Blue Demons and Bluejays Meet in BIG EAST Quarters Thursday Night
March 13, 2014
Thursday, March 13 | 7 p.m. ET
NEW YORK - The DePaul Blue Demons look to make a little madness in March at Madison Square Garden with a Thursday night game against the Creighton Bluejays. The two sides face off in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament at 7 p.m. ET with Creighton as the No. 2 seed and DePaul as the No. 10 seed. The Blue Demons advanced to the quarters with a 60-54 win over seventh-seeded Georgetown on Wednesday.
Thursday's game will be televised on FOX Sports 1 with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline) handling the television duties. The broadcast will also be available on mobile devices via the FOX Sports Go app. DePaul's radio tandem of Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) can be heard on WSCR 670 AM, online 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 enters the game at 12-20 overall and finished 3-15 in conference play with wins in two of the last four games. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is in his fourth season at DePaul and his 26th as a head coach at the collegiate level. Creighton - ranked No. 13 in both of this week's polls - is 24-6 overall and finished 14-4 in the BIG EAST. Creighton coach Greg McDermott is in his fourth season leading the Bluejays.
With a win, DePaul advances to the semifinals to face either sixth-seeded Marquette or third-seeded Xavier. The semifinal contest will be at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
Noting the Blue Demons: The men's basketball program is 1,407-921 (.604) all-time... the 80-71 win at Milwaukee on Nov. 19 was game No. 2,300 in program history since the first fully-recognized season in 1923-24... men's basketball was played at DePaul prior to that season but records are incomplete... the 81-70 win over Florida Atlantic on Dec. 12 was win No. 1,400 since start of 1923-24 season... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 643 straight games... DePaul's last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 324-160 (.669) all-time at Allstate Arena... DePaul is 8-1 (.889) all-time in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena... in each of Oliver Purnell's three-plus seasons at DePaul, the Blue Demons are 9-1 against Chicagoland opponents (Chicago State, Illinois-Chicago, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern)... in the Purnell era, the Blue Demons are 21-4 (6-1 in 2013-14) when scoring 80 or more points... DePaul's 2013-14 roster includes nine players from the Chicagoland area.
The Opponent: Creighton - ranked No. 13 in both of this week's national polls - stands at 24-6 overall and finished 14-4 in the BIG EAST... Creighton is the No. 2 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament... Creighton finished the regular season with an 88-73 win over Providence on March 8 to snap a two-game losing streak... BIG EAST Player of the Year Doug McDermott leads the team with 26.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while Ethan Wragge adds a scoring average of 10.7 with a team-high 96 three-pointers... as a team, the Bluejays average 10.3 three's per game... head coach Greg McDermott is in his fourth season at Creighton... DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is 0-2 all-time against Creighton.
The Series: Thursday is the 25th all-time meeting between the two programs... the Blue Demons hold a 15-9 advantage in the series... prior to the first BIG EAST clashes earlier this season, the last meeting was an 83-75 win for Creighton on Dec. 23, 2008 at the Las Vegas Classic... DePaul's last win over Creighton was a 72-57 decision at Allstate Arena on Nov. 30, 2005.
The Last Meeting: The Blue Demons trailed by as many as 14 points and rallied late in the game but couldn't overcome 12th-ranked Creighton in a 78-66 loss on Feb. 7 in Omaha... Brandon Young led DePaul with 16 points and Forrest Robinson added 11 points off the bench... back-to-back three's by Forrest Robinson followed by buckets from Durrell McDonald and Billy Garrett Jr. pulled the Blue Demons to within four at 64-60 with just over six minutes left in the game... Doug McDermott answered with nine straight points that included seven free throws to extend the Bluejay advantage back to 73-60... McDermott led all scorers with 32 points.
It Could Happen: A win moves DePaul into the semifinals for the first time since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament... the 2005 team was the No. 1 seed and eventually lost to Cincinnati in the C-USA championship game... Brandon Young (1,877 pts.) needs 20 points to pass Dave Corzine (1,896 pts., 1974-78) for third on the all-time scoring list... with three free throws, Young (442 FT) passes David Booth (444 FT, 1988-92) for fifth all-time... a win ends DePaul streak of 49 straight losses against ranked opponents.
Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul's 60-56 win against Georgetown on March 12:
Trending: In all games, DePaul ended the regular season ranked second in the BIG EAST statistical rankings in offensive rebounds (12.4 orpg) and is tied for third in steals (6.8 spg)... in league games only, the Blue Demons are third in offensive rebounds (11.2 orpg) and third in steals (6.6 spg)... four different players have recorded seven double-doubles this season... since the 2002-03 season, four teams have featured at least four players with a double-double... the 2003-04 squad had five (Andre Brown, Drake Diener, Quemont Greer, Delonte Holland, Sammy Mejia) with at least one double-double... DePaul has outrebounded its opponent in 19 games with an 11-8 record in those games... when DePaul is outrebounded or has the same amount of boards as the opponent, the record is 1-12 this season... DePaul's win over Georgetown in the BIG EAST Tournament first round was the first win... the Blue Demons outrebounded the opponent in 12 games (8-4 record) in the entire 2012-13 season... DePaul has won a game on every day of the week except Monday... the Blue Demons are 0-3 on Monday this season... when four or more players score in double-figures, DePaul is 5-2... the Blue Demons have used 15 different starting lineups.
Garrett Named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year: After leading all freshman in scoring, assists and free throw percentage throughout the regular season, DePaul's Billy Garrett Jr. was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year at a Madison Square Garden press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The award was announced along with the league's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Garrett and teammate Tommy Hamilton IV were named to the league's All-Rookie Team on Sunday. Garrett is the top rookie scorer in the BIG EAST with a 12.4 scoring average and also leads all league rookie in assists and free throw percentage. He also led all BIG EAST freshmen by winning Rookie of the Week honors five times this season.
Garrett is the second player in the last four years to be named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Cleveland Melvin earned the award in 2011. The only other player in program history to win the top conference freshman award was Quentin Richardson in 1999 as the Conference USA Freshman of the Year. DePaul played as an independent until joining the Great Midwest Conference in 1991.
Creighton's Doug McDermott was named the Player of the Year and Villanova's Jay Wright was the Coach of the Year. Butler's Alex Barlow was selected as the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Voting for the Rookie, Player and Coach of the Year awards was done by the league's 10 head coaches. The Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was chosen by the BIG EAST Academic Affairs Committee.