DePaul-Georgetown Open BIG EAST Tournament Wednesday
March 8, 2016
(8) DePaul vs. (9) Georgetown
First Round | BIG EAST Tournament presented by Jeep Brand
Wednesday, March 9 | 7 p.m. ET
TV: FS1 | Online/App: FOX Sports Go
Radio: WSCR 670 AM | Online: BlueTube
NEW YORK - The 10 programs of the BIG EAST Conference meet at Madison Square Garden for the BIG EAST Tournament. DePaul and Georgetown open the event Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET in the first of nine games over four days in New York. The Blue Demons are the No. 9 seed while the Hoyas are the No. 8 seed. The winner of Wednesday’s game advances to the quarterfinals to face top-seeded Villanova at Noon ET on Thursday.
DePaul is making its ninth appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament and is facing Georgetown for the second time in three years. DePaul’s complete tournament history and records can be found in the BIG EAST Tournament supplement.
Wednesday’s game will be televised on FS1 with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst) and Molly McGrath (reporter) handling the television duties. The game can also be seen on mobile devices with the FOX Sports Go app or online at foxsportsgo.com. DePaul’s radio tandem of Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) can be heard on WSCR 670 AM and online on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com. 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 is 9-21 overall and finished 3-15 in BIG EAST action while Georgetown stands at 14-17 overall with a 7-11 conference record. Head coach Dave Leitao is in his fourth season at DePaul and his first since returning to the program after leading the Blue Demons to three postseasons in three years from 2002-05. Overall, the 2015-16 campaign is Leitao’s 10th as a head coach at the collegiate level. Georgetown is led by John Thompson III who is in his 12th season leading the Hoyas.
The winner of first round game moves on to the quarterfinals for a Thursday meeting against no. 1 seed Villanova. All four quarterfinals games of the BIG EAST Tournament will be on FS1 starting at Noon ET.
Manhattan Madness: The DePaul Blue Demons make their ninth appearance at Madison Square Garden for the BIG EAST Tournament. DePaul is 2-8 all-time in BIG EAST postseason play with a second-round appearance in 2009 and a quarterfinal appearance in 2014.
The eighth-seeded Blue Demons dropped a 75-67 decision to ninth-seeded Villanova on Mar. 7, 2007 in their first BIG EAST Tournament game. In 2009 as the 16th seed, DePaul topped ninth-seeded Cincinnati, 67-57, before falling in the second round to No. 8 seed Providence by a score of 83-74. In 2011, the first round saw ninth-seeded Connecticut defeat the 16th-seeded Blue Demons, 97-71, as the Huskies won five games in five days to claim the tournament title. Two years ago as the No. 10 seed, DePaul knocked off seventh-seeded Georgetown, 60-56, before losing against second-seeded Creighton by a score of 84-62.
Conference Tournament History: The BIG EAST Championship is the third conference tournament for the men’s basketball program at DePaul University. Previously, the Blue Demons competed in postseason events in the Great Midwest Conference (1992-95) and Conference USA (1996-05).
DePaul holds a 10-21 all-time record in conference tourney action with two appearances in conference tournament championship games in 2000 and 2004. The Blue Demons dropped a 56-49 decision to Saint Louis in the 2000 Conference USA title game before a 55-50 defeat against Cincinnati in the 2004 Conference USA finals. In addition to those to championship game appearances, the Blue Demons also reached the semifinals in the 1992 and 1993 Great Midwest Tournaments.
The Blue Demons went 1-4 in four Great Midwest Conference tournaments before playing 16 tournament games in Conference USA from 1995-05. The Blue Demons were the top seed in the 2004 Conference USA tournament before falling to Cincinnati.
