Preview MBB: Rutgers faces Depaul

The Scarlet Knights travel to Chicago for a 2:00 tipoff against Depaul on Saturday, January 19. DePaul (7-9) is having an up and down year, but has managed to post a 3-2 mark in the Big East. Here is what they have to offer.

Third year head coach Jerry Wainwright will have his Blue Demons on the court and ready to go.  Last season, DePaul showed continual improvement and renewed excitement for the City of Chicago.  Facing a schedule that featured 11 games against NCAA tournament opponents, they won 20 times while posting 9 Big East victories. They received a bid to the NIT and made a deep run to the quarterfinals.

Spoiled by last season’s run, fans of Depaul have become quite demanding and are both angry and mystified with the rocky start of the season.  Apparently DePaul is prone to both mental and physical lapses which have either cost them big leads, or have led to lost games.  Their defense has been a little soft, allowing 75.7 points per game. A veteran club, they are an extremely quick, ballhawking type of team, that also features four players averaging double figures in scoring.  Hey run the court very well.   

The schedule has not been soft.  They’ve played Creighton(2), Kansas, Vandy, Ole Miss, LaSalle, Villanova(2), Providence, Georgetown and St Johns.  They have managed to beat teams like Villanova and Providence, while losing to Vanderbilt in overtime. 

The McGrath Arena is a difficult venue for the visiting team when faced by a sixth man, about 8,600 strong, who can mimic the noise and mayhem presented at the RAC.  The crowds may have become a disappointment at the RAC but remain relentless in Chicago.

Blue Demons Potential Starters:

G -  3  - Draelon Burns  (6’4” 210, SR) – 17.8ppg, 30 steals, and hits 82.6% on FT’s.  Averages 32 min pg

G – 12 – Cliff Clinkscales  (6’1” 175, SR) – hits 41.7%fg and 42.9% 3ptrs – leads in assists

F – 13 – Mac Koshwell  (6’10” 240 FR) – 10.7ppg,  leads team with 8.1 reb/g and 12 blocked shots

F -  5 – Karron Clarke  (6’6” 210 SR) – 10.2ppg, 50.4%fg, 38.5% 3ptrs

C -  4 -  Wesley Green  (6’9” 300 SR) – just a monster in the middle, plays 21 min pg , with 12 blocked shots

Top Substitutions:

G/F – 2 -  Dar Tucker  (6’4” 210, FR) – 13.5ppg, a future star, will average about 20 minutes per game

G  - 30 – Will Walker (6’0” 180,  SO) – a good shooter, playing about 15 min pg, being groomed for next season

G  -  1 – Jabari Currie (6’4” 215, JR) – part time starter, good defender, plays a solid 20 minutes

Coming Soon:

C – 55 – Kenechukwu  Obi  (7’2”  260, FR) -  No he is not a Jedi, nor a relative of Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Has yet to receive any playing time, as he may be a redshirt candidate.  He was raised in Enugu, Nigeria and hails from South Kent Prep.  An imposing athletic figure who could fit in the Darth Vader suit.

DePaul both dominated and demoralized the Knights at the RAC last season with 60-37 thrashing.  They were led by Karron Clarkes 21 points with a 10 point contribution from Draelon Burns.  DePaul is a senior dominated club that has felt it’s way around the Big East for a few years now, which is something the majority of the Rutgers players have just begun.   Being on the road in the Big East, the Knights are facing a tough task.  If the mental and physical lapses of both teams manage to offset each other, Rutgers still needs to score points to make it a game.

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