Since entering the Big East Conference in the 2005-06 season, the DePaul Blue Demons have struggled to put together much success.
In eight seasons inside the conference, including the current campaign, DePaul will have only amounted one winning season; in 2006-07, the Blue Demons finished 9-7 in the Big East. Among the other seven seasons, DePaul's best closing record was 6-12.
From 2008 to 2011, the Blue Demons had three straight seasons with one win or less, going 0-18, 1-17, and 1-17.
They enter into their match with the Orange at 2-14. DePaul's two conference wins have come on the road against the Providence Friars (9-8 in the Big East) and at home versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-13).
The last and only occasion in which the Blue Demons emerged victorious over the Orange happened just over seven years ago on March 2, 2006. DePaul defeated Syracuse 108-69 at home. They have never won against the Orange inside the Carrier Dome as a Big East opponent.
As they take on Syracuse for the eighth and final time as conference foes, here is what you need to know about DePaul:
Too close to call as Melvin is a mere three-tenths of a point shy of Young. Both juniors, Young averages 16.8 points per match, with Melvin following at 16.5.
In 27 of the Blue Demons' 29 games, Young has attained double-figures.
Young has scored no less than 20 points against three of DePaul's last four ranked opponents, despite each ending in losses.
The junior guard typically takes his shots from inside the arc, but has gone 3-for-4 or better from long range in four games this season.
Melvin has risen into double-figures in 22 of DePaul's 29 contests.
Versus the Blue Demons last four ranked opponents, Melvin has amounted at least 20 points twice.
The junior forward focuses his scoring on attempts inside the three-point line and has made at least 10 baskets in seven separate games this season. In each of those matches, he connected on no less than 47.8% of his tries, rising as high as 70% during one of those contests.
2. Outside shooting:
Of the four DePaul players who have taken more than 60 attempts from beyond the arc, Young is the best, making 31.4%.
Junior forward Moses Morgan is close behind at 30.6%.
However, in the Blue Demons' last five games, each of the four have struggled, with the best recent performance coming from Morgan who went 2-for-4 versus the South Florida Bulls a game ago.
3. On the boards:
DePaul enters the Dome grabbing a little over 35 rebounds per game, while allowing just over 38 rebounds per game to their opponents.
Their strong suit lies on the offensive end, where they are just shy of equaling their opponents' season total against them.
On the defensive end, the Blue Demons have grabbed almost 100 less rebounds than their opponents' total for the current campaign.
Leading DePaul is Melvin, who comes into this match averaging just over seven rebounds per game. He also leads the team in total boards on the offensive as well as defensive ends.
Behind Melvin, four other Blue Demons average at least three rebounds per game, with fellow junior forward Donnavan Kirk closest to Melvin with four.
Sophomore center Derrell Robertson, Jr., is second-best to Melvin in attaining rebounds on the offensive side, while Clahar is the second-best option on the boards for DePaul on defense.
Although they have had trouble gaining wins inside the Big East, the Blue Demons have found success when it comes to their possessions, causing more turnovers than they make. DePaul is currently forcing almost 16 turnovers, while making a little over 14 themselves.
Sophomore guard Charles McKinney joins Crockett, Clahar, Melvin, and Young as DePaul players who succeed in obtaining at least one steal per game. Leading this group of five possession-contesters is Young, who currently grabs 1.6 per match.
McKinney has been the most consistent, gaining a steal in each of the last five games, and multiple steals in three of those contests.
5. At the charity stripe:
Syracuse has forced many teams to beat them at the line, and have been successful, much to their chagrin.
Of the five DePaul players who have attempted at least 25 shots from the free throw line, Clahar and Young are the most dangerous, each making more than 77% of their tries.
Within those same five, the worst performer at the line has been McKinney, connecting on 60% of his attempts.
Melvin and Crockett reside in between, making 69.2% and 71.1%, respectively.