Dec. 26, 2017
DePaul vs. Villanova
Wednesday, Dec. 27 | 6:30 p.m.
Winstrust Arena | Chicago, Ill.
TV: CBS Sports Network
CHICAGO - DePaul opens the BIG EAST schedule with a Wednesday evening game against No. 1/1 Villanova. The Blue Demons and Wildcats face off to start conference play for the second straight season following a 68-65 win for Villanova at The Pavilion last season. Start time on Wednesday is 6:30 p.m. at Wintrust Arena.
Wednesday’s game will be televised on CBS Sports Network with Jason Horowitz (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Jenny Dell (reporter) handling the television duties. DePaul’s radio tandem of Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) can be heard on WSCR 670 AM as well as online on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com. Live stats can be found on GameTracker at www.depaulbluedemons.com while game updates and notes can be followed on Twitter via @DePaulSID.
Villanova - ranked No. 1 in both national polls - is 12-0 this season following a 95-71 win over Hofstra on Dec. 22. The Blue Demons stand at 7-5 after knocking off Miami (Ohio), 83-66, on Dec. 21. DePaul head coach Dave Leitao is in his sixth season at DePaul and his third since returning to the program after leading the Blue Demons three postseasons in three years from 2002-05. Overall, the 2017-18 campaign is Leitao’s 12th as a head coach at the collegiate level. Villanova is led by Jay Wright who is in his 17th season leading the Wildcats.
Noting the Blue Demons: The men’s basketball program is 1,444-992 (.593) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 751 straight games... DePaul’s last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the current streak started against Notre Dame on Feb. 21, 1993... DePaul is playing every home game under the same roof for the first time since the 2009-10 season... the last seven seasons have seen the Blue Demons play home games at Allstate Arena and McGrath-Phillips Arena... DePaul is 40-42 all-time in games that go to overtime... the Oregon game on Nov. 24 was the first overtime game this season.
The Opponent - Villanova Wildcats: Top-ranked Villanova is 12-0 following a 95-71 win over Hofstra on Dec. 22... Jalen Brunson leads five players averaging in double figures with 18.1 points per game... he also leads the team with 60 assists and is shooting .609 (78-128) from the field... others averaging in double figures include Mikal Bridges (17.3 ppg), Phil Booth (12.2 ppg), Donte DiVincenzo (12.2 ppg) and Omari Spellman (11.3 ppg)... Spellman also pulls down a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game... Bridges leads the team with 29 three-pointers... head coach Jay Wright is in his 17th season leading the Wildcats... DePaul head coach Dave Leitao is 0-4 all-time against Villanova.
The Series: Wednesday is the 33rd all-time meeting between the two programs... Villanova holds a 24-8 advantage in the series... the Wildcats have won the last 14 meetings... Villanova swept the season series a year ago... the Wildcats held off DePaul, 68-65, in the first meeting at The Pavilon on Dec. 26, 2016... Villanova also claimed a 75-62 decision at Allstate Arena on Feb. 13, 2017... DePaul’s last win in the series was an 84-76 victory on Jan. 3, 2008.
Against No. 1: The Blue Demons are 3-20 all-time against No. 1-ranked opponents... including Wednesday’s game, Villanova has been the last three No. 1 opponents for DePaul... additionally, including this week’s matchup, Villanova is been ranked in the nation’s top 8 in nine straight games against DePaul and in the top three in five straight games... a year ago, DePaul dropped a 68-65 loss at No. 1 Villanova on Dec. 28... DePaul faced two No. 1’s at Allstate Arena... Villanova was the second No. 1 opponent in Rosemont during the 2015-16 season... top-ranked Syracuse defeated DePaul, 87-68, on Jan. 1, 2012 as the first No. 1 opponent to visit DePaul in Rosemont... DePaul also hosted No. 1-ranked Duke on Feb. 24, 1999 at the United Center... the Blue Devils defeated the Blue Demons, 96-64... Villanova is second No. 1 team to visit Wintrust Arena in December as No. 1 Connecticut defeated the DePaul women’s team, 103-69, on Dec. 8... the last time a school hosted both the No. 1 men’s and women’s teams in this short of a span was Providence in February 2009... the Friars hosted No. 1 Connecticut women’s team on Feb. 18 and No. 1 Pittsburgh men’s team on Feb. 24... DePaul’s last win against a No. 1-ranked opponent was Dec. 27, 1952 against La Salle, 63-61, at the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival.
