DePaul Blue Demons vs. St. John's Red Storm - Sunday, January 17th, 1:00 p.m. Central – Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY
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As if losing handily to Providence in his first game as interim coach wasn't tough to swallow for Tracy Webster, he now he must take his Blue Demons (7-9 overall, 0-4 Big East) on the road as they visit Queens this Sunday for a matchup with the St. John's Red Storm.
On Thursday night Tracy Webster, serving as interim coach for the recently fired Jerry Wainwright, was initiated to Big East play when DePaul lost to the Providence Friars at home by a score of 79-62. DePaul came out of the gate with some emotion and built seven point lead near the end of the first half. But the momentum would soon vanish as DePaul reverted to some bad habits and buckled in the second half and never had much of a fighters chance.
St. John's proves to be another challenge. While the Red Storm are not quite one of the league's elite teams, St. John's has steadily improved and are a steep challenge for DePaul, who are still reeling from 23 consecutive Big East losses.
St. John's is currently 11-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big East. On Wednesday night they secured a nice win when they beat Cincinnati 52-50 at Madison Square Garden for their first Big East win.
So it's onto the road for the Demons, where their woes are twofold. The Demons have not earned a true road win this year. In fact, the last time DePaul won on another team's homecourt was a quick trip to Illinois-Chicago's Pavilion for a 67-63 win over the Flames on November 22, 2008.
After Wainwright's dismissal, Webster has tried to implement new things, like going up-tempo. However, on Thursday versus Providence, DePaul still had trouble getting the ball in the hoop. Well that's not entirely true, Mike Stovall had a career night as he scored 30 while the rest of the team only scored 32. What's not helping matters is that Will Walker is in a slump as he is shooting 24.6 percent in his last five games. Teams are preparing for him and making a concerted effort to stop him.
Compounding matters is that DePaul will be without Mac Koshwal again as he will be sidelined 2-4 weeks with a right foot injury. Without Koshwal, teams will definitely blanket Walker daring other players to beat them.
So getting production from role players such as Devin Hill, Krys Faber, Jeremiah Kelly and Eric Wallace would be a welcome addition for a team in search of it's first Big East victory in two years.
St. John's is an athletic group that has gained experienced and is starting to get healthy. Justin Burrell and Anthony Mason have both missed some time. With their additions the Red Storm have become a talented and deep team. While no one on the roster jumps off the page, St. John's gets solid contributions from all players in the rotation. If you had to choose a player to key on for the Red Storm it would be the versatile DJ Kennedy, a 6-6 junior guard/forward. Kennedy leads the team in points (15.8 ppg), minutes (31.1 mpg), and assists (3.3 apg) while placing second on the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg). The only other player who scores in double figures is 6-2 junior guard Dwight Hardy. Hardy is a threat to shoot the ball as he leads the team in three point percentage (.414 %).
Webster and his undermanned Blue Demons have their work cut out for them, but in his brief tenure Webster is keeping the team upbeat. Webster along with the rest of the team wants to get a win in the worst way to get the taste of losing out of their collective mouths. The win would be much juicer if they got it in the Big Apple.
The Last Time
On February 28, 2009, St. John's defeated DePaul 84-63 at Allstate Arena in their final home game of the 2008-09 season.
Sophomore Dar Tucker led all scorers with 24 points. Sophomore center Mac Koshwal scored a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Will Walker chipped in with 15 points for the Demons.
D.J. Kennedy and Paris Horne each scored 17 points to lead four St. John's players in double-figures.
The Red Storm shot over 60 percent from the field in the game, and made seven of 13 three-point shots.
St. John's Roster
No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Previous School
1 D.J. Kennedy JR Guard/Forward 6-5 215 Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley
2 Anthony Mason Jr. RS SR Forward 6-7 210 Memphis, Tenn./Fairley
3 Malik Boothe JR Guard 5-9 188 Queens, N.Y./Christ the King
4 John Taubeneck JR Guard 5-11 165 Salem, Mass./Salem/Roger Williams
5 Sean Evans JR Forward 6-8 255 Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast
10 Quincy Roberts SO Guard 6-5 195 Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg
11 Omari Lawrence FR Guard/Forward 6-4 209 Bronx, N.Y./South Kent (Conn.)/St. Raymond's
12 Dwight Hardy JR Guard 6-2 187 Bronx, N.Y./John F. Kennedy/Indian Hills C.C. (Iowa)
15 Dele Coker JR Forward/Center 6-10 252 Lagos, Nigeria/South Kent (Conn.)
23 Paris Horne JR Guard 6-3 191 Middletown, Del./Bridgton Academy (Maine)
24 Justin Burrell JR Forward 6-8 235 Bronx, N.Y./Bridgton Academy (Maine)/Our Savior Lutheran
30 Guesly Saint Aubin SR Forward 6-6 205 Central Islip, N.Y./St. John The Baptist
31 Malik Stith FR Guard 5-11 185 Hempstead, N.Y./Bridgton Academy (Maine)/East Mecklenberg (N.C.)
32 Justin Brownlee JR Forward 6-7 232 Tifton, Ga.//Chipola (Fla.)
42 Kevin Clark SO Guard 6-2 197 Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore
55 Rob Thomas RS JR Forward 6-6 235 Harlem, N.Y./South Kent (Conn.)
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