You always have Duke and their Blue Devil character, and Wake Forest has the Demon Deacons, a future opponent, ASU are the Sun Devils, and then there's the next opponent for the Wildcats - the DePaul Blue Demons.
And these guys are playing like demons, especially a certain forward who missed the first two games this year.
Now in his senior season, Quenton Greer [Depaul Photo], has come out and won the last two Conference USA Player of the Week honors since regaining his starting spot.
Against the Fighting Irish [is the leprechaun a demonic creature?], he only scored 20 with 14 rebounds. He's also shooting .636 from outside the arc. He's also scored a career high 29 points against Dayton.
But before you think DePaul is a one man show, you have to look at their Senior Point Guard - #33 Drake Diener.
He's looking to become DePaul's all time 3 point shooter - he needs just 18 arc shots to grab that record and needs 9 to move into 2nd place on their list.
Then there's Senior Guard LaVar Seals, and Junior Forward Marlon Brumfield, and, well, the 7 guys with all the minutes seem to have almost all the scoring, which is the way Head Coach Dave Leitao seems to like it..
If you look at positions, you can see that the guys up front are sporting the high FG averages.
Two of DePaul's starters, Senior Forwards Quenton Greer and Marion Brumfeld, [left] are making over 50% of their field goals, one guy off the bench [Frosh Guard Draelon Burns, 6-4] is shooting .714 and another [Soph Forward Lorenzo Thompson, 6-8 Soph] sports a .615 FG average.
That kind of play almost seems demonic until you look at all 5 of the DePaul starters - 4 of 5 are shooting over 40% from 3 point land. Most coaches will tell you that 35% is pretty good.
Of course its dangerous to draw conclusions from pre-conference stats, but the impressive number is the .597 shooting average against Notre Dame last week. The Demons also recorded 51 assists while committing only 19 turnovers in the last 2 games.
DePaul also doesn't seem to get in foul trouble - none of them has fouled out this year, and the whole team averages just 16 a game. There's a challenge there, but with just one Soph starting among the upper classmen, getting them to foul could be difficult.
The one hole in the Blue Demons, might be defense - they average 69 points a game, they allow 65, a pretty close margin for a team shooting as well as they do.
So, NU finally gets to look at our version of a Blue Devil, Duke Transfer and Junior Center Mike Thompson, but he's got to be jointed in playing defense by the rest of the team, minus true freshman guard Brandon Lee.
To carry the "demon" theme through, the Wildcats will probably have to play defense like Wildcats, and like demons to win this one. Of course, this game is in our house - Welsh-Ryan, but we'll be missing the Wild Side, our improved version of the Rowdies.
Its the Chicago City Showdown, and as that noted TV game show host used to say, "It will be Brutal."
Coach Roy's Purple Reign Categories:
|The Big Gun
||#45 Quemont Greer
||20 points per game
||#45 Quemont Greer
||36 of 61 for 59%
||#33 Drake Deiner
||15 of 35 from the arc
|Off the Boards||#44 Marlon Brumfield
||8.7 rebounds per game
||#3 Lavar Seals
||15 of 15 from the line
|Pickpocket||#11 Sammy Mejia*
||9 Steals this year
||#12 Cliff Clinkscales+
||15.4 mins per game
||#12 Cliff Clinkscales
||33 Assists this year
* #15 Jamal Nichols and #44 Marlon Brumfield also have 8 steals
+ #15 Jamal Nichols averages 17.4 minutes a game, but started 2 games this year
||#45 Quemont Greer [6-7 Sr]
||#44 Marlon Brumfield [6-9 Jr]
||#11 Sammy Mejia [6-6 Soph]
#33 PG Drake Diener [6-5 Sr]
#3 LaVar Seals [6-5 Sr]
[Played in most games, or Avging 9+ mins]:
||#32 Lorenzo Thompson [6-8 Soph]
#15 Jamal Nichols [6-9 Jr]
||#12 Cliff Clinkscales [6-1 Fr]
The Demons get 59 of their 69 average points from the starters
Challenges for the Wildcats
- Try to shut down Greer, who is sinking 59% of his FG's and 64% of his 3 pointers.
- Keep Deiner off balance and unable to make those long shots.
- Play our matchup zone well enough to keep the scoring down, these guys allow almost as many points as they score.
- Did I mention slowing Greer down? and Deiner, and Seals, and...
The game may turn on how well Mike Thompson has learned the Bill Carmody/NU system, and the Parker-Doyle-Vukusic-Duvancic-Hachad rotation. Carmody has said that the Wildcats with Thompson is a complete unknown because nobody knows how he'll play but PG T.J. Parker hints that if Thompson gets inside and scores just 10 points, the Cats' game will really start to go.
Tip off is at 8 PM Wildcat time at NU's Home Court - Welsh Ryan.
The game will be on ESPN2 with Dave Revsine and Doug Gottlieb.
Radio: WGN with Dave [Mr. Wildcat] Eanet and Dave Kaplan.
Coach Roy may be late, but
Beat 'em All!
|Talk about it on the Purple Boards