It Could Happen: A win would make DePaul 6-2 at Wintrust Arena and 6-1 in the month of December... a win will snap a 12-game losing streak against ranked opponents... DePaul’s last win over a ranked opponent was a 77-70 win over No. 11/11 Providence on Feb. 2, 2016... Eli Cain needs two three-pointers to pass Rashon Burno (1998-02, 92 3FG) for 21st on the all-time chart... with a point, Cain takes sole possession of 53rd on DePaul’s career scoring list... he enters the Villanova game with 965 points and tied with Jamee Crockett (2011-15)... Brandon Cyrus and Tre’Darius McCallum are playing in their 45th career games... Joe Hanel is playing in his 70th career game.
Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul’s 83-66 win against Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 21:
- DePaul finishes the non-conference portion of the regular-season schedule at 7-5... the Blue Demons are 5-2 at Wintrust Arena and 5-1 in the month of December.
- At least four Blue Demons finished in double-figures for the ninth time in 12 games this season.
- DePaul’s 48 points in the second half marked the highest-scoring second half of the season.
- Eli Cain’s 19 points give him 965 points in his career... he is tied with Jamee Crockett (2011-15) for 53rd on DePaul’s all-time scoring list.
- Marin Maric’s 22 points and Max Strus’ 21 points mark the first time this season with at least two players with 20-plus points in a game... it’s the first occasion since Feb. 25, 2017 with two with at least 20 points... Billy Garrett Jr. scored 26 and Eli Cain scored 21 against Seton Hall in that game.
- Maric’s 22 points matched his season high set against Oregon on Nov. 24... his career high is 25 points while playing for Northern Illinois on Nov. 11, 2016 against Indiana State.
- Tre’Darius McCallum recorded his 25th career game in double-figures.
- DePaul leads the series, 5-3... Thursday was the first meeting between the two programs since December 1960... the Blue Demons are 81-35 against Mid-American Conference teams.
Trendy: The Blue Demons have placed at least four players in double-figures in nine of the first 12 games including back-to-back games with five in double-figures... a year ago, at least four scored in double-figures six times (32 games)... five different players have led DePaul in scoring this season... DePaul has committed less turnovers than the opponent in all 12 games... in the BIG EAST statistical rankings, only Eli Cain and Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s are averaging at least 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game... among the league’s freshmen, only Jaylen Butz and Villanova’s Omari Spellman are ranked in the top 30 rebounders... DePaul is second in the league with a +5.1 turnover margin and 11.8 offensive rebounds per game... the Blue Demons are also third with a .325 offensive rebound percentage and fourth with a field goal percentage defense of .407.
Strus Selected to BIG EAST Honor Roll: DePaul junior guard Max Strus was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Dec. 18 after averaging 23.5 points per game against Alabama A&M and Northwestern. In addition to averaging 23.5 points per game, Strus shot .552 (16-29) from the field and .444 (8-18) from three-point range. He opened the week with 14 points and three rebounds in 27 minutes against Alabama A&M before putting together a 33-point effort against Northwestern. He went 11-for-19 from the field that included a 6-of-12 effort from three-point range. Strus totaled 20 of DePaul’s 27 points in the second half against the Wildcats and the 33 points were the most by a DePaul player since Brandon Young scored 35 at Connecticut on Jan. 8, 2013.
DePaul Adds Mid-Season Transfer: New Zealand native Flynn Cameron will join the program this season. The 6-3 guard is scheduled to be enrolled for DePaul’s winter academic quarter that starts on Jan. 2. Cameron attended Hillcrest Christian College – a K-12 school – in Queensland, Australia and played for New Zealand’s junior national teams in international events. At the 2016 FIBA U18 Oceania Championships, Cameron averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game over four contests. He followed that with averages of 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in seven games at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup.
Game 14 - Dec. 30 at Xavier: DePaul plays its first BIG EAST road game at Xavier on Saturday afternoon... the Musketeers are currently No. 6 in this week’s AP poll and No. 5 in the coaches top 25... the contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET start on FS1 and WSCR 670 AM... Xavier leads the series, 11-9... the Musketeers have won seven of the last eight meetings... last season saw the Musketeers record wins of 72-61 and 79-65 in the regular season over DePaul before claiming a 75-64 victory in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament... Xavier is currently 12-1 and opens conference play at Marquette on Wednesday night.
The Last Meeting
February 13, 2017