Sunday, January 31, 2016

The science behind Jessica January's fifth double-double of the season


 
                               Photo Credit: Geno Green




Fresh off an 83-74 loss against the Seton Hall Pirates on Jan. 29, Jessica January and the No. 23 DePaul Blue Demons needed a lift to cap their weekend home slate.

Sunday afternoon proved to be a much-needed spark as DePaul (17-7, 9-2 BIG EAST) defeated St. John's (16-6, 7-4 BIG EAST) 77-71 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

January proved to be the one player who stood out in the stat sheet with her fifth double-double of the season (21 points, 10 rebounds) and finished one assist short of a triple-double.

The Blue Demons' proficient start in the first quarter was spearheaded by January having an impact on the first five scoring plays (nine points and an assist).

"Our team came out with a lot of energy and we had a tough one on Friday against Seton Hall," January said. "St. John's is a really good team, but we were trying to get our offensive execution back and my teammates were getting me the ball."

The junior guard finished with the same amount points at the end of the first quarter to put DePaul ahead of St. John's, 25-16 and things looked smooth.

"With the offense we were running, we had openings in the lane and people were cutting and players took advantage," January said.

After the Red Storm scored the first four points of the second quarter, the Blue Demons countered with a 9-0 run, highlighted by an inbounds pass from Chanise Jenkins to a cutting January for the layup.

January finished the first half as the only player in double figures with 15 points and added two more baskets as DePaul went into the locker room with a 42-30 advantage on St. John's.

A balanced second half on both ends witnessed January score six points, four rebounds and assists each.

January's double-double came with 1:39 left in regulation with an assist which led to a layup from Brooke Schulte.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno was proud of the effort January put together from the opening tip to the final whistle.

"Jess did a great job at both ends of the floor and she is represented her team well in the win," Bruno said.


Looking Ahead:

DePaul will look to build on the win as they travel to Villanova and Georgetown on Feb. 5 and 7, respectively.

Both games can be seen online on the BIG EAST Digital Network and the Fox Sports Go App.



Social Media:


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VIDEO- DePaul press conference vs St. John's



After DePaul's 77-71 win over St. John's on Sunday afternoon, coach Doug Bruno and guard Jessica January addressed the media.






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Saturday, January 30, 2016

VIDEO- Xavier/DePaul press conferences



After Xavier's 86-65 win at DePaul on Saturday, coaches Chris Mack and Dave Leitao addressed the media.


Mack:




Leitao:






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No. 7 Xavier overcomes a cold start to defeat DePaul, 86-65


                               Photo Credit: Geno Green


Fresh off a 75-68 road win over No. 10 Providence on Jan. 26, the No. 7 Xavier Musketeers found themselves away from the Cintas Center once more on Saturday against the DePaul Blue Demons.

Despite an 0-of-8 start from the field, Xavier (19-2, 7-2 BIG EAST) defeated DePaul (7-14, 1-8 BIG EAST), 86-65 at the Allstate Arena behind a 29-7 run, which spanned two halves.

Musketeers coach Chris Mack credited the adjustments made by Xavier's front court by adjusting their gameplay on Tommy Hamilton in the perimeter after scoring 13, on 3 three-point makes in the first half.

"Fortunately, we were able to figure out to put our four man on Tommy, but the way we finished the first half and our energy level to start the second put DePaul on their heels," Mack said. 

"Truthfully, it wasn't much of a game after that, given our quick start in the second half and our team has been doing that lately."

Xavier's bench provided a spark with a 42-12 advantage on DePaul and down 11-2 with 14:18 left in the first half, Mack knew a change of pace was needed.

Insert Larry Austin Jr. into the equation.

Austin Jr. came off the bench and put together an all-around effort, finishing with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes.

"I made sure that we had energy and all of our other guys fed off of it as a result," Austin Jr. said.

J.P. Macura also scored 12 in the win and gave credit to Austin Jr. for making Xavier's offense run with ease.

"[Larry] had a great game today and by talking to his teammates during practice, it translated in the game," Macura said.

Three other Musketeers finished in double figures, highlighted by Trevon Bluiett's team-high 15, on 6-of-10 from the field.

Mack talked about Bluiett's 13 second half points, which helped Xavier pull away from DePaul.

"Trevon seems like a second half guy lately, but he's such a focal point of the other team," Mack said. "They are really loaded to the ball and when he catches it. I was happier more with his defense on [Myke Henry] because his offense will always be there."

