DePaul vs. #6 Pittsburgh Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons (8-15, 0-10) take on the sixth ranked Pittsburgh Panthers (20-2, 7-2) at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon. In this report,'s Dan Stack previews the Panthers and DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright offers up his take on Pitt.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. #6 Pittsburgh Panthers – Saturday, February 7th, 1:00 p.m. Central

Television – WWME (Me-TV) Channel 23 in Chicago, WWME can be found in Chicago on…

Comcast: Channel 223
Direct TV: Channel 23
Dish Network: Channel 23
RCN: Channel 14
WOW City: Channel 17
WOW Suburbs: Channel 19

ESPN Fullcourt

FSN Pittsburgh

Internet Video

ESPN 360

Radio – WSCR

Internet Radio Link to Listen Live -

DePaul Broadcast Chat Room Link

Chat Room

Pitt Athletics

Pitt Athletics Site

Pitt Fans Site

Game Preview

With a record of 0-10 in the Big East (8-15 overall), it can be easily said that the DePaul Blue Demons need a break. But in the Big East there are no breaks and on Saturday afternoon, DePaul will again have to match up with a top ten team (# 5 Coaches Poll/#6 AP) as the Pittsburgh Panthers(20-2, 7-2 in the Big East) invade AllState Arena.

Pittsburgh is continuously a force in the Big East with its physical style and they feature a fantastic inside-out game that leaves many teams in its wake.

Leading the way up front for the Panthers is 6-7 sophomore forward DeJuan Blair. Blair averages a double-double, averaging 14.9 ppg and 12.7 rpg, which is good for second in the Big East. Blair, despite undersized at 6-7, is simply a beast inside and one who will not be outworked. He establishes perfect position and once on the block he is a load to handle. The only weakness in his game is that he is prone to picking up early fouls.

From the perimeter, Pittsburgh has one of the league's best point guards in 5-10 senior Levance Fields and one of top swingmen in 6-6 senior Sam Young.

Fields has improved tremendously over the years and is as steady as they come. He looks to set up his teammates, as evidenced by his Big East leading seven assists per game, but when left open can do some damage in the scoring department. His 11 ppg is third on the team as he, Young and Blair are the three players on Pittsburgh to average double figures in scoring.

Young is as good a scorer as there is in this league. The athletic dynamo is seventh in the Big East in scoring with 18.1 ppg scoring clip. Young is suited to playing in either a half court or full court setting. He can take you off the dribble and slash to the basket as easily as nailing down the trifecta.

As a team, you can't ask for much more balance then what Blair, Fields and Young bring to the table for Pitt coach Jamie Dixon. But Pittsburgh gets quality production from other players as well.

One of the pleasant surprises for the Panthers has been the play of 6-3 freshman Jermaine Dixon. Dixon, brother of former Maryland hero Juan Dixon, is giving the Panthers another scoring threat. Dixon averages 8.8 ppg and can go off at a moment's notice. He has averaged 15.5 ppg in the last two games and even scored 19 points at Freedom Hall when Pittsburgh lost to Louisville earlier in the season.

DePaul has shown some fight at home lately, playing Connecticut and Marquette well for the first half, but their mental makeup and inconsistency gets the better of them down the stretch.

It is not known as of yet if leading scoring Dar Tucker (18.5 ppg) will play in Saturday's game. He will be a game-time decision. Tucker tweaked his ankle prior to Tuesday's game against Marquette and sat out the contest. In his absence, 6-0 junior Will Walker had a career high 30 points to pick up the scoring slack. Walker has stepped up his game in the Big East, after struggling in the non-conference portion of the schedule. In Big East play, Walker has regained his touch from the arc (42.6 three point shooting %) and is averaging 16.1 ppg (13 ppg overall). In his last two contests Walker has averaged 26.5 ppg.

The key to the game for DePaul is for Mac Koshwal (13.5 ppg and 10 rpg) to go to work inside and hope to get Blair in foul trouble. Pittsburgh is also susceptible to getting beat by fast athletic teams (i.e. Louisville and Villanova) that like to get up and down the court. It might benefit the Demons if they elect to run as this plays into DePaul's strengths, especially if Tucker is playing.

Staring down the possibility at a 0-18 record in the Big East, DePaul would do anything for a win, but the Big East is an unforgiving league and Pittsburgh is as unforgiving on its opponents as there is.

DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright on the Panthers

"They certainly deserve their national ranking. That is the model program for us in the league in terms of their consistency over a period of time. What Coach Howland started and Coach Dixon has taken to a whole other level. It's another Big East game where you're playing one of the best teams in the country… They're physically probably the most imposing inside team in our league."

The Last Time

Pittsburgh had six players score in double-figures in their 98-79 win over DePaul on March 9, 2008 at the Petersen Events Center. DeJuan Blair led Pitt with 22 points and 14 boards for a double-double. Levance Fields came close to a triple-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. DePaul's Dar Tucker led all scorers with 23 points. Draelon Burns contributed 18 points for the Demons.

Pitt Roster


1 Travon Woodall 5-11/190 Guard FR Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Anthony's (N.J.)

2 Levance Fields 5-10/190 Guard SR Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian H.S.

3 Jermaine Dixon 6-3/195 Guard JR Baltimore, Md./Tallahassee J.C. (Fla.)

5 Tyrell Biggs 6-8/250 Forward SR Nanuet, N.Y./Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)

11 Gilbert Brown 6-6/200 Guard/Forward RS SO Harrisburg, Pa./South Kent Prep (Conn.)

12 Ashton Gibbs 6-2/190 Guard FR Scotch Plains, N.J./Seton Hall Prep

14 Sean Brown 6-4/215 Forward SR Pittsburgh, Pa./Canon McMillan

21 Ryan Tiesi 6-2/185 Guard SO Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny H.S.

22 Brad Wanamaker 6-4/205 Guard SO Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic H.S.

23 Sam Young 6-6/220 Forward SR Clinton, Md./Hargrave Military Academy

24 Tim Frye 6-4/200 Guard SO Mars, Pa./Mars H.S.

25 Dwight Miller 6-8/230 Forward FR Nassau, Bahamas/St. Pius X H.S. (Houston, Texas)

35 Nasir Robinson 6-5/220 Forward FR Chester, Pa./Chester H.S.

45 DeJuan Blair 6-7/265 Forward SO Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley H.S.

52 Gary McGhee 6-10/250 Center SO Anderson, Ind./Highland Senior H.S.

We Are DePaul Top Stories