Game Notes & Preview: Providence (11-6, 2-2) at DePaul (8-8, 1-3) 1/12/18

Where: Wintrust Arena – Chicago, IL

When: 8:30pm EST

How: FS1 (Joe Davis & Len Elmore)/Fox Sports GO (Where Available)/WEEI 103.7 FM and Friars.com (John Rooke and Joe Hassett)/FriarTV

Tickets: SeatGeek

Game Notes

  • Providence and DePaul will meet for the 39th time ever on Friday. Providence leads the all-time series, 28-10. The Friars are 10-7 against the Blue Demons on the road.
  • DePaul is 8-8 this season, including a 1-3 Big East record. The Blue Demons got their first league win last time out against St. John’s on the road last Saturday. DePaul is coached by Dave Leitao who is in 3rd season at the helm of the program in his second stint at DePaul. The Blue Demons are led in scoring by redshirt junior Max Strus who is averaging 18.8 points/game. Senior Tre’Darius McCallum leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 rebounds/game.
  • The Friars defeated 5th-ranked Xavier, 81-72, last time out at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday
  • Providence senior forward Rodney Bullock went over 1,000 points in his career against Boston College on November 25th. He became the 48th player in school history to score at least 1,000 points. Bullock is the 17th-fastest Providence player, tied with Eric Murdock, to score his 1,000th point (73 games). Bullock’s current place on the list is 30th with 1,189 points. He is 4 points behind Lenny Wilkens.
  • Providence senior guard Kyron Cartwright continues his drive up the all-time assist record list at Providence. He began the season tied for 12th with John Linehan (450). Cartwright has 100 assists through 16 games. He has 550 assists in his career, which places him 4th all-time at Providence. Next on the list in front of Cartwright is Kris Dunn (552). Cartwright recorded his 500th career assist against URI on December 2nd. He is the 7th Providence player to record at least 500 career assists. Cartwright notched a career-high 15 assists in Providence’s win at St. John’s on December 28th.
  • Providence officially announced on November 29th that Emmitt Holt would miss the entire 2017-18 season as a redshirt while he continues to recover from abdominal surgery. Holt has been off campus recovering, but is expected to return to school in January.
  • Providence announced on January 11th that former Friar Ernie “Pop” Lewis passed away. Lewis was a key member of Providence’s 1987 Final Four team. You can read the official release and watch a tribute video here.
  • This game will feature both Ed Cooley and Dave Leitao mic’d up for the entire contest on FS1 with the option of watching a dedicated video feed of each coach on the Fox Sports GO app.
  • Opening Line: Providence +1 at DePaul 1/12/18

Game Preview

Providence and DePaul will meet for the 39th time ever on Friday night at Wintrust Arena. The Friars head to Chicago off their best win at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center since 2009 when they knocked off 5th-ranked Xavier on Saturday. The Blue Demons are coming off their first Big East win of the season, defeating St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena on Saturday.

DePaul struggles to defend the 3-point line and make 3-point shots, but the Blue Demons do force turnovers at a high clip and crash the offensive glass. Max Strus has been excellent for DePaul and Marin Maric presents a matchup issue for many Big East frontcourt. Both players are transfers with Strus transferring up from Division II Lewis University and Maric being a grad transfer from Northern Illinois. Maric can play inside and out but he isn’t much a 3-point shooter with only 13 of his 111 field goal attempts coming from beyond the arc. DePaul also matches Providence’s size at guard and on the wing with their three starting guards/wings being 6’5, 6’6 and 6’6.

Listen to the latest Providence Friarcast where my Dad joined in to talk PC vs Xavier and I previewed this game:

The probable starters are:

Providence
DePaul

The keys to victory for Providence are to limit turnovers and offensive rebounds and convert on 3-point chances. DePaul is ranked 67th nationally in defensive turnover % and they want to convert turnovers into transition points. They also want to crash the glass to create second chance opportunities. DePaul ranks 56th nationally in offensive rebound% at 33.7% while the Friars have the 231st worst rate giving up offensive boards.

The Blue Demons struggle at defending the 3-point line, ranking 274th nationally in defensive 3-point%. Providence ranks 57th in the country at offensive 3-point%. The Friars are sure to get some open looks on Friday night and if they are able to convert on a good clip of them they should win this game.

Prediction: Providence 77 DePaul 73

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