March 2, 2012
CHICAGO - DePaul concludes the 2011-12 regular-season schedule at Allstate Arena on Saturday evening against Seton Hall. The Blue Demons and Pirates are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start in Rosemont as DePaul's two seniors - Krys Faber and Jeremiah Kelly - play their final home game. The duo will be honored in a postgame ceremony along with senior student managers Mike Gengo and Tyler Goldman.
DePaul is 11-18 overall and 2-15 in BIG EAST play while Seton Hall is 19-10 overall and 8-9 in league action. Saturday is the 11th meeting between the two schools with the Pirates holding an 8-2 advantage in the series. Seton Hall defeated DePaul by a 94-73 score at the Prudential Center earlier this season on Jan. 10.
All of the action can be heard on WSCR 670 The Score in Chicagoland with Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) providing the audio description. The game will be televised on The U Too in Chicagoland as part of the BIG EAST Network with Lou Canellis (play-by-play) and David Kaplan (analyst) calling the action courtside.
Audio streaming of the radio call and live stats are also available online at www.depaulbluedemons.com and at www.depaul.statbroadcast.com. In-game scoring updates and notes can be followed as well at www.twitter.com/depaulsid. The television broadcast is also available online at ESPN3.com.
DePaul is set to open the BIG EAST Championship on Tuesday, Mar. 6 at Noon ET with an opponent to be determined. The conference office will announce the tournament bracket Saturday night following the final day of the regular season. The BIG EAST Championship is scheduled for Mar. 6-10 at Madison Square Garden. DePaul's first-round game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcasted on WIND (560 AM) in Chicago.
Noting the Blue Demons: The men's basketball program is 1,383-879 (.611) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 577 straight games... DePaul's last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 310-141 (.687) all-time in Rosemont... DePaul is 6-1 (.857) all-time in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena... DePaul's 9-3 start during the non-conference schedule was the best through 12 games since the 1999-00 squad also started 9-3... over the last 25 seasons, only three teams have started with nine or more wins in the first 12 games... the Blue Demons currently hold a seven-game winning streak against Chicagoland programs that includes victories over Chicago State, UIC, Loyola and Northern Illinois... in each of Oliver Purnell's two seasons at DePaul, the Blue Demons have faced three Chicagoland opponents during the non-conference portion of the schedule with wins in each meeting... Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young have each scored at least 20 points in six games this season... the Blue Demons are 3-3 in those games... DePaul is 7-3 this season with at least four players in double-figures and 4-1 with 10 or more three-pointers... the three losses with four in double-figures occurred against Marquette, Notre Dame and Providence... DePaul has used nine different starting lineups this season with every non-injured scholarship player starting at least one game.
The Opponent - Seton Hall Pirates: Seton Hall enters Saturday's game at 19-10 overall and 8-9 in BIG EAST play... the Pirates have dropped two of their last three games but have won four of their last six... after opening BIG EAST play with a 4-1 record, the Pirates lost six straight conference contests... Jordan Theodore leads the team with 16.2 points per game and 197 assists... Herb Pope adds a 15.3 scoring average and a team-high 10.5 rebounds per game while Fuquan Edwin chips in 12.8 points per game and a team-best 90 steals... head coach Kevin Willard is in his second season leading the Seton Hall program.
The Series: Saturday is the 11th meeting between the two programs... Seton Hall holds an 8-2 advantage with five straight victories... in BIG EAST play, the Pirates have won five of six meetings... earlier this season, Seton Hall recorded a 94-73 win over DePaul on Jan. 10 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The Last Meeting: DePaul dropped a 94-73 game at No. 24 Seton Hall on Jan. 10, 2012 in Newark... Brandon Young led the Blue Demons with 16 points... DePaul trailed by as many as 24 points with 15 minutes left before cutting the deficit to nine on two free throws by Cleveland Melvin with eight minutes remaining... Seton Hall answered with a 9-2 run to extend the lead and put DePaul away for good... the Pirates shot a combined .606 from the field in the first half to take a 51-34 lead at halftime... Fuquan Edwin scored 24 of his game-high 28 points in the first half to lead the Seton Hall attack... Jordan Theodore (26 pts./11 asts.) and Herb Pope (11 pts./13 rebs.) each posted a double-double for Seton Hall... Worrel Clahar and Cleveland Melvin added 14 points each for DePaul... the Blue Demons shot just .343 from the field in the game that included a 5-for-20 mark from three-point range.