Notables: DePaul’s most common all-time conference tournament opponent is Cincinnati... the Blue Demons are 1-4 all-time against the Bearcats in conference tournament action... DePaul is also 2-2 all-time against UAB, 1-2 against Memphis and 0-3 against USF in league tournaments... the upset over ninth-seeded Cincinnati as the No. 16 seed in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament marked the first time in conference tournament play of such an occurrence... Will Walker’s 31 points and Dar Tucker’s 30 in the second round of the 2009 second-round game against Providence was the first time that two players from the same team had scored at least 30 points in a BIG EAST Tournament game... in three of DePaul’s 10 BIG EAST tourney games, the Blue Demons have scored 67 points... in three tournament games, the Blue Demons have combined to shoot at least .833 from the free throw line... DePaul shot .867 (13-15) against Connecticut in 2012, .842 (16-19) against Villanova in 2007 and .833 (10-12) in 2013 against Rutgers... DePaul has played Creighton in each of the last two BIG EAST Tournaments since the league added the Bluejays.
BIG EAST Tournament Experience: The Blue Demons enter the 2016 tournament with 17 total games of BIG EAST Tournament experience... Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton IV have played a team-high three conference tourney games each... of the current lineup of BIG EAST programs, DePaul has faced Villanova (2007), Providence (2009), Georgetown (2014) and Creighton (2014 and 2015) in tournament play... two years ago, the Blue Demons set a program tournament record by holding Georgetown to 56 points in the first-round victory... the Blue Demons also set records with 17 free throws and 24 free throw attempts in that game.
Leitao and BIG EAST Tournament Success: While DePaul head coach Dave Leitao is making his first appearance at the BIG EAST Tournament as a head coach, he has been a part of four tournament titles while serving as an assistant coach (1986-94) and associate head coach (1996-02) at Connecticut. Leitao and Connecticut won the event in 1990, 1998, 1999 and 2002 while those teams combined for a 17-10 record during his time on the bench for the Huskies.
In addition to Leitao’s experience at Madison Square Garden in March, all three DePaul assistant coaches have been on the bench for the BIG EAST Tournament. Associate head coach Rick Carter was on the Xavier bench the last two years, Billy Garrett has making his 12th appearance between stints at Seton Hall and DePaul, and Patrick Sellers is in his sixth tournament after coaching in the event previously with Connecticut and Creighton.
Cain Named All-Freshman: DePaul guard Eli Cain was named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team and is the eighth DePaul player to be selected to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. The Willingboro, N.J. native finished the regular season averaging 10.2 points per game while shooting .438 from the field overall and a league-best .437 from three-point range. In conference play, Cain averaged 11.1 points per game which placed him third among all freshmen behind the Marquette duo of Henry Ellenson and Haanif Cheatham.
Cain joins teammates Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton IV as BIG EAST All-Freshman honorees. Garrett and Hamilton earned the honor in 2014. Other DePaul players to be named to the BIG EAST team include Wilson Chandler (2006), Mac Koshwal (2008), Dar Tucker (2008), Cleveland Melvin (2011) and Brandon Young (2011).
Noting the Blue Demons: The men’s basketball program is 1,428-963 (.597) all-time... the 82-61 win over No. 20/20 George Washington on Dec. 22 was win No. 1,425 since start of 1923-24 season... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 706 straight games... DePaul’s last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons set school records in 2014-15 with 248 three’s and 705 attempts... the Blue Demons are 336-175 (.658) all-time at Allstate Arena... DePaul is 10-2 (.833) all-time in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena... over the last five-plus seasons, DePaul is 15-2 against Chicagoland opponents (Chicago State, UIC, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern)... in the last 10-plus seasons, the record against locals is 20-6... DePaul faced UIC (Dec. 2 - W, 82-55), Chicago State (Dec. 5 - W, 92-76) and Northwestern (Dec. 19 - L, 78-70 (OT)) this season.
