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January 16, 2012
No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas(14-3, 4-2 Big East, 4-1 Away)
at DePaul Blue Demons(10-7, 1-4 Big East, 6-3 Home)
When: Tuesday Jan. 17, 2012 at 6 p.m. central time
Where: Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
Online Streaming: ESPN3.com
Radio: WSCR AM 670
Sophomore Forward Cleveland Melvin
31.4 MPG, 18 PPG, 43.4 FG%, 6.2 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Sophomore Guard Brandon Young
30.5 MPG, 16.9 PPG, 47.3 FG%, 4.7 APG, 1.9 SPG
Junior Forward Hollis Thompson
30.8 MPG, 14.5 PPG, 53.3 FG%. 52.8 3 FG%, 5.4 RPG
Senior Guard Jason Clark
30.7 MPG, 15.3 PPG, 48.6 FG%, 4.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG
The Allstate Arena has not provided a distinct homecourt advantage for DePaul. Their 3-3 record at the Allstate (3-0 at on-campus McGrath-Phillips) reflects that notion, but coming home may never have looked as good as it does now after a forgettable three-game road trip last week.
DePaul dropped all three games by an average of 18 points per contest. Their 76-59 defeat Saturday against the Louisville Cardinals reflected the struggles of the previous two games on the trip.
DePaul fell behind by double-digits early thanks to a continually struggling defensive unit and poor shooting. Despite being down by double-digits most of the game, DePaul brought Louisville's lead down to five with 7:11 remaining. A 20-8 run the rest of the way doomed DePaul and their attempt to salvage a win on the trip.
Louisville was missing leading scorer Kyle Kuric due to an injury, but still managed to shoot 50.9 percent from the field and move the ball effectively. DePaul, on the other hand, really struggled to get their offense going.
DePaul shot 34.3 percent from the field and only had one scorer reach double-figures. DePaul's big two of Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young had fairly pedestrian efforts with a combined 22 points on 8-27 from the field.
Melvin uncharacteristically never got his offense going. His 8-point effort was only the second time this season he did not reach double-figures in scoring. He also had a season-high six turnovers against a strong Louisville defense.
Junior Worrel Clahar scored 9 points and connected on all three of his three-point attempts.
Georgetown erased a two-game losing streak with a 69-49 victory over St. John's on Sunday. The Hoyas continued with the strong defensive play that has highlighted their strong start to the season. They held St. John's to 31.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Junior forward Hollis Thompson recorded his fourth 20-point performance of the season with 20 points on 7-13 from the field. Thompson also grabbed 5 rebounds and had 4 steals for the game.
Thompson has improved even more this season with larger role. His marksmanship from the outside has continued to make him a tough player to defend. He has shot 14-21 from three-point range over the past four games.
Georgetown managed to get 19 offensive rebounds. Freshman forward Otto Porter grabbed five of those and came up with his second double-double of conference play with 13 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Georgetown showed off their ball movement strength with 17 assists on 25 made baskets.
Keys to a DePaul Victory
1. Help Wanted
Saturday was a perfect example of what can happen when the star players have off-games. Melvin and Young both were unable to find any sort of rhythm on offense. Without much consistency from other scoring options, DePaul had their lowest scoring output of the season.
DePaul's inability to get their team defense on track has forced the offense to have to score at a high rate to stay in games. When the offense is not going strong, DePaul has a difficult time winning in conference play.
Players other than Melvin and Young must find more consistency in their offense the rest of the season. Having strong games here and there is simply not enough for DePaul to get on any type of roll in conference play.
This game gives DePaul's supporting cast a chance to get aggressive against a top team in the country. It is going to take everyone on the team fulfilling their role to have any chance to win.
The onus is on players such as guards Jeremiah Kelly and Charles McKinney, forwards Moses Morgan and Jamee Crockett and center Krys Faber to be consistently putting up points on the scoreboard.
2. Better Defense
Better defense will continue to be a primary key until DePaul proves otherwise. The defense has been consistently bad, and the second half of the season will not be too kind if this issue does not get resolved.
Georgetown's Princeton offense can be one of the most difficult offense's to defend against. They are highly efficient in their shot selection, and exhibit strong patience in finding the right shot. As of Monday they rank as the 31st best field goal shooting team in the country.
Despite losing two of their key offensive players from last season-guard Chris Wright and wing Austin Freeman-they have not missed much on offense. Upperclassmen such as Thompson, senior guard Jason Clark and senior big man Henry Sims have more than made up the void left by Wright and Freeman.
Clark is a talented guard who has seemingly gotten better with each year the school. He is an effective scorer that can also be a pest on the boards. He is not afraid to attack the basket at any time.
In DePaul's traditional man-to-man defense, they must always be aware of man and ball. Georgetown players move very well without the ball and will catch defense's off-guard with their backdoor cuts. DePaul has to be prepared to constantly keep their feet moving to be ready to defend at all times.
3. Press Effectively
Georgetown has the ability to be a strong transition team along with being an effective, methodical halfcourt team. Their halfcourt offense can be especially good with plenty of time on the shot clock.
An advantage DePaul may have is their press. If they can get enough sustained pressure from their press, they can force Georgetown to have to rush into setting up their offense and throw them out of their rhythm.
Not having a floor general such as Wright this season could hurt as well in these situations. DePaul could really put pressure on Georgetown's guards and force them to make mistakes when attempting to get the ball up the floor.
Points off of turnovers for DePaul could loom large.