Billy Garrett led DePaul in the loss with a game-high 18 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, but finished with a game-high four turnovers.


Game Recap:


DePaul opened the game on a 9-0 run in the first 4:24, but the welcome would be worn out in an instant.

Despite coming into the game with a conference-high 76.9 PPG, Xavier's first basket did not come until James Farr's layup at 15:36 of the first half.


DePaul controlled the lead for the most of the first half and the final bucket came on a Garrett Jr. layup to make it 32-25. 

Xavier would counter and begin its 29-7 run over 8:23 in a two-half span.

DePaul coach Dave Leitao complemented Xavier's ability to use its players in the right spots.

"[Xavier] plays its roles well and are balanced," Leitao said. They can go 9 to 10 deep and make positive contributions not just in the scoring column, but in other ways."

During Xavier's extended run late in the first half, Joe Hanel and Jalen Reynolds looked to exchange words with one another.

Reynolds left the ruckus as Hanel appeared to continue the conversation and would be assessed a technical foul, which turned into a four-point play for Xavier, with Davis and Reynolds making two free throws each.

Edmond Sumner's layup towards the end of the first half put to Musketeers ahead of the Blue Demons 42-33— an 18-point turnaround from earlier in the stanza.

The run poured into the second half as Xavier's lead rose to as many as 26 and would not look back the rest of the way.


Looking Ahead:

DePaul returns to action on Feb. 2 as No. 10 Providence comes to town for an 8 p.m. tip, while Xavier hosts St. John's for a 5:30 p.m. start on Feb. 3.

Both games can be seen on FS1.



Social Media:


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Friday, January 29, 2016

VIDEO- Seton Hall/DePaul press conferences



After Seton Hall's 83-74 win over No. 23 DePaul at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Ill., both teams addressed the media.


Seton Hall coach Anthony Bozzella and guard Tabatha Smith-Richardson:




DePaul coach Doug Bruno Part 1:





DePaul coach Doug Bruno Part 2:





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Richardson-Smith's all-around effort helps Seton Hall silence No. 23 DePaul



                             Photo Credit: Geno Green


In front of a raucous crowd on Kids Day in Chicago, Ill., Tabatha Richardson-Smith's 20-point effort helped the Seton Hall Pirates (17-4, 7-3 BIG EAST) score an 83-74 win over the No. 23 DePaul Blue Demons (16-7, 8-2 BIG EAST) at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Richardson-Smith added seven rebounds, but gave credit to her teammates for executing on offense.

"I give credit to my teammates to find me and run plays through me and it is a great example of what team basketball is about," Richardson-Smith said.

The Pirates defense held the Blue Demons to 9-of-36 (25 percent) from three-point range and coach Anthony Bozzella gave credit to the effort from the opening tip.

"I thought the defensive intensity we came out with was tremendous," Bozzella said. "We really played together well on the offensive and especially the defensive end."

In the paint, Seton Hall outpaced DePaul 44-24 and Bozzella gave credit to his team for dictating the tempo.

"By having such a large margin in the paint, it forced DePaul outside the paint and the kids deserve all of the credit for that," Bozzella said.

On top of being outscored by 20 down low, DePaul also faced a 20-point deficit with 6:07 left in the second quarter and got as close as three, but could never get over the hump.

"[Seton Hall] was more ready to play at the start and when you dig yourself a 20-point hole, you expend a lot of energy to get back into the game and it was hard for us to get over the hump," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said.

DePaul forward Megan Podkowa played the majority of the game in foul trouble and finished with nine points, on 2-of-7 shooting.

Bruno believed Podkowa's foul issues were not the telling sign of the overall result.

"It had more to do with our shot selection early, where we didn't attack at the basket until the last bucket we made in the first quarter," Bruno said. 

Richardson-Smith admitted that Podkowa's foul trouble put DePaul in a precarious position in the first quarter.

"I think we did a great job of getting her in foul trouble and it forced DePaul to play players out of position," Richardson-Smith said.

Aleesha Powell scored 18 of her game-high 24 points in the first half and finished 5-for-5 from long range.

Chanise Jenkins led DePaul in scoring with 21, while Jessica January chipped in with 17 points and a game-high eight assists in a losing effort.


Game Recap:


Both teams exchanged baskets in the first couple of minutes, until Seton Hall went on a 16-2 run to end the first quarter to take commanding 21-6 lead on DePaul.   

