Blue Demons and Seminoles in Early Season Top 25 Showdown
2007 DePaul Invitational
CHICAGO - DePaul faces No. 18/19 Florida State in the second and final game of the DePaul Invitational for the Blue Demons. The Seminoles are making their first appearance in the three-team tourney and take on Florida International at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Blue Demons knocked off the Golden Panthers, 89-77, on Thursday night.
The Blue Demons enter the game at No. 24 in this week’s Associated Press poll following a 78-63 win at Southern Illinois to open the season. Florida State is also 2-0 following wins over Florida Gulf Coast and North Florida last weekend. Tipoff on Thursday night is set for 7 p.m.
Prior to last week’s opener at Southern Illinois, DePaul notched a pair of exhibition victories over Saint Xavier and Michigan Tech. The Blue Demons topped Saint Xavier, 111-70, on Oct. 30 before defeating Michigan Tech, 100-68, on Nov. 2.
Following the DePaul Invitational, the Blue Demons travel to Illinois State on Nov. 25. The Blue Demons and Redbirds are scheduled for a 2 p.m. game at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill.
Ranked Teams at McGrath Arena: In the 96 games played at McGrath Arena, the Blue Demons hold a 4-6 all-time record against ranked teams. Despite the six losses, the Blue Demons have won four of the last seven games against ranked teams at home.
A year ago, the Blue Demons knocked off No. 19/21 Rutgers before falling to No. 18/20 Marquette. On two occasions, Tennessee came to Chicago as the nation’s second-ranked team. Most recently, DePaul dropped a 96-89 overtime decision to the No. 2 Lady Vols on Dec. 17, 2003. Other top 10 opponents include a pair of 2001 match-ups in a span of three days against No. 7 Purdue and No. 2 Tennessee. DePaul fell, 63-61, to Purdue on Dec. 17 and, 80-66, to the Lady Vols on Dec. 19. DePaul’s lone top 10 victory at home was a 75-59 decision over No. 8 Notre Dame on Dec. 11, 2002.
Season-Opening Notes: The Blue Demons improved to 25-9 all-time in the first game with the victory at Southern Illinois on Nov. 10. A year ago, DePaul dropped a 105-71 decision at #3/3 Oklahoma in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic. The game at Southern Illinois marks the second straight year that the Blue Demons have started the season on the road. The program is 6-5 all-time when opening the season on the road with each of the last two season-opening road victories at Southern Illinois. The Blue Demons also started the season with a 69-60 win in Carbondale on Nov. 23, 2002. Head coach Doug Bruno is 16-6 in the season’s first game at DePaul. Last season’s loss at Oklahoma ended a five-game winning streak in season-openers. The Nov. 10 season-opening date is the earliest in program history passing the Nov. 12 last in 2006 at Oklahoma.
Opponent 3 - Florida State Seminoles: Florida State stands at 2-0 and is ranked No. 18 in this week’s AP poll and No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches top 25... the Seminoles conclude the DePaul Invitational on Saturday against Florida International... FSU opened the season last weekend with a 94-54 win over Florida Gulf Coast and a 75-48 victory against North Florida... the Seminoles return eight players and four starters from last season’s 24-10 team that reached the NCAA Regional Semifinals... Florida State was picked to finish fourth in the preseason ACC poll... Jacinta Monroe leads the team through two games with 18.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest... head coach Sue Semrau is in her 11th season at Florida State... she holds a record of 152-138 with the Seminoles.
The Series - DePaul leads 1-0: Friday’s game is just the second all-time meeting between the two programs... the Blue Demons tallied a 82-69 win in Chicago on Nov. 28, 1987, in the Coopers & Lybrand Invitational.
It Could Happen: Caprice Smith needs 11 points for 1,000 in her career... she would become the 22nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau... with 19 points, she passes Veronica Ross for 21st all-time at DePaul... Friday game will be the 100th game for Allie Quigley and Caprice Smith... the duo becomes the 33rd and 34th players in school history with 100 career games... Quigley needs seven three-pointers to become the second player in school history with 200 three’s.
