certainly getting that first win for either team has tremendous meaning. It will be a very intense Big East game."
"Both teams are expected to be very hungry," said USF coach Stan Heath. "Our guys are pressing very hard to get a W in the column."
"It's a very, very important game for two young teams," shared Wainwright. "It's a home game for us so it makes it even more important."
"Both teams will put a premium on this game to try to get back on the right track and try to get a win and to try to build some momentum for their team," Heath said. "I really expect both teams to really be very competitive and to fight very hard to get a win underneath their belt."
The Bulls are coming off a pair of home losses to two teams ranked in the top 25 – Syracuse and Louisville. They have non-conference losses to the likes of Central Florida, Niagara, Oral Roberts, and Wright State
USF is dead last in the Big East in many statistical categories including Scoring Offense (61 ppg), Scoring Margin (-2.6), Free Throw Percentage (a paltry 56.9 %), Field Goal Percentage (40.3%), and Steals (5.9 per game).
Free throw shooting is a big one if this should be a close game. The Bulls went 14 for 29 (48.3%) from the charity stripe in Wednesday's loss to Louisville.
USF is led by sophomore Dominique Jones who is averaging16.6 points per game. Jones managed only one basket on Wednesday night.
The only other Bull averaging in double-figures is senior guard Jesus Verdejo at 15 ppg.
The Bulls are also getting help from a transfer who sat out the first six games of the season. Maryland transfer Gus Gilchrist, who originally signed with Virginia Tech, is averaging 8.4 ppg and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Look for the Blue Demons to go uptempo in this one and pull away from the low-scoring Bulls.
The Last Time
On February 9, 2008, the Blue Demons charged back in the second half to take a 69-61 win from the Golden Bulls at Allstate Arena. DePaul had trailed by as many as 16 points.
DePaul senior guard Draelon Burns led all scorers with 22 points after scoring only two in the first half. Sophomore guard Will Walker scored a career high 21 points for the Demons.
Kentrell Gransberry led USF with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Solomon Bozeman contributed with 13 points. While guards Dominique Jones and Jesus Verdejo chipped in with 11 apiece.
South Florida Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
1 Espinosa, Eladio F 6-7 220 Fr. Norlina, N.C. (Hargrave Military Academy, Va.)
2 Mercer, Mike G 6-4 190 Jr. Snellville, Ga. (Georgia) (South Gwinnett HS)
3 Howard, Chris G 6-3 200 Jr. Lorton, Va. (Friendly HS, Md.)
4 Belardo, Gaby G 6-2 180 Fr. San Juan, Puerto Rico (Notre Dame Prep, Mass.)
5 Daniels, B.J. G 6-1 212 Fr. Tallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln HS)
10 Leemow, Justin G 6-1 175 Fr. Brooklyn, N.Y. (Mt. Zion Christian Academy, N.C.)
11 Rivas, Alex C 6-10 230 Jr. Santiago, Dominican Republic (Pratt CC, Kan.) (Laurinburg Prep, N.C.)
15 Kardok, Ryan G 6-3 188 Jr. Parkland, Fla. (Broward CC) (Stoneman Douglas HS)
20 Jones, Dominique G 6-4 205 So. Lake Wales, Fla. (Lake Wales HS)
21 Emory, Mitch F 6-6 205 Fr. Cocoa Beach, Fla. (Cocoa Beach HS)
23 Verdejo, Jesus G 6-4 205 Sr. Carolina, Puerto Rico (Arizona) (The Winchendon School, Mass.)
24 Gilchrist, Augustus F/C 6-10 235 Fr. Clinton, Md. (Maryland) (Progressive Christian Academy)
32 Williams, Aris F 6-9 235 Sr. Columbia, Md. (Valparaiso) (Georgetown Prep)
33 Ajayi, Mobolaji F 6-9 225 Sr. Kano, Nigeria (Palm Beach CC, Fla.) (Standard Comprehensive)
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