The Pirates' dominance showed in the opening stanza as they went 8-of-16 from the field, compared to the Blue Demons' 3-of-17.

The second quarter started like the end of the first as Seton Hall's lead would expand to 33-13 before DePaul countered with a 15-2 run in the final 5:54 to close the half down seven points.

A pair of free throws from Jacqui Grant pulled DePaul to 48-45 with 2:04 left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter saw the Pirates pull away as the Blue Demons settled for more perimeter looks as opposed to going after the basket. Seton Hall's lead increased to as many as 13 as it would hang on for a nine-point win and split the regular-season series from DePaul.



Looking Ahead:


Both teams are back in action on Jan. 31, as DePaul hosts St. John's for a Noon tip on FS2, while Seton Hall travels to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette at 2 p.m. on the Fox Sports Go App online.


Social Media:


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Genotology for Jan. 29, 2016

                               Photo Credit: Andrew Mascharka



Here is the latest mock bracket with a ton of shake-ups and surprises:



KEY:

* New entry in the field

> UP

< DOWN





SOUTH (LOUISVILLE):





WEST (ANAHEIM):





 EAST (PHILADELPHIA):




MIDWEST (CHICAGO):




Conference Breakdown:


Pac-12: 6

ACC: 9

Big Ten: 6

Big East: 6
Big 12: 6
SEC: 5

American: 2

Atlantic 10: 2

WCC: 2




LAST FOUR IN:


Florida
Syracuse
Georgetown
Texas



FIRST FOUR OUT:



George Washington

Florida State

Ohio State


UCLA





Social Media:





Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

UIC press conference vs Youngstown State



After Illinois-Chicago's 82-78 loss against Youngstown State, coach Steve McClain addressed the media.








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No. 7 Xavier looks to keep the momentum going at DePaul







For the No. 7 Xavier Musketeers, the train continues to run on time as a 75-68 road win at the Providence Friars on Jan. 26 put their discipline to the test.

Redshirt freshman Edmond Sumner tied a career-low one point and missed all nine field goal attempts with Providence phenom Kris Dunn as the primary assignment.

Xavier coach Chris Mack knows Sumner can put the performance behind him as he will be needed in Saturday's game at DePaul after missing the first meeting due to a head injury sustained at Villanova on Dec. 31.

"Edmond's been really good all season long and when you play against arguably the best point guard in the country in Dunn and like every freshman in the country, you go through games where you learn from things positively and negatively," Mack said in Thursday's BIG EAST teleconference. "I have no doubt that Edmund will be ready for DePaul on Saturday."

Even with Sumner playing, DePaul coach Dave Leitao knows the Musketeers have multiple players who can penetrate on offense and rebound on defense.

"It's just one more piece to a pretty complete puzzle Xavier has," Leitao said. 

"One of things that makes them so good at this point is the balance and Sumner, as a redshirt freshman has been one of the key cogs in their success. If we spend a limited number of time preparing only for him, then Trevon Bluiett can get us, along with [Jalen] Reynolds down low and [James] Farr."

Farr, who was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Jan. 25, leads the Musketeers in rebounding with 9.1 per game and ranks third in the conference in that category.

Mack believes the bigger role for Farr this season has helped him to grow into more of an impact player.

"Confidence, as they say is everything and as the season has moved along, James has continued to gain more by each game," Mack said. 

"Not only he knows that he belongs, but feels like he is the best player on the floor. James being able to play close to the basket has allowed him to play really well early in the season and make an impact in each game."

DePaul's achilles heel for most of the season has been its unforced errors on offense with 12.6 turnovers per game, which ties for second in the BIG EAST Conference.

Leitao knows the Blue Demons must avoid as many mistakes on offense as possible in order to have an opportunity to upset the Musketeers.

"Unforced turnovers, just like in a tennis match is something you look back upon and becomes one of the controllable items and we have not done a great job of giving ourselves a chance," Leitao said.

"When you play a top 10 team, whether at home or on the road, you have an expectation that you will give yourself a fighting chance to be there at the end and have quality possessions and give teams over the course of the game easy baskets."




Game Planner:

No. 7 Xavier at DePaul

Time: Saturday, 1 p.m. CT

TV: CBS Sports Network




Social Media:



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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Johnson's 25 points and six assists leads Milwaukee past Detroit


                                    Photo Credit: Geno Green



Going from 0 to 100 miles per hour in a matter of seconds is a rare trait to find in a point guard.

