DePaul vs. Wichita State

Probable starters

P DePaul                 Ht Yr Pts Reb
F Jamee Crockett 6-4 So. 5.0 5.3
F Donnavan Kirk 6-9 Jr. 6.0 2.7
F Charles McKinney 6-3 So. 5.3 1.0
G Cleveland Melvin 6-8 Jr. 20.0 7.7
G Brandon Young 6-4 Jr. 15.7 x-4.0

P Wichita St.      Ht Yr Pts Reb
F Carl Hall 6-8 Sr. 14.0 8.8
C Ehimen Orukpe 7-0 Sr. 3.0 2.8
G Evan Wessel 6-5 So. 7.0 2.0
G Ron Baker 6-3 Fr. 9.8 2.8
G Malcolm Armstead 6-0 Sr. 3.8 x-3.7

x-assists

  • WSU started preparing for last week’s VCU game early in the fall, without telling the players the plan. The Shockers did it by working on ball-handling and passing drills, such as 4 defenders vs. 3 offensive players. “We weren’t a very good catching and passing team,” coach Gregg Marshall said. “We trapped the heck out of guys.” That work paid off against VCU, when the Shockers did a good job of taking care of the ball. The secondary ball-handlers helped by getting open and moving to the ball to help break down the pressure. “We’ve been doing 3 on 4 drills and 5 on 4 drills since the summer and it definitely helped us (against VCU),” Shocker guard Ron Baker said. DePaul will test the schooling again today. The Blue Demons will press full court with Big East athletes. They forced 27 turnovers in their win over Austin Peay on Saturday.
  • Remember last season, when teams (Alabama the exception in Puerto Rico) rarely pressured the Shockers? At least, until VCU did with  fabulous results in March? This season is already much different. “Now we get pressed every game,” Marshall said. “Everybody presses. I don’t know what that says about us, or if it’s just who we’re playing.”
  • I haven’t been to the arena yet. My understanding is it’s set up in a ballroom in the resort’s main hotel (there are three on the resort). There is a practice gym nearby where the Shockers will have shootaround today.
  • Here’s a look at DePaul from Cancun Challenge opponents from last week: The Blue Demons want to play fast and aren’t all that concerned if you score, as long as you score at their speed. They want to speed up the tempo and make teams play out of their comfort zone. A team with a strong point guard can get the ball into the middle of the press and break it. DePaul appears, on paper, to be a bigger team than what it really is. Heights are exaggerated, a common practice by Big East teams, according to this source. Melvin is the offensive key to the Blue Demons. He is all about scoring and wants to get the ball close to the basket, where he can finish with either hand. WSU defenders need to be physical with him and try to keep the ball out of his hands.  Gardner-Webb, which defeated DePaul 71-59, had success with a zone defense. The Blue Demons missed 11 of 13 threes. Gardner-Webb, which has an experienced, smart point guard committed only 13 turnovers.