The Blue Demons and Panthers play at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
March 8, 2013
Game Notes: DePaul | Pittsburgh
TV: Me-Too (WCIU-DT4)/BIG EAST Network | Radio: WSCR 670 AM
Online Video: ESPN3 | Online Audio: BlueTube
CHICAGO - DePaul hosts Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at Allstate Arena. The Blue Demons and Panthers are scheduled for a 1 p.m. start in Rosemont with the Senior Day ceremony prior to tip off. DePaul seniors Worrel Clahar and Stuart Pirri will be honored along with senior managers Jay Mann and Ryan Ornstein.
Saturday's game will be televised in Chicago on Me-Too as part of the BIG EAST Network with Anish Shroff (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (analyst) handling the television duties. The broadcast is also available online at ESPN3. DePaul's radio tandem of Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) can be heard on WSCR 670 AM, on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com and on DePaul's mobile app. Live stats can be found on GameTracker at www.depaulbluedemons.com while in-game scoring updates and notes can be followed at www.twitter.com/depaulsid.
DePaul stands at 11-19 overall and 2-15 in the BIG EAST while Pittsburgh - ranked No. 20 in this week's AP poll and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches top 25 - holds a 23-7 overall record and 11-6 mark in league play. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is in his third season at DePaul and his 25th as a head coach at the collegiate level. Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon is in his 10th season leading the Panthers.
Following the Pittsburgh game, DePaul travels to New York for a first round game in the BIG EAST Championship on Tuesday night. The Blue Demons are the No. 14 seed in the tournament and play 11th-seeded Rutgers at 9 p.m. ET. DePaul and Pittsburgh could potentially meet in the second round should the Panthers finish as the sixth seed.
Noting the Blue Demons: The men's basketball program is 1,395-899 (.608) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 609 straight games... DePaul's last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 317-150 (.679) all-time at Allstate Arena... DePaul is 7-1 (.875) all-time in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena... in each of Oliver Purnell's three seasons at DePaul, the Blue Demons have faced three Chicagoland opponents during the non-conference portion of the schedule with an 8-1 record in those games... in the Purnell era, the Blue Demons are 15-3 (6-0 in 2012-13) when scoring 80 or more points... DePaul has used seven different starting lineups this season... Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young have started every game this season... DePaul is scheduled to have at least 27 games televised during the 2012-13 season... DePaul played back-to-back overtime games on Jan. 30 at St. John's and Feb. 2 against Notre Dame for the first time since the 1987-88 season... DePaul has never played three straight overtime games.
The Opponent - Pittsburgh Panthers: Pittsburgh enters Saturday's game at 23-7 overall and 11-6 in BIG EAST play... the Panthers are ranked No. 20 is this week's AP poll and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches top 25... Pittsburgh has won 10 of its last 13 games including three in-a-row... Pittsburgh knocked off Villanova, 73-64, in overtime last Saturday... Tray Woodall leads the team with 11.5 points per game and 50 three-pointers... Lamar Patterson adds a scoring average of 10.0 with 35 three's... head coach Jamie Dixon is in his 10th season leading the Pittsburgh program... DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is 1-2 all-time against the Panthers.
The Series: Saturday is the 11th meeting between the two programs... Pittsburgh holds an 8-2 advantage in the series... DePaul posted a win in the last meeting at Allstate Arena to snap a seven-game losing streak against Pittsburgh... Pittsburgh won the first meeting this season at the Petersen Events Center... the Panthers posted a 93-55 win on Jan. 26.
The Last Meeting: Brandon Young scored 13 points and Moses Morgan added 11 as DePaul fell at Pittsburgh, 93-55, on Jan. 26... DePaul combined to shoot just .277 (18-65) from the field... DePaul led 8-7 after a bucket by Young but Pittsburgh answered with a 15-4 run to build a 10-point advantage with 11 minutes left in the first half... the Panthers finished the opening period by going 20-of-40 from the field and led by as many as 26 points before taking a 53-30 lead at halftime... Pittsburgh was led by Trey Zeigler's 18 points off the bench... Lamar Patterson added 15 and J.J. Moore scored 10 for the Panthers... the Blue Demons shot under 30 percent from the field for the first time since combining to shoot .281 (18-64) against Mississippi State on Dec. 10, 2009.
It Could Happen: Cleveland Melvin (99 blocks) needs one blocked shot to become the ninth player in program history with 100 career rejections... Brandon Young (1,341 pts.) needs 21 points to pass Will Walker (1,361 pts., 2006-10) for 18th place... with two three-pointers, Young becomes the 17th player in program history with 100 career three-pointers... a win would be No. 425 as a head coach for Oliver Purnell... a win also ends a 43-game losing streak against ranked opponents (42 vs. AP-ranked opponents)... DePaul's last win over a ranked-team was an 84-76 victory over No. 17/16 Villanova on Jan. 3, 2008 at Allstate Arena.
Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul's 78-57 loss at No. 17/16 Syracuse on March 6:
- Wednesday was the 14th meeting between the two programs... Syracuse leads the series by a 10-4 margin... Syracuse has won the last seven meetings.
- Brandon Young moved past Sammy Mejia (396 assists, 2003-07) for sixth all-time... he also becomes the sixth player in program history with 400 assists... Young moved into 19th place on DePaul's all-time scoring list.
- DePaul has lost 43 straight games against ranked opponents (42 vs. AP-ranked opponents)... DePaul's last win over a ranked-team was an 84-76 victory over No. 17/16 Villanova on Jan. 3, 2008 at Allstate Arena.
Fun With Numbers: DePaul has scored the same amount of points in back-to-back games on three separate occasions this season (69 vs. Northern Illinois and UMBC, 71 vs. Notre Dame and Villanova, 78 vs. Marquette and Notre Dame)... with 139 assists this season, Brandon Young is the first player since Rod Strickland (1985-88) with at least 100 assists in three straight seasons... for the second straight season, two players have totaled at least 100 assists... in addition to Young's 139 assists, Worrel Clahar has 101 assists... DePaul has combined to shoot at least .900 from the free throw line in two games this season (minimum 10 attempts)... it is the first time since the 1999-00 campaign with at least two games (minimum 10 attempts) with a .900 or better... DePaul's .900 (18-20) mark at St. John's on Jan. 30 was the highest team free throw percentage since going 13-for-13 against Minnesota on Nov. 24, 2011 at the Old Spice Classic... the Blue Demons bettered that mark at Marquette on Feb. 9 with a free throw percentage of .917 (11-12)... St. John's and Syracuse are the only team to defeat DePaul this season when shooting less than 40 percent... the Blue Demons are 5-2 when holding opponents under .400 from the field... the Blue Demons are 8-1 when leading at halftime with the lone loss against Connecticut on Feb. 23... DePaul is 2-0 this season on Friday... the .277 (18-65) field goal percentage at Pittsburgh on Jan. 26 was the lowest team field goal percentage since a .241 (14-58) mark at Northwestern on Dec. 6, 2008... on 12/12/12, No. 12 Cleveland Melvin scored 12 points at Arizona State... a year earlier on 11/11/11, No. 11 Jeremiah Kelly scored 11 points against UT-Pan American.
4 Down to 1?: With two more three-pointers, junior guard Brandon Young joins a short list of players in DePaul history with at least 1,200 points, 300 assists and 100 three-pointers. Young enters the Pittsburgh game with 1,341 points, 401 assists and 98 three-pointers. Joining him on the short list are Brandon Cole, Tom Kleinschmidt and Sammy Mejia (pronounced mah-he-ya).
The two three-pointers will also put Young in a category of his own as he will be the only player in program history with at least 1,200 points, 400 assists and 100 three-pointers.
Blue Demons in the NCAA & BIG EAST Stat Rankings: Through games of March 3, DePaul is 40th in the NCAA rankings with an average of 8.3 steals per game and 65th with a scoring average of 72.6 points per game. Through games of March 6, the Blue Demons are third in steals (8.27 spg) and scoring (72.0 ppg) among the 15 BIG EAST programs.
Individually, Brandon Young is ranked among national leaders in scoring, field goal percentage, assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio while Cleveland Melvin is ranked in scoring, field goal percentage, rebounds and double-doubles. Worrel Clahar is ranked in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio and Donnavan Kirk is ranked in blocked shots.
In the BIG EAST rankings through games of March 6, Young is the only player in the BIG EAST ranked in the top seven in scoring and assists. Melvin is one of three players with Georgetown's Otto Porter and Kadeem Batts from Providence that are ranked among the top 11 players in both scoring and rebounding. Complete individual player rankings in the BIG EAST and NCAA are on each player's page in the game notes.
Who's Next: The Blue Demons open the BIG EAST Championship on Tuesday night with a first round game against Rutgers... DePaul is the No. 14 seed and Rutgers is the No. 11 seed... a win for DePaul moves the Blue Demons into a Wednesday night game against the No. 6 seed that could be either Notre Dame, Pittsburgh or Syracuse... the Scarlet Knights are 13-15 overall and 4-13 in the BIG EAST entering their regular-season finale on Friday night at Seton Hall... DePaul defeated Rutgers, 75-69, at Allstate Arena on Feb. 16... Rutgers leads the all-time series, 5-4... Tuesday's game is the first meeting between the two programs in the BIG EAST Championship.