The Opponent: Georgetown stands at 14-17 overall and 7-11 in BIG EAST action... the Hoyas are the No. 8 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament... Georgetown has dropped six straight games and nine of the last 10... D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera leads the team with 16.3 points per game, 144 assists, 69 three-pointers and 46 steals... L.J. Peak adds 12.2 scoring average and Issac Copeland averages 11.3 pointer per game... head coach John Thompson III is in his 12th season at Georgetown... DePaul head coach Dave Leitao is 0-2 all-time against Georgetown.
The Series: Wednesday is the 35th all-time meeting between the two programs... the Hoyas hold a 27-7 advantage in the series... the two sides played twice in a span of 11 days at the start of conference play with Georgetown claiming both meetings... the Hoyas posted a 70-58 win at Allstate Arena on Dec. 30 and a 74-63 win at Verizon Center on Jan. 9... DePaul and Georgetown are meeting in the BIG EAST Tournament for the second time... the Blue Demons snapped a 14-game losing streak in the series with a 60-56 win in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament in March 2014... DePaul’s last regular-season victory over Georgetown was a 78-51 win on Jan. 22, 1994... the two sides first played during the 1941-42 season with a 34-29 DePaul victory.
The Season Series: Georgetown swept the season series with DePaul... Dec. 30 at Allstate Arena: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Isaac Copeland scored 15 points each in 70-58 win for Georgetown... L.J. Peak added 14 points for the Hoyas... Billy Garret Jr. was the only player in double-figures for DePaul with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists... the Hoyas led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but the Blue Demons could get no closer than nine. Jan. 9 at Verizon Center: DePaul led by two at halftime, but was outscored 46-33 in 74-63 loss to Georgetown... Smith-Rivera and Peak each scored 17 points... Jessie Govan added 12 for the Hoyas... Garrett scored 16 for DePaul followed by 13 by Myke Henry and 11 from Darrick Wood... DePaul trailed by just three at 53-50 with six minutes left in the game.
It Could Happen: Myke Henry needs 17 points for 1,000 in his collegiate career... he totaled 182 points in 57 games at Illinois over his first two seasons... in two years and 62 game at DePaul, Henry has compiled 801 points... Billy Garrett Jr. (100 3FG) needs two three-pointers to pass Willie Coleman (101 3FG, 1997-99) for 18th on the all-time three-point field goal chart... Garrett (1,150 points) needs 12 points to pass Bernard Randolph (1,161 points, 1979-83) for 33rd on the all-time scoring list... with 21 points, Garrett passes Lance Williams (1,170 points, 1998-02) for 32nd place... with one blocked shot, Rashaun Stimage (64 blocked shots) takes sole possession of 18th all-time... with five blocked shots, Stimage passes Devin Hill (68 blocked shots, 2008-11)... a win moves DePaul into the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals for the second time in three years... the Blue Demons defeated Georgetown two years ago in the first round.
Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul’s 80-66 loss against Seton Hall on March 5:
- Tommy Hamilton IV surpassed 800 points for his career with his first basket of the game.
- DePaul concluded its 36th season of play at Allstate Arena on Saturday... the Blue Demons play one more season at the facility in 2016-17 before moving to the McCormick Place Event Center for the 2017-18 season.
- With his third three-point field goal of the game, Billy Garrett Jr. became the 19th player in school history with 100 three’s... Garrett (1,148 pts.) passed Andre Brown (1,146 pts., 2000-04) for 35th and Quentin Richardson (1,147 pts., 1998-00) for 34th on DePaul’s all-time scoring list.
- The Blue Demons committed a season-low (third time) eight turnovers... Seton Hall’s .551 (27-49) was a season high for an opponent this season.
- Seton Hall leads the series, 12-6... the Pirates won both meetings this season.
On Deck: With a win, DePaul advances to the quarterfinals to face No. 1 seed Villanova... Villanova swept the season series with wins of 86-59 on Feb. 9 at Allstate Arena and 83-62 on March 1 at The Pavilion... the game would be the first in the BIG EAST Tournament between the schools since ninth-seeded Villanova beat eighth-seeded DePaul, 75-67, in the first round of the 2007 tournament.
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