DePaul Blue Demons vs. St. John's Red Storm – Saturday, February 28th, 11:00 a.m. Central
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DePaul's matchup with visiting St. John's this Saturday afternoon at Allstate Arena may be the last chance for the Blue Demons to secure a Big East victory before establishing futile history. If the Demons (8-20, 0-15) can't win on Saturday against a Red Storm team who are not that impressive themselves (13-15, 4-11 and in 13th place in the Big East), they would have to try and win on the road at either West Virginia or Georgetown next week. This will be DePaul's last home game of the season and the team will honor the services of seniors' Matija Poscic and Jabari Currie prior to the game.
If DePaul does go winless in the Big East, they would join the 1993-1994 Miami Hurricanes as the only other team in Big East history to go winless with an 18 game schedule. As it is, DePaul is on a 15 game losing streak, which is the worst in the program's history.
Perhaps momentum and the fact that it is Senior Day can push the Demons toward a victory. DePaul played a spirited and determined game this past Wednesday, when they nearly pulled off a huge upset of Villanova. Villanova, a top-ten squad, had enough in them to push past the Demons for a 74-72 victory. In St. John's last game, the Red Storm were picked apart from the start and got walloped by Syracuse 87-58 on Tuesday. So if momentum is any indicator, DePaul has that advantage.
St. John's has enough quality athletes to put a scare into anybody and have already beaten the likes of Notre Dame this year. However, St. John's still remains winless on the road this year in Big East play. As they say, something has to give.
St. John's gets balanced scoring and has five players averaging between 7 and 14.6 ppg. They are led by 6-2 sophomore guard Paris Horne's 14.6 ppg. Horne is a good shooter and if left open he can make you pay, as he makes a respectable 35% of his three point attempts. The rugged DJ Kennedy is also another double figure scorer. The 6-6 sophomore guard/forward averages 13.1 ppg and an admirable 6.8 rpg. Rounding out the backcourt is the diminutive Malik Boothe. Boothe, a 5-9 sophomore guard, is the engine behind the Red Storm while averaging 7.1 ppg and team high 4.5 apg.
Up front, St. John's has a couple of active bodies in two 6-8 sophomore forwards in Justin Burrell and Sean Evans. Both Burrell and Evans bring similar stats to the table. Burrell averages 9.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg, while Evans averages 9.8 ppg and 6.6 rpg.
Neither team is a beauty to watch and the majority of players on the floor on Saturday will be either freshmen or sophomores. Expect a sloppy, gritty wire-to-wire contest. For those clinging onto hope to avoid going winless in the Big East, this is DePaul's last best shot. Either DePaul will earn their first victory in Big East play or St. John's will nab their first victory away from New York. So again, something has to give.
Seniors Jabari Currie and Matija Poscic will be honored in Senior Day ceremonies in this final home game of the season.
DePaul's 2009 Hall of Fame class will be inducted this weekend. The 2009 Hall of Fame Class includes men's basketball's David Booth and Stephen Howard, women's basketball's Andrea Morgan Davis, track and field's Major General Stephen Crane and Lorece Collins-White, softball's Susan Coleman Labovic and Jenn Laczynski Schissler and volleyball's Dana Kalvaitis Curta. Former men's basketball secretary Patsy Burns will also be honored with the Dr. Robert Hamilton Special Service Award.
The Last Time
In January of 2008, the Blue Demons pulled out a 60-54 road win over St. John's in Queens, New York.
Darquavis Tucker led the Demons with 16 points. DePaul also received solid contributions from Wesley Green. Green had nine points, 12 rebounds, while playing a team and career high 39 minutes.
For St. John's, Justin Burrell led all scorers with 18 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds.
St. John's Roster
No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Previous School
1 D.J. Kennedy SO Guard/Forward 6-6 210 Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley
2 Anthony Mason Jr. SR Forward 6-7 210 Memphis, Tenn./Fairley
3 Malik Boothe SO Guard 5-9 180 Queens, N.Y./Christ the King
4 John Taubeneck JR Guard 5-11 165 Salem, Mass./Salem/Roger Williams
5 Sean Evans SO Forward 6-8 250 Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast
10 Quincy Roberts FR Guard 6-5 190 Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg
11 Tomas Jasiulionis SR Center 6-11 260 Utena, Lithuania/Trinity
12 TyShwan Edmondson FR Guard 6-4 170 Hopkinsville, Ky./University Heights Academy
15 Dele Coker SO Forward/Center 6-10 260 Newburgh, N.Y./South Kent (Conn.)
22 Guesly Saint Aubin JR Forward 6-6 205 Central Islip, N.Y./St. John The Baptist
23 Paris Horne SO Guard/Forward 6-3 185 Middletown, Del./Bridgton Academy (Maine)
24 Justin Burrell SO Forward 6-8 240 Bronx, N.Y./Our Savior Lutheran
30 Julius Brown FR Guard 5-11 165 Fort Washington, Md./St. Mary's Ryken
35 Matt Duell JR Guard 5-9 155 Orient, N.Y./Greenport
42 Kevin Clark SO Guard 6-2 190 Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore
50 Phil Wait SO Center 7-1 260 Manchester, England/Proctor Academy (N.H.)
55 Rob Thomas RS SO Forward 6-6 226 Harlem, N.Y./South Kent (Conn.)
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