Enter Jordan Johnson.

Johnson's career-high 25 points led the Milwaukee Panthers (14-6, 5-2 Horizon) to an 83-80 win over the Detroit Titans (9-9, 3-4 Horizon) on Saturday afternoon at the UWM Panther Arena.

A bigger takeaway turned out be Johnson's game-high six assists and how Panthers coach Rob Jeter complimented his speed and ability to catch opponents looking far away.

"I have said over and over again how he can go from a couple of miles per hour, to 55 in a second and catch defenses off-guard is amazing," Jeter said.

Matt Tiby added 14 points, on 5-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds for the Panthers.

Despite some first half struggles, UDM's Paris Bass finished with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field.

Bass came into Saturday's game as the second leading scorer in the Horizon League with 19.0 PPG. The first 20 minutes were the opposite with two points, on 1-of-4 shooting.

Chris Jenkins made up for Bass's lack of offensive production in the early stages, finishing with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-8 free throws and four makes from long range.


Game Recap:


The Titans struggled with their ability to make shots going 2-for-10 in the first 4:11 of the game.

Milwaukee could not take advantage in that stretch as the game stayed within reach at 9-6.

The shooting touch found its way back into Milwaukee's lap as its lead grew to 20-11 with 10:34 left in the first half.

As time wore on in the half, so did the Panthers' shooting as they went 9:39 without converting a field goal.

Detroit's offense woke up during that period by going on a 14-2 run to take a 25-22 lead and would carry the momentum into the half with a 37-31 advantage.

With UDM up six to start the second 20 minutes, Milwaukee opened the half on a 10-4 run and Jeter believed the fast start helped build momentum in the second half.

"We re-empahsized a few things at the half and thought we did a good job in the first five minutes," Jeter said.

The majority of the second half would see both teams exchanging leads until the final minute of play when Milwaukee led 77-73 and Bass missed for of five free throws in a 24-second stretch. 

Things became intense with 29 seconds left in the game as Josh McFolley was assessed a technical foul and Titans coach Ray McCallum believed he had a right to be angry.

"[Josh] thought he got a blow to the eye and from my viewpoint, it should have been a technical the other way," McCallum said.

Six seconds later and with Milwaukee clinging to a 79-75 lead, McFolley's emotions boiled over and exchanged words with Johnson.

Double technicals were assessed, but McFolley picked up his second and would be ejected from the game.

Johnson admitted to losing his cool, but knows the responsibility boils down to keeping calm and making sure his teammates do the same.

"I have to calm everyone down and make sure I do my best to keep control," Johnson said.

Despite a three-point make by Jarod Williams as time expired, Detroit's best efforts to hang around fell short as Milwaukee came away victorious.


Looking Ahead:

Both teams return to action on Jan. 25, as Detroit travels to Green Bay, while Milwaukee hosts the conference's leading scorer Kay Felder and Oakland.

Jeter knows what Felder can bring as the leading scorer in the conference at 25.5 points per game and will look at the film in advance.

"We know we have our hands full playing against one of the best guards in the country and once I watch film tonight and tomorrow, we will get a feel for how to control him," Jeter said.

Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. for both games.


Social Media:


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Detroit/Milwaukee press conferences



After Milwaukee's 83-80 win over Detroit on Saturday afternoon, both coaches and Panthers guard Jordan Johnson addressed the media.


Detroit coach Ray McCallum:






Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter and guard Jordan Johnson:





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January's all-around game leads No. 24 DePaul past Creighton


Photo Credit: Geno Green



The first month of each year represents January, but on a Friday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, IL., Jessica January took the spotlight and ran with the material.

January's 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting highlighted the No. 24 DePaul Blue Demons' (15-6, 7-1 BIG EAST) 81-63 win over the Creighton Blue Jays (10-10, 4-4 BIG EAST).

Scoring was not the only department where January made an impact as assists and rebounds accounted for seven apiece.

One played which showcased January's all-around play was in the midway portion of the second quarter with a dazzling pass, 70-feet out to a dashing Megan Podkowa for the swift layup to go ahead 33-18.

January admitted that tempo still needs work, but the effort against Creighton is a good first step.

"We haven't been the best with our running game and I am glad Megan went out on the run to catch the pass because I was so happy," January said.

Podkowa finished with 16 points, on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with two blocks, but credits the effort to her teammates for being unselfish.