Demon Doings: Notes following the 89-77 win against Florida International on Nov. 15:
BIG EAST Preseason Picks: Connecticut, the 2006-07 regular season BIG EAST Champion, was picked as the preseason favorite in the annual coaches poll. DePaul was slotted at No. 7 while Rutgers, West Virginia and Pittsburgh followed the Huskies.
Angel McCoughtry of Louisville was named the Preseason Player of the Year after being named BIG EAST Player of the Year last season. She was a unanimous selection and was joined by Connecticut’s Maya Moore as the Preseason Freshman of the Year. Allie Quigley was picked up honorable mention Preseason All-BIG EAST recognition after picking up second team All-BIG EAST honors as a sophomore and junior. The Preseason All-BIG EAST team was headlined by unanimous selections Essence Carson of Rutgers, Olayinka Sanni of West Virginia, Marcedes Walker of Pittsburgh and Louisville’s McCoughtry.
What’s Back: The Blue Demons shoot for the program’s sixth straight NCAA Championship appearance as 83 percent of the scoring and 86 percent of the rebounding return this season. DePaul brings back 10 players from last season and have two transfers eligible for play in 2007-08.
All-BIG EAST honorees Allie Quigley and Caprice Smith lead the returners as Quigley led the team with 15.8 points and 100 assists while Smith averaged 15.3 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per contest. Quigley was a second team All-BIG EAST member last season and Smith picked up honorable mention recognition.
Erin Carney, Missy Mitidiero and Sam Quigley each started at least 12 games last season. Mitidiero started 22 games and led the team with 61 three-pointers. Quigley started 14 of the last 16 games of her freshman campaign while Carney totaled a dozen starts and was second on the team with 7.6 rebounds per game.
Other top returners include Erin Cattell, Felicia Chester, Holly Medley and China Threatt. Cattell started seven games last season while averaging 20.0 minutes per game and Chester was redshirted after her freshman season was cut short at five games due to injury. Medley saw action in all 32 games while Threatt made six starts and averaged 6.9 points and 2.4 assists per game.
Setting the Standard in the Classroom and on the Court: With back-to-back appearances in the WBCA Academic Top 25 and berths in the last two NCAA Championship, the DePaul women’s basketball team is the only program in the country to claim that distinction. The Blue Demons finished 25th in the WBCA Academic Top 25 following last season after garnering the 11th spot after the 2005-06 campaign. In 2005-06, the Blue Demons also accumulated a team GPA of 3.361 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 followed by a team GPA of 3.294 last season and NCAA First Round appearance. The No. 11 slot in 2006 was the highest in program history, surpassing a No. 13 ranking for the 2000-01 season and No. 20 spot following the 1998-99 campaign.
Bruno Leads USA Basketball to World Championship: DePaul women’s basketball coach Doug Bruno capped his summer USA Basketball coaching stint by leading the nation’s U19 team to the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women. The Americans captured the gold medal with a 99-57 win over Sweden and finished the world tournament with a perfect 9-0 record.
This summer was Bruno’s second leading a USA Basketball squad as he guided the U18 Team to gold at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championships for Women. The U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo., qualified the United States for the 2007 U19 World Championship for Women.
In addition to Bruno claiming gold for the United States in the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, DePaul men’s basketball coach Jerry Wainwright led the men’s U19 team to a silver medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Men in Novi Sad, Serbia in late July.
Welcome to Lincoln Park: A total of three new players are on the roster this season. The DePaul basketball program signed Taylor Pikes to a National Letter of Intent and she joins the Blue Demons this season. Pikes, at 6’1”, can play both the guard and forward positions. She averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and two assists as a junior at King while earning second team All-State honors.
