DePaul Blue Demons vs. Louisville Cardinals – Sunday, February 15th, 3:00 p.m. Central
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As DePaul travels to play yet another top ten program in Louisville (#5 AP/#7 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll) this Sunday, and as if that wasn't bad enough, they also come into the game with a 12-game losing streak. The last time DePaul had a streak that bad was back in the 1995-1996 season, and one more loss would equal the longest losing streak in DePaul history when the Demons lost their last 13 contests back in the 1996-97 season.
Compounding matters for the Blue Demons is the fact that their opponent is coming off a humiliating 90-57 loss to Notre Dame on Thursday night, in which Rick Pitino had his worst loss in his stint with the Cardinals (18-5 overall and 9-2 in the Big East). So you know the Cardinals will want to get back on track and take out their frustrations on the lowly Demons.
And the Demons are hitting new lows as the season progresses as they were recently pummeled by visiting Seton Hall on Tuesday night 72-49 to drop to 8-17 overall and 0-12 in the Big East.
DePaul will have to play above their heads to have any shot in this game. If recent games are any indication, don't expect that to happen as the Demons have lost their last five games by an average of 20.4 ppg. DePaul will simply be too overmatched, and expecting anything less than a Louisville rout would be foolish.
The Cardinals are a big and athletic bunch who can execute well on both sides of the ball. They are a well-balanced and well-coached group.
The Cardinals have three players that average in double figures with no one scoring more than 6-9 junior forward Earl Clark's 13 ppg. The Cardinals also are paced by 6-6 senior Terrence Williams solid all around game. Williams averages 12.6 ppg while also contributing 8.8 rpg and 4.6 apg, making him the only player in the Big East to average at least 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists a game. Williams is also second in the Big East with 2.2 steals per game Williams is the glue that holds this team together and his multifaceted game does not go unrecognized throughout the country.
Williams was recently chosen as one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding senior student-athlete.
Up-front, Pitino is getting what he signed up for when he snagged McDonald's All-American Samardo Samuels last year. Samuels, a 6-9 freshman forward, is a beast underneath the hoop as he completes the trio of Cardinals who average in double figures (12.2 ppg to go along with 5 rpg).
The strength of the Cardinals lies in their athletic frontcourt, but not to be overlooked is the talented and experienced group of guards Pitino has at his disposal. Between Edgar Sosa, Andre McGee, Jerry Smith and Preston Knowles either guard can get hot at a moment's notice, with each averaging between five and eight ppg. It also helps that all of the above-mentioned guards, sans Knowles (sophomore), are upperclassmen. That can spell doom for a DePaul team that plays a lot of young guards.
On all levels this is a mismatch. While DePaul will do all in their power to avoid going winless in the Big East, this game doesn't seem to be the antidote for a losing streak.
The Last Time
In February of 2008 at Allstate Arena, the Cardinals walked away with a 88-68 victory over the Demons.
The Cardinals turned up their signature pressure defense which managed to score 27 points off of 16 DePaul turnovers.
Terrence Williams led the way for Louisville scoring 22 points. Center David Padgett contributed with 20.
Will Walker scored 15 points on six of 14 from the field for DePaul . While Draelon Burns shot three of 14 from the field to manage 11 points.
NO NAME HT WT POS CL HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)
1 Terrence Williams 6-6 215 F SR Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)
2 Preston Knowles 6-1 170 G SO Winchester, Ky. (George Rogers Clark)
5 Earl Clark 6-9 220 G/F JR Plainfield, N.J. (Rahway)
10 Edgar Sosa 6-1 175 G JR New York, N.Y. (Rice)
11 Chris Brickley 6-4 175 G JR Manchester, N.H. (Southern New Hampshire)
12 Reginald Delk 6-4 175 G JR Jackson, Tenn. (Mississippi State)
14 Kyle Kuric 6-4 175 G FR Evansville, Ind. (Memorial)
20 Will Scott 6-3 185 G SR New York, N.Y. (Cornell University)
21 Jared Swopshire 6-7 215 F FR St. Louis, Mo. (IMG Academy)
22 George Goode 6-8 205 F FR Raytown, Mo. (Raytown South)
23 Terrence Jennings 6-10 225 F FR Sacramento, Calif. (Notre Dame Prep)
24 Samardo Samuels 6-8 240 F FR Trelawny, Jamaica (St. Benedict Prep)
25 Lee Steiden 6-4 185 F SO Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier)
33 Andre McGee 5-10 180 G SR Moreno Valley, Calif. (Canyon Springs)
34 Jerry Smith 6-1 200 G JR Wauwatosa, Wis. (East)
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