"I feel like I say this a lot, but my teammates were getting me the ball and it made things easier," Podkowa said.

Chanise Jenkins and Mart'e Grays added 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Blue Demons.

Creighton's lone bright spot was Audrey Faber with game-highs in points (17) and rebounds (8).


Game Recap:


Both teams exchanged leads for the better part of the first minutes until DePaul's 13-0 run spanning from the first to the second quarters put them ahead 25-14.

Podkowa's layup to highlight the run ended the first quarter with DePaul ahead 16-14.

Blue Demons coach Doug Bruno stressed continuous improvement with taking shots late in the shot clock.

"I thought it was a great shot and it's something we have been trying to manage with executing at the end of shot clocks," Bruno said. "That's the fun of having four quarters because you get to deal with this scenario potentially four times."


Creighton's Faber ended the run with a layup, but DePaul would counter and balloon its lead to 47-25 at halftime.

The Blue Demons led by as many as 29 points in the second half as they picked up their third straight win.



Looking Ahead:


DePaul returns to McGrath-Phillips arena on Jan. 24, as Providence  comes calling, while Creighton travels to Milwaukee to take on Marquette. 

Both games tip off at 2 p.m.



Social Media:


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Friday, January 22, 2016

DePaul press conference vs Creighton




After an 81-63 win over Creighton Friday night, DePaul coach Doug Bruno, along with forward Megan Podkowa and guard Jessica January addressed the media.





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Monday, January 18, 2016

Genotology for Jan. 18, 2016


                            Photo Credit: Andrew Mascharka


Here is the latest mock bracket with a ton of shake-ups and surprises:

NOTE: SMU is 17-0, but ineligible for this season's NCAA Tournament.


KEY:

* New entry in the field

> UP

< DOWN


SOUTH (LOUISVILLE):




WEST (ANAHEIM):



EAST (PHILADELPHIA):


                                               

MIDWEST (CHICAGO):


                                                 


Conference Breakdown:


Pac-12: 8

ACC: 8

Big Ten: 6

Big East: 6

SEC: 5

Big 12: 5

American: 2

Atlantic 10: 2

WCC: 2




LAST FOUR IN:



Boise State


Michigan

UCLA

Florida State



FIRST FOUR OUT:



Creighton


Syracuse

Ohio State


Houston





Social Media:





Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

The science behind Isaiah Zierden's 31-point performance at DePaul


                                 Photo Credit: Geno Green


On a chilly, frozen Sunday outside in Rosemont, Ill., the sound of a dribbling basketball heated things up inside the Allstate Arena as the Creighton Blue Jays found themselves on opposite ends of an 11-point swing.

Behind Isaiah Zierden's career-high 31 points, on 8-of-11 from three-point range, Creighton (13-6 overall, 4-2 BIG EAST) defeated DePaul (6-12 overall, 0-6 BIG EAST), 91-80 on Jan. 17.

Even with the win, Creighton overcame an early deficit as an 11-0 DePaul spanned over the first 4:28 of the game, behind superb defensive rebounding and timely long-range makes.

"We stuck with it even being down early and fought back," Zierden said. "We lost our last game at Providence and to come on the road to get a win is a big thing."

Things looked even bleaker after Tommy Hamilton's triple from the wing to put DePaul ahead 16-4, but it would be Zierden's response from long range that began to swing the momentum towards Creighton.

Zierden would make another three-pointer as it contributed to an 11-0 Blue Jays run to make it 18-18.

At the 3:42 mark in the first half with both teams playing at high pace and exchanging leads, Hamilton's technical foul for slamming the ball on the hardwood would prove to be the game-changer for Creighton.

Clinging to a 37-36 lead over DePaul, Zierden would be the blue Jay who would go to the foul line. After making the two technical foul shots, Zierden went back to the line from Hamilton's original foul and made the first free throw.

The second attempt rimmed out, but somehow the ball landed back into Zierden's lap and would step back to convert another three-pointer to cap off a six-point possession.

Zierden's six points proved to be the difference as Creighton went into halftime ahead 47-41 on DePaul.

In the early portion of the second half, Creighton found itself back in a dead heat with DePaul at 50-50.

Once more, Zierden came to the rescue.

Zierden went on his own 9-2 run on the Blue Demons—all on long-range makes with open looks in transition.

