Syracuse will try to halt a three game losing streak when it hosts DePaul on Wednesday. Here’s a preview of the game:
PURNELL STILL WAITING: Blue Demons head coach Oliver Purnell has had a history of turning programs around in a short period of time. Take his first seasons at coaching stops in Radford (15-13), Old Dominion (15-15), Dayton (7-20) and Clemson (10-18), and you’ll see that he had some work to do. But by the third or fourth season, Purnell has turned the programs into winners. In his third seasons at Radford (22-7), Old Dominion (21-10), Clemson (19-15) and the fourth season at Dayton (21-12), Purnell had completed the 180 degree turn.
But it’s been a disappointing run at DePaul so far. Now nearing the end of his third season, DePaul is 31-57 under his watch, and they only have six Big East wins to speak of. “I can’t really put my finger on (DePaul’s failures) because (Oliver Purnell) is a terrific coach,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said to the Chicago Tribune following the Cardinals’ 79-58 win over the Blue Demons in February. “I’ve been around him a long time. Their staff is great. They have players who play their tails off, play really hard.” They may play hard, but haven’t had the results to show for it.
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEMONS: Cleveland Melvin is second on the team in scoring at 16.5 ppg, and became just the 13th player in DePaul history to score more than 1,400 career points over the weekend. But it was bittersweet, as DePaul lost to fellow Big East doormat USF 83-73 on Sunday. Fellow guard Brandon Young (16.8 ppg) combines with Melvin to form one of the top scoring backcourts in the country. But while the team averages 72.6 ppg, they’re shooting just 30.1 percent as a team from downtown.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse leads the all-times series 9-4, with the teams last meeting on Jan. 1, 2012. Kris Joseph scored 22 points to lead the Orange to a 87-68 road win.
GAME INFORMATION: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. TV: SNY/ESPN3.