I think I might have seen the NCAA Tournament champ

I think I might have seen the NCAA Tournament champ

Posted by Lindsey on Sat, 02/07/2009 - 19:49
Hey gang, One of the best things about covering DePaul --- maybe the best thing this year -- is the continual parade of Top 10 teams marching into Allstate Arena. In the last 15 days, No. 2 Connecticut, No. 6 Pittsburgh and No. 8 Marquette have swung by Rosemont for a game. Pittsburgh showed up Saturday and knocked off the Demons 92-69. Not only did the Panthers beat DePaul by more than the other Top 10 teams, they also caught the Demons when they were playing relatively well. All that aside, I think Pitt has everything a team needs to make a run for the NCAA title. The Panthers have eight good players in their rotation, including good shooters in the starting lineup and off the bench. They have a beast inside in 6-foot-7, 265-pound DeJuan Blair. They have perhaps the nation's best pure point guard in senior Levance Fields, who actually has a bigger butt than the massive Blair. I must admit I developed a bit of a crush on Fields during his 16-assist, 1-turnover showing. He's from Brooklyn, so he's got all the style you could want. He fired passes with either hand, slung them sidearm and underhand and any possible way you want. More important, he fed his big men and his shooters when they were open and in rhythm. Oh, and he's also got a knack for using his off-hand to move defenders when he's on the move. Early in the second half, he deftly steered DePaul point guard Mike Bizoukas with his left hand to make it easier to drive. Late in the second half, he had a fistful of Jeremiah Kelly's jersey as he drove down the lane. OK, enough about Pitt, which could stand to play better defense if it intends to get to teh Final Four. Maybe I would have been more impressed by Connecticut, which is more athletically gifted than Pitt, if the Huskies had worked harder for all 40 minutes when they came to DePaul. A few Demons notes: --Dar Tucker's sprained left ankle wasn't 100 percent by his own admission, but he started and played 33 minutes. He had 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting. One complaint: DePaul built a 22-16 lead in the opening 12 minutes as they ran good offense and scored in transition. Then Dar took (and missed) two consecutive 3-pointers after the first pass of a possession. No working the ball. No allowing Mac Koshwal to work inside, where he was doing a nice job slashing and dishing. Of course, after Tucker's second miss, he stole the ball from Sam Young and roared in for a fast-break layup. So you win some and lose some. --PG Mike Bizoukas dinged his left knee when he got tangled up with Koshwal and a Pitt player with 6:39 to go. He looked like he was in severe pain on the floor, but walked off. He didn't play thereafter. That's important because... --PG Jabari Currie sat out with a sore left knee that has been bothering him for quite awhile. Wainwright said Currie will undergo some tests, if he hasn't already, and everyone will know more on Monday. --C Kene Obi enjoyed career-bests for points (9), rebounds (4) and minutes (17). He also, according to Wainwright, missed four consecutive defensive assignments as he grew tired. LW
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