Rugged Defensive Test Thursday for No. 21 DePaul
Nov. 22, 2017
LAS VEGAS – One of the nation’s high-powered offenses runs head-on into a talented defensive team on Thanksgiving Day.
No. 21 DePaul will face a big challenge Thursday in the opener of the Play4Kay Showcase at Mandalay Bay.
The Blue Demons, averaging nearly 99 points a game, collide with undefeated Florida Gulf Coast which is holding opponents to 57.6 points per game.
DePaul eased past Delaware State 110-71 last Friday in posting 100 or more points for the second game in a row. Led by Ashton Millender’s career-high 27 points highlighted by a career best seven 3-pointers, DePaul connected on 15 three-pointers one game after tying a program record with 19 threes against No. 21/21 Oklahoma on Nov. 13.
The Blue Demons hit 17 three-pointers in their last game, an 86-78 win over Saint Louis last Saturday to win the Maggie Dixon Classic. DePaul has connected on 51 three-pointers in the last three games and is averaging 102 points.
Coach Doug Bruno’s players have been on an offensive roll in the early season. They are averaging 98.8 points in their four games and nearly 15 three-pointers per game.
Millender heads a wide-open attack that boasts six players averaging in double figures. The junior guard is scoring 20 points per game and Mart'e Grays is second at 16.5 points a game.
The Eagles will encounter a Blue Demon team that is averaging 25.5 assists a game while also forcing opponents into an average of nearly 21 turnovers per game over the first three contests.
Florida Gulf Coast (5-0) is outscoring its opponents by an average of 79.6-57.6. Nasrin Ulel is the top scorer at 16.2 points a game. Taylor Gradinjan is at 12.2 points per game followed by China Dow (11.4) and Rosemarie Julien (11.0).
The tournament is named after legendary North Carolina State coach Kay Yow who passed away in January of 2009 after waging a courageous and inspirational battle against cancer for 22 years.
She coached the Wolfpack from 1975-2009, compiling 737 wins, 20 NCAA tournament appearances and one Final Four.
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