DePaul vs. Illinois-Chicago Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons square off with the crosstown rival UIC Flames at Allstate Arena on Sunday evening. In this preview, we hear from DePaul head coach Jerry Wainwright and senior guard Will Walker about the matchup with the Flames.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. UIC Flames – Sunday, December 13th, 5:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

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Game Preview

So as not to conflict with the Bears versus Packers rivalry on the gridiron on Sunday afternoon, a rivalry on the hardwood has been scheduled for a 5 p.m. tipoff. The crosstown rivalry between DePaul and UIC has been renewed of late. This is the third in a three game series between the two city schools.

The Flames won the first at Allstate Arena in 2007 by a score of 85-80 in UIC's only win over DePaul in school history.

DePaul then returned the favor by winning 67-63 at the UIC Pavilion last season.

However, many of the players that DePaul faced the last two years are now gone. There is no need for the Demons to hold the Mayo this year, as leading scorer Josh Mayo has graduated along with big man Scott Vandermeer.

Much traveled forward Robert Eppinger moved on to NAIA Robert Morris. While Tori Boyd left the team, but remained at UIC to pursue academic interests.

Sophomore forward Jelani Poston is reportedly out until the second semester.

There is some good news to report for the Flames, senior guard Spencer Stewart has recently returned from suspension.

This season the Flames (5-3) have yet to beat a Division I team. Their sole win was a 72-59 win over the University of Illinois-Springfield. This is UIS' first year playing in Division II. UIC even managed to lose an exhibition game to Division II Lewis.

The Flames list eight walkons on their roster. All that remains of last year's UIC squad is sharpshooting junor guard Robo Kreps (12.7 ppg), senior forward Jeremy Buttell (10.4 ppg and 6.6 rebounds per game), and sophomore guard Zavion Neely who has been a pleasant surprise at 14.2 ppg.

The Blue Demons have been involved in some low-scoring defensive-oriented affairs this season. This one is likely to be no different. The Flames lead the Horizon League in field goal percentage defense (39.4%). Like DePaul, UIC has had low productivity on offense, averaging 60 ppg.

UIC does have the advantage of having rested and time to prepare for DePaul as they have been off since losing at Wisconsin-Green Bay on December 5th, while the Demons are coming off a Thursday night appearance on national television.

"It's a quick turnaround game," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "There is an increased level of interest and intensity."

The rivalry of the UIC series appeals to local guys on DePaul like senior guard Will Walker.

"It's always fun, because over the summertime whenever you go outside around the city you always see those guys," said Will Walker. "It's good to play them. It's better to have the bragging rights. Hopefully we'll come out and play hard. No matter what the record is, people always come out and play hard against teams they are rivals with and when they know people on that team. A total different kind of confidence comes to the game and a total different kind of energy level. Their record isn't going to mean much when they play us. We know that. "

Walker has learned to be on guard against mid-major teams like UIC.

"In the past we used to look over teams like that a lot and get beat or have a real close game," said Walker. "We've just really been trying to not look over people any more. We just look at everybody like it's a NCAA game. If everybody is looked at the same way we should come out and play as hard as we can no matter whose name is on the jersey."

The Last Time

In November of 2008, DePaul won the cross-town battle at the UIC Pavilion 67-63.

Junior guard Will Walker led the way for the Blue Demons with 17 points.

Sophomore Mac Koshwal contributed with a double-double of 14 points (on five of eight shooting inside) and 15 rebounds.

Sophomore Dar Tucker struggled shooting yet managed 12 points and seven rebounds in the contest.

Freshman center Krys Faber finished with four points and five rebounds in twelve minutes of play coming off the bench.

Sharpshooting UIC senior guard Josh Mayo led all scorers with 23 points yet struggled shooting three of 11 behind the arc.

UIC Roster

No. Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Class Hometown High School Last College

1 Arthur Wiley 6-0 170 Guard FR South Holland, Ill. Thornwood

2 Austin Hood 6-2 190 Guard JR Chicago, Ill. York Kellogg C.C.

3 Robo Kreps 6-0 180 Guard JR Forsyth, Ill. Maroa-Forsyth

5 Erin Pryor 6-3 180 Guard FR Chicago, Ill. King

13 Mylin Northern 6-5 210 Forward JR Chicago, Ill. Kenwood Triton College

14 Corey Gray 5-10 160 Guard FR Missouri City, Texas Hightower

15 Jimmy Harding 6-5 165 Guard JR Minooka, Ill. Minooka

20 Anthony Kelley 6-6 180 Guard FR Aurora, Ill. Aurora Central Catholic

21 Dipanjot Singh 6-3 190 Guard JR Evanston, Ill. Evanston Township

22 Kris Harris 6-3 185 Guard SR Chicago, Ill. Westinghouse South Suburban College

23 Zavion Neely 6-1 170 Guard SO Chicago, Ill. Hope

25 Spencer Stewart 6-4 185 Guard SR Edwardsville, Ill. Edwardsville

31 Chris Buchanan 6-3 190 Guard SR Joliet, Ill. Providence Catholic Joliet Junior College

32 Ryan Sligh 6-8 200 Forward SO Tampa, Fla. Freedom

33 Jeremy Buttell 6-7 235 Forward SR Colleyville, Texas Heritage Texas Tech University

35 Jelani Poston 6-7 220 Forward SO Chicago, Ill. Harmony Community School (Cincinnati, Ohio)

41 Louis Green 6-9 240 Center FR Hillside, Ill. St. Joseph

42 Brad Birton 6-7 220 Forward JR Chicago, Ill. North Lawndale South Suburban College

44 K.C. Robbins 6-11 270 Center JR Falmouth, Maine Cheverus Southwestern Illinois College

50 Arman Rasul 6-4 200 Guard FR Chicago, Ill. Rich South

Matt Bush 6-4 195 Guard JR Quincy, Ill. Quincy Black Hawk College

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