Along with Pikes, DePaul welcomes Rachel Pierson and Elise Morrison to the 2007-08 roster. Pierson must sit out this season under NCAA transfer guidelines while Morrison is immediately eligible as a graduate student. Pierson will have two seasons of eligibility after sitting out the 2007-08 campaign. She redshirted at Iowa State in 2005-06 and played in 35 games a year ago. Morrison played two full seasons at Dartmouth where she earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year recognition following the 2003-04 season.
The Blue Demons also have transfers Deirdre Naughton and Natasha Williams eligible in 2007-08. The duo sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules. Naughton was on the ACC All-Freshmen team after averaging 15.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game at Wake Forest last season. Williams played her first two collegiate seasons at Minnesota and averaged 8.2 points and 3.8 boards per contest as a sophomore in 2005-06.
Noting the Blue Demons: With a school-record 250 three-pointers in 2006-07, DePaul has made at least 200 three’s in a season in eight straight years... the 2002-03 squad held the previous program record with 233 three’s in a season... since the start of the 2003-04 season (129 games), the Blue Demons have held 64.3 percent of their opponents to less than 70 points (83-of-129)... in that span, DePaul is 74-9 (.892) when holding opponents to less than 70 points... in 2006-07, the Blue Demons were 6-10 when allowing more than 70 points and 13-3 when holding the opposition to less than 70... in the last three-plus seasons, the Blue Demons are 74-25 (.747)... in the last 37 home games against conference opponents, DePaul has posted 34 victories (.919 winning pct.)... DePaul hasn’t scored 100 points since a 103-64 win over Charlotte on Jan. 16, 2005 (84 games)... over the last seven-plus seasons (222 games), DePaul has scored at least 80 points in 78 games... the Blue Demons hold a 74-4 (.949) record in those games... Pittsburgh handed DePaul its only loss in 2006-07 when scoring at least 80... the Panthers topped the Blue Demons, 87-80, on Feb. 24 at the Petersen Events Center... in 34 seasons of play at DePaul, the women’s basketball program is 591-352 (.627)... with two games in each of its two BIG EAST Tournaments, DePaul is just one of four teams to play in multiple conference tourney games... Connecticut, Rutgers and Pittsburgh have also played at least two games in each of the last two BIG EAST Championships.
Looking for Six: DePaul has tallied five straight NCAA Championship appearances and 12 NCAA visits overall. Last season’s fifth consecutive appearance set a school record for consecutive NCAA’s. DePaul earned four straight NCAA berths from 1990-93 followed by a three-year run from 1995-97. The program is 7-12 all-time in NCAA action and 4-5 during the five-year streak, including the 2006 NCAA Regional Semifinal in San Antonio, Texas.
Home Cookin’: Through seven-plus seasons, McGrath Arena - formerly known as the DePaul Athletic Center - has proven itself as one of the toughest venues in the nation. The Blue Demons have posted an 85-11 record in the arena’s first 96 games. Now in the 33rd season, the Blue Demons have an all-time home court record of 349-95 (.786). Over 26 seasons at Alumni Hall, the women’s basketball program won over 75 percent of their games with a 242-80 all-time record. At the Allstate Arena, the women’s program has posted an all-time record of 22-4.
In 30-plus seasons of women’s basketball at DePaul University there have been 14 streaks of at least 10 straight home victories. The longest streak was the 33-game run that started on Dec. 19, 2003 with a 99-63 win over Alabama State and ended on Jan. 28, 2006 with an 84-75 defeat to No. 5/4 Connecticut. The victory over Houston on Feb. 11, 2005, broke the former record of 20 games from Feb. 4, 1978-Feb. 19, 1979.
The Blue Demons have also posted 64 victories in the last 65 games over unranked opponents. West Virginia ended DePaul’s 58-game streak over unranked opponents with a 74-63 decision on Jan. 9. During the 58-game streak, there were 54 victories at McGrath Arena and four wins at the Allstate Arena. Prior to the West Virginia loss, Tulane handed DePaul their last home loss to an unranked team on Mar. 2, 2002, with a 88-83 decision in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament.
