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DePaul Blue Demons (8-15, 1-10) @ Seton Hall Pirates (13-9, 4-7) 12:00PM Open Game Thread

DePaul @ Seton Hall, 12:00PM
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Television: SNY, ESPN Full Court (Direct TV Channel 720)
Radio: 770 WABC 
Online: Demons v. Pirates Coverage

Projected Starting Five: G-Harvey, G-Lawrence, G-Hazell, F-Pope, F/C-Robinson

Seton Hall (13-9, 4-7) will welcome last place DePaul (8-15, 1-10) to The Rock as they attempt to win their fifth consecutive home game.  The Pirates haven't dropped a home game since their December 29th contest with Syracuse that saw them fall to 0-2 in the Big East.  The Blue Demons have lost five straight, are in the midst of a three game road-trip and haven't played in 8 days since falling at Connecticut on 2/6, 64-57.  DePaul is led by senior guard, Will Walker, (16.5PTS/3REB/2.6AST/1.5STL) who is shooting 37% from the floor.  Despite sporting a poor shooting percentage, Walker has the capability of going off and filling it up for 20PTS on any given night.  Recently, Walker had his best game of season with 35PTS/5REB/4AST on 15-of-30 shooting in a loss at Notre Dame.  The Walker assignment sounds like a job for Keon Lawrence.  Take out DePaul's #1 option and force his poor shooting (40%) teammates to beat the Pirates instead.  

Outside of Walker, only one other Blue Demon averages in double-figures, Mac Koshwal.  The 6'10 center is averaging 13.7PTS/9.7REB in 33 minutes of action, despite sitting out 11 games this season with injuries to both of his feet. Koshwal tested NBA draft waters, following a 12.2PTS/9.6REB sophomore campaign where he recorded 11 double-doubles, however withdrew from the draft just 3 days before the deadline.  Do his numbers and double-double count from last year remind you of a current Pirate on the roster? They should, however, the Pirate in question, Herb Pope, (11.5PTS/10.8REB) has struggled offensively the last four games and will have his hands full again when trying to establish inside position against Koshwal.

Seton Hall can't take this DePaul squad lightly, despite what their record may read being good for last place in the Big East Conference.  Obviously, the Pirates must win all, or all but one of their remaining games if they wish to position themselves back on the bubble in time for selection Sunday.  Time is running out and they need to pick up some momentum by stringing together a few consecutive victories during this stretch.  Should the Pirates falter against Depaul, we'll most likely be able to look towards overconfidence as the deciding factor that did them in. One game at a time, that's all we can ask for at this point.  As always, Let's Go Hall!

SHU Athletics with the history between Seton Hall & DePaul:

SETON HALL - DE PAUL SERIES
Seton Hall and DePaul will meet for only the eighth time in history on Sunday. The Pirates own a 5-2 all-time series lead and have won three of the last four meetings. Last season, Seton Hall won in Rosemont, 72-49, on Feb. 10. The Pirates have never lost at home to DePaul (3-0). 

The DePaul Athletics preview's the action with a look at their star guard, Will Walker:

Iron Will: Senior guard Will Walker leads the BIG EAST with 37.2 minutes per game and did not leave the floor in consecutive games at St. John's on Jan. 17, against Marquette on Jan. 20 and at Notre Dame on Jan. 23. In addition to playing all 40 minutes in those three games, Walker has played all but 11 minutes over the last 10 games. He started the run with 38 minutes against Georgetown before playing 37 in games at Villanova and against Providence. He followed the three 40-minute outings with 37 minutes against West Virginia on Jan. 26. Against Syracuse on Jan. 30, Marquette on Feb. 3 and Connecticut on Feb. 4, he registered his fourth, fifth and sixth complete games of the season. 

Dan Stack provides his game preview for WeAreDePaul.com

The Pirates are a formidable foe who are still entertaining the idea of possibly playing their way into the NCAA Tournament. Seton Hall just pulled off a nice win on Thursday night after they beat another NCAA Tournament bubble team Notre Dame at home 90-87 to improve their record to 13-9 (4-7 in the Big East). Seton Hall still has a ways to go if they are to be in the discussion for the NCAA Tournament.

And, 'Piratz' with one of his shorter game previews of the season:

Overall, the DePaul program is in the midst of some dark days and facing a colossal rebuilding effort. Following an 0-18 regular season in conference play last year, they knocked off Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament and put a scare into Providence before ending their season at 9-24.

They fired Head Coach Jerry Wainwright on January 11th, and while the team has been more competitive under interim coach Tracy Webster, they've still lost 5-consecutive games and haven't won a true Big East road game since March 6th, 2008.

This year hasn't been much better. 

As always, Let's Go Hall!