DePaul Blue Demons vs. #9 West Virginia Mountaineers - Tuesday, January 26th, 7:30 p.m. Central –Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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In the last two games, DePaul (8-11, 1-6) has been improving. The Blue Demons pulled off a 51-50 upset of Marquette and lost 87-77 at Notre Dame on Saturday. When you look at that last game, if the Blue Demons had not given up easy baskets to ND in transition, they would have had a legitimate shot at winning on the road.
DePaul senior guard Will Walker was named to this week's Big East honor roll after averaging 26 points on the week. Walker scored a career-high 35 points at Notre Dame and a game-high 17 points in the Marquette win.
While the Blue Demons have improved under interim coach Tracy Webster, their schedule is getting a whole lot tougher this week with ninth-ranked West Virginia (15-3, 4-2) on Tuesday and number four Syracuse coming to town on Saturday.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 71-65 non-conference home win over Ohio State on Saturday where senior forward Da'Sean Butler scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half. WVU managed to hold OSU star Evan Turner to just five points in the second half.
Butler is averaging 16 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He is a guy that always seems to give DePaul matchup problems.
The Mountaineers feature a good young nucleus of sophomores all averaging double-figures in scoring. Kevin Jones is averaging 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Devin Ebanks averages 11.3 ppg and 7.9 rebounds, while point guard Truck Bryant is averaging 10.7 points.
"West Virginia they're a really good basketball team with great length and size," DePaul interim coach Tracy Webster told WSCR Radio. "They're going to play a lot of pressure defense, probably they'll deny Will Walker the ball a lot. They'll try to make it hard for us to get the ball to our wings to start our offense. We have to do a really good job of moving our bodies, and having great ball movement, and try to be strong with their pressure. On the other end, we have to defend, which we always talk about. We have to be tough, and let them know that we're tough, and we're not going to go away, we're going to fight."
The Last Time
On March 4, 2009 in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Mountaineers dispatched the Demons 82-63.
Five players finished in double-figures for WVU. Senior Alex Ruoff scored 20 points. Freshman Devin Ebanks recorded a double-double of 14 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Da'Sean Butler finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Kevin Jones just barely missed being the third Mountaineers with double-figures in both scoring and rebounding, finishing with a career-high 13 points to go along with nine rebounds. Point guard Truck Bryant chipped in with 12 points, six assists and three steals.
WVU won despite a big night for DePaul's Will Walker, who went off for a career-high 31 points. The junior guard hit seven-of-12 from three-point range. Sophomore Dar Tucker contributed with 18 points and seven rebounds.
West Virginia Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown
25 Darryl Bryant G 6-2 200 So. Brooklyn, N.Y.
1 Da'Sean Butler F 6-7 230 Sr. Newark, N.J.
3 Devin Ebanks F 6-9 215 So. Long Island City, N.Y.
41 John Flowers F 6-7 215 Jr. Waldorf, Md.
30 Danny Jennings F 6-8 260 Fr. Staten Island, N.Y.
5 Kevin Jones F 6-8 250 So. Mount Vernon, N.Y.
42 Deniz Kilicli F 6-9 260 Fr. Istanbul, Turkey
15 Bryan Lowther G 6-6 215 Fr. Edinboro, Pa.
21 Joe Mazzulla G 6-2 200 r-Jr. Johnston, R.I.
33 Casey Mitchell G 6-4 225 Jr. Savannah, Ga.
20 Cam Payne G 6-4 225 r-So. Charleston, W.Va.
32 Dalton Pepper G 6-5 215 Fr. Levittown, Pa.
12 Kenny Ross G 6-0 175 Fr. Furlong, Pa.
35 Wellington Smith F 6-7 245 Sr. Summit, N.J.
2 Cam Thoroughman F 6-7 240 r-Jr. Portsmouth, Ohio
4 Jonnie West G 6-3 195 r-Jr. Memphis, Tenn.
DePaul vs. #9 West Virginia Game Preview
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