Who are these guys?

<b>NU</b> faces another pack of <b>Demons</b> Saturday as they welcome <b>Northwestern State University of Lousiana</b> to Welsh Ryan.

Fresh from a manhandling by the Blue Demons of Depaul, the Wildcats entertain the Purple and Gold NSU Demons to Welsh-Ryan.
They play in the Southland Conference, and apparently are on a building program. Their coach, Mike McConathy, has the declared mission for his team as Championship Basketball - with a purpose. He's a second generation Demon, altho he played his basketball at Louisiana Tech. His father and two uncles are former NSU stars.

The coach's goal appears to be to both win and graduate athletes -- he's graduated 14 in 4 years, while winning the Southland conference and appearing in the NCAA tournament in 2001.

This year, the Demons [1-2/0-2 on the road] from Northwestern Louisiana State, come into our house for a noon game Saturday,  fresh off a 88-80 win over LSU-Shreveport. On the surface they appear to be a similar team to DePaul.

Their scoring leader right now is Clifton Lee [NSU Photo Left - 15.3 ppg], aided by last year's Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, Jermaine Wallace [14.0 ppg]. Lee and Wallace are also the rebound leaders.

The Demon Starters in the last game:
  • Forwards: #30 Clifton Lee [6-7 210], #42 Kerwin Forges [6-4 1/2 235]
  • Center: # 2 Byron Allen [6-7 255]
  • Guards: #23 Jermain Wallace [6-3 195], #3 Tyronn Mitchell [6-1 185]
These guys are young - Lee, Forges, Allen, Mitchell and Wallace [right] are all sophs. There are only two Seniors on the team: #5 Michael Edwards [G 6-1 210] and #33 Carl Jones [C 6-9 245]. Edwards has yet to play, Jones is averaging 18 minutes in the center. #40 Soph Alfonse Dyer started the first two games at center, averaging 6 ppg, but did not play their last game.

Northwestern State seems to be able to come out in a 3 guard set, and a more typical 2-1-2 set.

They have some height: At 6-11, the tallest man on the team is Soph Center Tim Van, followed by the 6-10 Dyer. Senior center Carl Jones is 6-9, but outside of center, they start to match up evenly with the Wildcats in the back court.

The team is 70-187 from the floor for a .374 average. Their 3 point average is .245 as so far they average 4.3 scores from beyond the arc. They have a -1.3 rebounding margin against the 3 opponents so far.

So enough statistics - the stars on the team are Lee and Wallace. They're averaging slightly under 30 points a game with 12 rebounds. At guard, Wallace is also a bomber - he has 24 of their 53 attempts from outside the arc, but he's only made 7 of them.

Lee and Forges also like to shoot from outside, but the other gunner is Junior Guard Tramaine Hancock, who has 8 attempts off the bench.

These guys are young and their two losses came from Tulsa and Oklahoma State. They led Tulsa until the end of the 2nd half. The Nationally ranked OSU Cowboys were just too much. They've been in Chicago since Thursday.
Challenges for the Wildcats:
  • Hold the turnovers to a minimum -- the Demons average 6.7 steals a game -- but they also have that -5.3 TO margin we need to hold them to that by not giving them the ball.
  • Stop Wallace's outside shot -- He doesn't seem to make a high percentage of his shots, but he will pull up and shoot the three.
  • Play stronger in the 2nd half -- NSU has a slightly better scoring average after the break. NU has to come out and put them away after halftime.
  • Shutdown the Clifton Lee/Jermaine Wallace tandem -- they seem to be similar to the DePaul guys, both as the two top scorers and the guys who make their system go. Take either out of the game and this could be an easy home win for the Wildcats.
The Northwestern Louisiana Demons come into our house for a noon game Saturday.
The game is on WGN - we'll chat during the game.

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