In 86 games against unranked opponents at McGrath Arena, DePaul has posted 81 victories. The Blue Demons enter Friday’s action with a 21-game winning streak against non-conference opponents. DePaul last non-conference home loss was a 96-89 overtime decision to No. 2 Tennessee on Dec. 17, 2003.
Taking Advantage from Beyond the Arc: Since the start of the 2004-05 season, the club has knocked down 710 trifectas compared to just 446 for the opposition. Including the 2006-07 season, the team has totaled at least 200 three-pointers in each of the last eight seasons. With a 0-for-8 showing against Houston on Feb. 11, 2005, DePaul’s streak of games with a three-pointer ended at 259 games. At the time, it was the nation’s seventh-longest active streak. Including the Houston game, the Blue Demons have tallied a three-pointer in 335 of the last 336 games. The season-opener at Southern Illinois marked the 75th straight contest with at least one three-pointer.
In 32 games last season, the Blue Demons outscored their opponents by 267 points from three-point range (8.3 ppg). DePaul was 250-723 (.346) from behind the arc while opponents were a combined 161-544 (.296). The squad averaged 7.8 three’s per game while the opposition made 5.0 treys per contest. The trio of Missy Mitidiero, Allie Quigley and Jenna Rubino combined for 167 three’s last season - six more than the 161 for all of DePaul’s opponents combined. With each player knocking down at least 50 three-pointers this season, DePaul was the nation’s only school featuring three players with 50-plus trifectas.
All Alone: With four assists against Rutgers on Mar. 4, Allie Quigley became the first player in school history with 1,400 points, 300 assists and 150 three-pointers. She finished her junior season with 1,458 points, 303 assists and 191 three-pointers. By leading the Blue Demons in scoring, assists and steals last season, she joined Barbra Atsaves and Kim Williams as the only players in program history to lead the team in scoring, assists and steals.
Sister Act: The DePaul roster features one set of sisters in 2007-08 with Allie and Sam Quigley. Allie is a senior guard while Sam is a sophomore guard on the Blue Demon roster. A year ago, DePaul featured two sets of sisters with the Quigley’s and Rachael and Erin Carney. Rachael Carney finished her DePaul career last season while Erin enters her senior season in 2007-08. There will still be Carney sisters playing in Chicago as Elizabeth Carney plays for Saint Xavier University on the city’s Southside. She is a sophomore for the Cougars as Saint Xavier reached the NAIA Sweet 16 last season.
1K Club: Allie Quigley passed the 1,000-point mark against Northern Illinois on Nov. 25, 2006, to become the 20th player in school history to reach the mark. Quigley has totaled 1,483 points for 12th all-time and will be joined early in the season by Caprice Smith. Smith begins her senior campaign with 983 career points. With 17 points, she becomes the 22nd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
Against the State: DePaul has seen recent success against opponents from the state of Illinois. Over the last 39 games against Chicago State, Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Southern Illinois, the Blue Demons have posted 38 victories. The Blue Demons defeated Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Loyola-Chicago and Chicago State last season.
TV Time: The BIG EAST Conference totals a league-record 101 combined appearances this season featuring each of the league’s 16 programs. For the second straight year every game of the league tournament will be televised and the CSTV “Game of the Week” package will single out the BIG EAST as the nation’s only conference with a weekly women’s basketball night on CSTV. DePaul is scheduled to make at least seven regular-season television appearances starting on Jan. 2 against defending NCAA Champion Tennessee on ESPNU. The Blue Demons will also be seen on ESPNU in games against Pittsburgh on Jan. 6 and Notre Dame on Feb. 24. The BIG EAST TV Network will carry the Jan. 19 game at Marquette while the Jan. 22 game at Notre Dame will be on CSTV. Louisville visits McGrath Arena on Feb. 10 for an ESPN2-televised game. While the final home game of the regular season against Connecticut will be seen on CLTV in Chicago with the CPTV (Connecticut Public Television) feed.