"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Marquette Hosts DePaul

Fresh off an emotional victory over Notre Dame, the Marquette Golden Eagles jump back into action on Wednesday night when they host the struggling DePaul Blue Demons.

The Blue Demons enter the game as a frustrated, wounded team. Wainwright's bunch is 8-9 overall and 1-5 in the Big East after a last minute loss to Providence last week. The team has been plagued with suspensions and injuries of late, most notably to Wesley Green and Wilson Chandler. Per the guys over at DePaul's Rivals.com message board, both Green and Chandler are expected to play against the Golden Eagles. The Chicago Sun-Times is not so sure, indicating that Chandler's status is 'day-to-day'. Chandler had missed the Blue Demons's last two games due to an unspecified violation of team policy.

MU will look to build on its 14-5 record (4-2 in the Big East). MU's fast start in conference play is drawing plenty of attention. The Associated Press is the latest to take notice of MU's progress, Steve Novak in paticular.

With their early success in conference play, so-called 'winnable home games' are all the more important for MU. DePaul is not as bad as their record indicates (they could have easily won each of their last three games), and will fight like hell to save their season.

MU, shooting 40% from beyond the arc, will continue to rely on Novak's extraordinary play, along with that of Dominic James. Both are coming off of an exceptional week in leading the team to two victories.

A key for Marquette will be containing the Blue Demon's athletic backcourt of Draelon Burns, Sammy Mejia, Cliff Clinkscales, and Karron Clarke. Burns was particularly effective against MU last week, throwing in 22 points to go along with seven rebounds.

With Wilson Chandler returning to the lineup, MU will have to answer on the glass -- where the Blue Demons dominated the Golden Eagles in the second half last week. The Blue Demons made a furious run to close a 24 point gap to just two, largely on the strength of exceptional offensive rebounding and careless ball control from MU.

Another interesting note for the game -- DPU has fallen behind by double digits in each of their last three games (all losses).

Here are a few previews:

BlueDemonsNation preview.

GoMarquette.com preview, which dispels those Steve Novak injury rumors.

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