WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 9PM
Opponent: DePaul Blue Demons (7-8, 0-3)
Location: Allstate Arena
Spread: Providence -4.0
ESPN AccuScore Prediction: Providence 76, DePaul 70 (PC wins in 67% of 10,000 sims)
CBS Prediction: Providence 80, DePaul 76
Pomeroy Prediction: Providence 74, DePaul 69 (66% confidence)
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
- DePaul plays to a very, very slow pace (62.9 adjusted tempo, ranked #330), but that just might get thrown out the window given interim coach Webster’s comments the last few days. However, just because they say they are going to speed up the pace, it doesn’t mean it’s going to magically make the team any better. More possessions could just lead to more missed shots, as DePaul’s 45% effective field goal percentage ranks 294th).
- DePaul has some pretty poor rebounding numbers, but their best best rebounder (and best player) Mac Koshwal has missed half the games this season. For example, in their ugly loss against American without Koshwal, DePaul mustered just 5 offensive boards (for an ugly 14.3% offensive rebounding %).
- Much like the Friars, the Blue Demons have great turnover numbers (17.6% turnover %, #34). However, Providence might be able to force some mistakes if DePaul is going to try and push the tempo. We saw how steals lead the Friars to victory in Queens against St. John’s. Can they do it again in Chicago?
Image courtesy of CoachCWCollins on Twitter
WHAT TO: READ
PC will travel to Rosemont, Ill. for a matchup with DePaul on Thursday, January 14 at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN2. The Friars and the Blue Demons have met 26 times in the series, with PC leading, 20-6. Providence has posted a 12-1 mark all-time at home against DePaul, a 6-5 record at DePaul and
a 2-0 record on neutral courts against the Blue Demons. The two teams first met on February 16, 1961 when the Friars earned an 81-77 win in Providence. In the Friars’ most recent win, PC defeated the Blue Demons, 83-74, on March 11, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament. The Friars also upended DePaul, 62-54, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on January 3 last season. PC has won five of the last six meetings between the schools. In DePaul’s most recent win over the Friars, the Blue Demons defeated PC, 70-65, at DePaul’s Allstate Arena on January 5, 2008.
DePaulBlueDemons.com: Blue Demons Host Providence on Thursday Night
The DePaul Blue Demons return to Allstate Arena for a BIG EAST game against Providence on Thursday night. Thursday’s game is the first in eight days for the Blue Demons and the first since the change in leadership of the program. Tracy Webster was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season on Monday, Jan. 11.
DePaulBlueDemons.com: Defense the Key for DePaul Against Providence
Tracy Webster would love to rekindle DePaul’s early-season magic.
Whatever it was that shot the Blue Demons off to a 5-1 start will hopefully be on display Thursday night against Providence at Allstate Arena in an 8 p.m. BIG EAST Conference showdown televised by ESPN2.
Webster, DePaul’s interim head coach in the wake of Jerry Wainwright’s dismissal on Monday, is looking to reverse a slide that has seen his team lose seven of its last nine games.
It’s going to start with defense.
Projo.com: Capsule Preview; PC at DePaul
The Demons began the year with a good win over Northern Iowa and a narrow loss to Tennessee but an injury knocked top big man Koshwal out of the lineup for eight games. The Demons went 5-3 without him and have lost all four games since his return
Projo Hoops Blog: PC/DePaul Notes
Also, Marshon Brooks is on the trip. He has not practiced much at all since twisting his ankle in Saturday’s game against Rutgers. Coach Keno Davis said Brooks is “day to day” but is hoping he can play Thursday against DePaul.
Go Friars: Friars Preview for DePaul
DePaul is not a very good, but we said the same thing last year and the Blue Demons almost beat a much more experienced Friars team in the Big East Tournament. The game is on the road, where the Friars have played very inconsistent this season. The Friars looked great against George Washington and St. John’s, but not so good in losses to Notre Dame and URI. However, this is just another step in building a young team, and our talent should be able to beat DePaul, even if the game is on the road. But playing with a new coach, no one will know how inspired the Blue Demons might play except those in their locker room.
PFB: Pregame: Providence College vs. DePaul University
It seems like the key to beating the Blue Demons is in slowing down Mac Koshwal. Easier said than done, considering we are an undersized team. The big man can score and cleans up on the glass. We are going to need a great effort from the front court, especially Bilal. Bilal doesn’t need to be a stats monster this game but needs to keep Koshwal off of the boards.
What DePaul sophomore Eric Wallace already has noticed from Webster in practices has been a desire to be more up-tempo.
“Being a former point guard at Wisconsin, he likes to go,” Wallace said. “I think the biggest difference is he’s going to like to push the pace up and down the floor and score more points. Me being an athlete, I like to run, get an alley-oop dunk here or there.”
Chicago Tribune: Can anyone win at DePaul?
Ponsetto has no choice but to take that emphatic stance publicly, for obvious reasons. But the Demons’ epic struggles in a staggeringly challenging Big East, and now the Wainwright firing, give rise to an unavoidable, critically important question: Can anyone win at DePaul anymore?
Chicago Tribune: DePaul trying to hit reset button
The first two days of the rest of DePaul basketball’s life featured condensed, intense practices. Apathy, especially defensively, became a capital crime. A get-it-and-go mindset returned to the offense.
And the exit strategy for two-plus seasons of misery was as bracing as a January breeze off a frigid lake.
“Go do something about it,” said Tracy Webster, the Blue Demons’ interim coach. “That’s the whole thing. Go play, give 150 percent on the court and things will change.”
“We’re doing a lot more drills, going at each other a little more,” said sophomore forward Eric Wallace. “The pace of practice is a lot higher.”
What can DePaul fans (and a national ESPN2 audience) expect to see when the Blue Demons host Providence on Thursday?
“We’re going to try to play crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy defense,” Webster said. “And let everything else take care of itself.”
RosenBlog: A solution for the hopeless Blew Demons
Sorry, but nobody’s going to win at DePaul, not with that arena set-up, not with those entrance requirements in a city with a lousy school system, not with all the other small-time thinking and acting that goes on in Lincoln Park.
DePaul ran out the Meyer monarchy, tried an oily salesman, went with a young comer who couldn’t leave fast enough, brought in a solid Chicagoan who even had a Coach Ray-like Cowardly Lion look, and nothing much worked.
NBE Basketball Report: Former Thornton High School products on opposing benches tonight as DePaul meets Providence
“Rodell was a great player,” said Cameli, “I remember the first summer we had him with us in the Chicago summer league when King had all those great players. It didn’t phase Rodell one bit. He scored 18 points in his first game and just continued to play well all summer, as an 8th grader! We won the league that summer.”
WHAT TO: WATCH
CBS Sports on Wainwright’s firing
Highlights from the first half of DePaul’s loss to Villanova
WHERE TO: WATCH
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
Check back here for a GIANT LIVE BLOG, with some other PC bloggers joining along. Come chat as we all watch the game on ESPN2.
As always, I’ll be on Twitter @friarblog.