DePaul Blue Demons vs. #13 Georgetown Hoyas – Sunday, January 3rd, 1:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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DePaul (7-6, 0-1) comes into their home Big East opener on Sunday still looking for a regular season conference win after going 0-18 in the league last season, while Georgetown (9-1, 1-0) is ranked 13th in both polls.
The Blue Demons will be without the services of sophomore point guard Michael Bizoukas who has been sidelined by a knee injury.
"At the minimum he's out three to four weeks," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright.
Bizoukas has an evaluation scheduled with a doctor this weekend.
"We're waiting for the final deal," Wainwright added.
With Bizoukas on the sidelines, Will Walker saw time at point guard in DePaul's opening Big East loss at Pitt on Monday night. Wainwright expects Walker to continue helping out with the ballhandling responsibility.
"He had five assists," Wainwright said of Walker's performance in the Pitt game. "I haven't seen that before."
DePaul is a team that is still searching for their identity. They sorely need to find a scorer to step up besides Walker and junior big man Mac Koshwal.
"We have to get more production out of Eric Wallace, Mike Stovall, and Devin Hill," Wainwright said. "Those guys have to put the ball in the basket more than they have been. Their production has to go up. They have to play at a higher level for us right now"
"We need to have four guys in double-figures," said Wainwright. "Until that happens, I think your offense at this level is very stale and you're not going to be successful."
The Blue Demons also need to get it done at the charity stripe where they have shot a disastrous 53.8 percent as a team.
"Our free throw shooting has been our Achilles heel," Jerry said. "That's the difference maker."
There is no doubt that DePaul will have their hands full with the 13th ranked Hoyas coming to town on Sunday.
"They rely on their defense an awful lot," said Wainwright. "Their offense often times is their defense. They are a ball-control team. Their guards are older. I think they're one of the better defensive teams in the country just because of their size and the style they play. They don't give you a lot of second shots."
Sophomore big man Greg Monroe provides the Hoyas with one of the best post players in the Big East. The 2008-09 Big East Rookie of the Year scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Georgetown's 66-59 win over St. John's on New Year's Eve. More importantly, Monroe dished out five assists.
"Greg Monroe has taken a big step forward," said Wainwright. "He's one of the premier players in the country. He reminds me a little bit of Christian Laettner in that he really facilitated his teammates because he can pass. He's really a pass-first guy. He's very versatile. You need that type of guy in the type of offense that they run. He handles the ball an awful lot for them. He's a terrific passer. He makes other players better."
Georgetown coach John Thompson III relies heavily on his starters and doesn't go to his bench often. That could be a factor if the Hoyas should get into foul trouble on Sunday afternoon.
While they aren't deep, the Hoyas do feature balanced scoring in what many coaches call the Princeton offense on steroids. Junior point guard Chris Wright scored 21 points in the Georgetown win over St. John's. Junior guard Austin Freeman contributed with 15 in the win over the Red Storm. Junior forward Julian Vaughn is averaging 8.5 points and six rebounds per game and sophomore guard Jason Clark is chipping in with 10.7 ppg.
"Vaughn is even bigger than Monroe physically," Wainwright said. "Chris Wright is a fireplug. I've always respected his game. They don't play a lot of guys, but they're a grinding team."
The Blue Demons do have the advantage of having had six days off to prepare for Sunday's game at home.
"This is a big game for us," Jerry said. "It's a home game. You have to play at a level that makes your crowd believe in you and get behind you. We have to earn the crowd's respect and faith."
The Last Time
DePaul junior guard Will Walker scored 20 points as the Blue Demons lost 48-40 at Georgetown in the final regular season game in March of 2009.
DaJuan Summers scored 15 points to lead the Hoyas.
NO NAME HT WT POS YEAR Hometown/High School
1 Hollis Thompson 6-7 205 Forward FR Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola HS
4 Chris Wright 6-1 208 Guard JR Bowie, Md./St. John's Catholic (D.C.)
10 Greg Monroe 6-11 247 Center SO New Orleans, La./Helen Cox
11 Vee Sanford 6-3 180 Guard FR Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic
12 Ryan Dougherty 6-0 192 Guard JR Kensington, Md./St. Alban's (D.C.)
15 Austin Freeman 6-3.5 227 Guard JR Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha
20 Jerrelle Benimon 6-7 242 Forward FR Warrenton, Va./Fauquier
21 Jason Clark 6-2 170 Guard SO Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell
22 Julian Vaughn 6-9 247 Forward JR Vienna, Va./Oak Hill Academy
25 Stephen Stepka 6-6 190 Guard FR Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson
30 Henry Sims 6-10 230 Center SO Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph
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