DePaul vs. Florida Gulf Coast Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons face the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers on Tuesday night. In this report, we hear from DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright and players Devin Hill and Mike Stovall as they talk about the return of forward Mac Koshwal to the court.

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DePaul Blue Demons vs. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles – Tuesday, December 22nd, 6:00 p.m. Central – Fort Myers, Florida

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Game Preview

DePaul (7-4) heads down to Fort Myers, Florida on Tuesday to escape from the Chicago winter and for their final non-conference game.

The Blue Demons expect to have junior forward Mac Koshwal back in action as they take on Florida Gulf Coast. Koshwal has sat out four weeks following a foot injury that occurred against Tennessee in the Virgin Islands. Koshwal returned to practice today and is anxious to get some game time under his belt before Big East play begins on December 28th.

Mac's teammates and DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright are looking forward to having him back on the court.

"He means a lot," said junior guard Mike Stovall. "He's the second leading scorer on the team. He brings a lot of rebounds. He hustles a lot and brings a lot of energy to the team. We just can't wait till he comes back."

"We need the big boy back," said Wainwright. "He's a good pass blocker. He just plays with such a passion, we all kind of feed off him."

The Blue Demons are 2-1 with Koshwal in the lineup this season with the one loss coming to 10th ranked Tennessee by four points. Before the injury, Koshwal was averaging 15 ppg and 13 rebounds per game.

"Just looking at the scouting report and looking at the biggest guy, Mac's always taken them on," said sophomore forward Devin Hill. "He's our inside presence. He's our big guy. He does a lot of good things offensively and defensively. He's kind of an anchor on both offense and defense. Just having him on the sideline talking to us, telling us things that he sees, helps a lot. He definitely means a lot."

Hill has benefited the most from Koshwal being out and has really stepped up his play on the interior. Devin scored a career-high 19 points along with seven rebounds and three blocks in Saturday's win over Texas State. Wainwright looks forward to having both Hill and Koshwal in the frontcourt together.

"What Devin has done in terms of guarding inside people will really, really help us down the road," Jerry said. "We could actually put a lineup out there where we're fairly big across the front line."

The Demons could use Koshwal against Florida Gulf Coast (3-6, 1-0 Atlantic Sun), who are outrebounding opponents by a 78-54 margin and have won their last three games.

The Eagles are led by sophomore point guard Reggie Chambers. Chambers was named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week for the last two weeks. During the Eagles' three-game win streak, Chambers averaged 14.7 points, 8.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.

FGCU has two others averaging in double-figures. Redshirt freshman forward Anthony Banks is averaging 12.4 ppg and 5.6 rebounds per game. Junior guard Reed Baker, who transferred to FGCU from Michigan, is pouring in 12.2 ppg.

Eagles coach Dave Balza is in his eighth year at the school and led the program from Division II to Division I.

FGCU is 1-1 at home this season. They've defeated Isiah Thomas' Florida International team 81-64, but lost 67-59 to Bethune Cookman in their home opener.

The Last Time

In January of 2008, DePaul took FGCU to the woodshed as they dominated in a 92-60 victory at Allstate Arena. The Demons had five players in double figures with senior Draelon Burns with 19 points and sophomore Will Walker also leading with a career-high 19 points. Walker knocked down four of six from behind the arc.

Senior Karron Clarke contributed with 15 points. Freshman Darquavis Tucker chipped in with 14 points. While freshman captain Mac Koshwal recorded 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Eagles had four players in double figures. Marshall transfer Casey Wohlleb and guard Rob Quaintance led with 13 apiece. Landon Adler contributed 12 points, while guard Delvin Franklin scored 10.

Florida Gulf Coast Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School

3 Reed Baker G 6-1 180 R-Jr. Naples, Fla./Michigan

4 Addison Smith G 6-2 210 So. Lantana, Fla./Santaluces HS

5 Reggie Chambers G 5-9 170 So. Miramar, Fla./Monsignor Pace HS

10 Hunter Miller G 6-2 175 Fr. Nashville, Tenn./Christ Presbyterian Academy

11 Chad Lutkenhaus F 6-5 200 Jr. Labelle, Fla./Labelle HS

12 Kyle Marks F 6-7 230 Sr. West Palm Beach, Fla./Nebraska

20 Brett Williams G 6-3 170 Fr. Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS

21 Harris Gelin G 6-3 190 Jr. Deerfield Beach, Fla./Grandview Prep

22 Ed Rolax F 6-5 215 R-So. St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic HS

23 Eddie Murray F 6-8 195 R-Fr. North Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS

24 Derrick O'Neil F 6-5 185 Sr. Moreno Valley, Calif./Florida CC

25 Sherwood Brown G 6-3 185 Fr. Orlando, Fla/Olympia HS

32 Anthony Banks F 6-6 210 R-Fr. Lantana, Fla./Santaluces HS

33 Charlie Lytle F 6-8 190 Jr. Clearwater, Fla./Santa Fe College

34 George Erkvania C 6-10 240 Sr. Tbilisi, Georgia Republic/ Pensacola JC

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