It Could Happen: A win snaps a season-high nine-game losing streak... with six points, Cleveland Melvin reaches the 900-point plateau for his career... Jeremiah Kelly needs four three's to move into a tie with Brandon Cole (1991-95) for fourth all-time... with four assists, Kelly moves into a tie for 11th all-time with Ron Norwood (1974-77).
Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul's 92-75 loss at West Virginia on Feb. 28:
- Cleveland Melvin surpassed the 500-point mark for the season... he has 508 points and moved past Rod Strickland (490 pts., 1986-87), Wilson Chandler (497 pts., 2006-07) and Stephen Howard (504 pts., 1989-90) into sixth on DePaul's sophomore scoring list.
- Young's 142 assists this season are 16th on DePaul's season list... the 142 assists are the most in a season since 2000-01 when Imari Sawyer totaled 179... he also moved into 23rd on DePaul career chart with 257 career helpers.
- Moses Morgan posted his second straight and ninth game in double-figures this season... he has 17 career games in double-figures.
- Jeremiah Kelly played in his 120th career game.
- West Virginia played its final home game as a member of the BIG EAST Conference... under Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers are 32-13 in home conference games.
- Tuesday was the eighth meeting between the teams... West Virginia leads the series, 7-1... the Mountaineers won all seven meetings in BIG EAST play.
Mikan, Aguirre, Booth, Kleinschmidt, Richardson... Melvin: After being named 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, DePaul sophomore Cleveland Melvin has avoided the `sophomore slump' in his second collegiate season. He currently leads the team with 17.5 points, 7.3 rebounds per game, 32.1 minutes per game and 32 blocked shots. Over the last nine games, the Baltimore native is averaging nearly a double-double with 16.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per contest.
Melvin reached the 500-point plateau at West Virginia on Feb. 28 for just the 33rd instance of a 500-point season in program history. Entering the Seton Hall game, he is ranked sixth on DePaul's sophomore season scoring list with 508 points in 29 games.
Brandon First Since Rod: With a career-high 11 assists against St. John's on Feb. 1, sophomore Brandon Young became the first player since Rod Strickland to record at least 100 assists in each of his freshman and sophomore seasons at DePaul. Strickland (1985-88) dished out 159 assists as a freshman in 1985-86 and 196 assists during his sophomore season in 1986-87. Young totaled 115 assists during his rookie campaign last season and enters the Seton Hall game with 142 assists this season. The 142 assists in 2011-12 are the most since Imari Sawyer totaled 179 assists during the 2000-01 season.
Rolling with Honors: The sophomore duo of Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young have picked up BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll mentions a combined three times this season. Melvin has been selected twice while Young was named to the five-member on one occasion. A year ago, the duo combined to earn BIG EAST Rookie of the Week six times - the second-highest total for a BIG EAST program since the start of the 2005-06 season.
Melvin and Young are the nation's highest-scoring sophomore duo with a combined 32.5 points per game through games of Mar. 1. Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas are second in the country with 31.1 points per game. Through 29 games, Melvin and Young have accounted for 44 percent of DePaul's scoring this season.
In the BIG EAST statistical rankings through games of Mar. 1, Melvin is fourth in scoring (17.5 ppg) and 12th in rebounding (7.3 rpg) while Young is eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.09), ninth in assists (4.90 apg) and 14th in scoring (15.0 ppg).
Q Extends NBA Streak to 37 Straight: With Quentin Richardson (1998-00) logging five minutes in Orlando's opener on Dec. 25 at Oklahoma City, he extended DePaul's streak to 37 straight seasons with a former Blue Demon playing in the NBA. Bill Robinzine started the streak with Sacramento Kings in the 1975-76 season. A total of 17 players have played over the 37 straight years of DePaul influence in the NBA.
In addition to Richardson playing this season for Orlando, Tyrone Corbin (1981-85) is in his first full season as head coach of the Utah Jazz. Corbin replaced Jerry Sloan during the season a year ago when Sloan announced his retirement. Corbin played for nine NBA team during his pro career from 1985-01.
Earlier this week, Bobby Simmons (1998-01) signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers where he was named the NBA's Most Improved Player following the 2004-05 season.