"I mean, it is kind of how it goes sometimes," Zierden said. "[DePaul] lost me in transition and I was trying to find the open spot and my teammates did a great job of finding me and I let the ball go."

The run proved to be the difference this time as DePaul would get no closer than 78-75 with 2:14 left in regulation. Creighton would close the game on a 13-5 run, but Zierden's key spurts from long-range made the biggest impact in the win.

Another ranked opponent comes calling to the CenturyLink Center  on Jan. 23 as No. 18 Butler will be on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Zierden knows the 50-48 loss to Providence on Jan. 13 serves as motivation.

"We have to learn from that Providence loss and Butler is a great team and we want to be able to protect our home floor and do what we can to get a home win," Zierden said.


Social Media:



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Sunday, January 17, 2016

VIDEO- DePaul press conferences vs Creighton


After DePaul's 91-80 loss to Creighton on Sunday afternoon, coach Dave Leitao and forward Myke Henry addressed the media.



Dave Leitao:





Myke Henry:







Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

EXCLUSIVE- Creighton guard Isaiah Zierden and coach Greg McDermott



After defeating DePaul 91-80 at the Allstate Arena on Sunday afternoon, Creighton guard Isaiah Zierden and coach Greg McDermott talked exclusively to College Sports Overload post game.


Isaiah Zierden:





Greg McDermott:





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Friday, January 15, 2016

VIDEO- UIC press conferences vs Green Bay



                                     Photo Credit: Geno Green


After UIC's 78-76 loss at home to Green Bay on Jan. 14, UIC forwards Jake Wiegand, Tai Odiase and coach Steve McClain addressed the media.



Jake Wiegand and Tai Odiase:






Steve McClain:






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Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Geno Green Podcast- Joe Cox






On this edition of The Geno Green Podcast, Joe Cox comes on to talk about his book, The Kentucky Wildcats Fans' Bucket List, co-authored with Ryan Clark.







Social Media:


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Monday, January 11, 2016

Genotology for Jan. 11, 2016

                                        Photo Credit: Andrew Mascharka


Here is the latest mock bracket with a ton of shake-ups and surprises:

NOTE: SMU is 15-0, but ineligible for this season's NCAA Tournament.

KEY:

* New entry in the field

> UP

< DOWN


SOUTH (LOUISVILLE):


WEST (ANAHEIM):



EAST (PHILADELPHIA):


WEST (CHICAGO):




Conference Breakdown:


Pac-12: 9

ACC: 6

Big Ten: 6

Big East: 6

SEC: 5

Big 12: 5

American: 3

Atlantic 10: 2

WCC: 2

MAAC: 2


LAST FOUR IN:

Monmouth


Ohio State

Houston

Marquette


FIRST FOUR OUT:

Notre Dame

Creighton


Seton Hall


Syracuse






Social Media:




Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Coyer's 25 points pushes Villanova past No. 24 DePaul, 64-60


                                           Photo Credit: Geno Green



With one lead change after another in the third quarter, Villanova's leading scorer Caroline Coyer emerged with her brisk shooting.

18 of Coyer's game-high 25 points came in the second half as the Villanova Wildcats (10-6, 4-2 BIG EAST) knocked off the No. 24 DePaul Blue Demons (12-6, 4-1 BIG EAST), 64-60 at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Ill on Sunday afternoon.

Even with all of the production on offense, the play which lifted the Wildcats turned out to be an assist from Coyer to a cutting Samantha Wilkes for a layup with 1:25 left in the game to increase their lead to 57-50 on the Blue Demons.

Coyer possessed the ball and looked to make a move towards the rim, but a double team occurred and knew a split-second decision needed to be made.

"We went over that type of play in the last few days of practice and [doubling up] is something that a lot of teams have been doing this year," Coyer said. 

"We haven't executed that well and it was like deja vu when the play happened and we knew how to this. Once we did it and [Samantha] drove to the basket and scored, it was the epitome of how our team has come together."

DePaul coach Doug Bruno came into the game with an aggressive game plan geared towards Coyer, but shot after shot kept draining through the bucket.

"We just didn't have an answer for Coyer," Bruno said. "Our defensive game plan was really solid. I know it doesn't look like that when one player goes off like she did."

At 10-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play, Villanova coach Harry Perretta recognized the significance of the win against a nationally-ranked DePaul team.

"The win is great because it puts us back in the [conference] race," Perretta said. "If we lost this game, then we would have been in trouble at 9-7, but now we are 10-6, with a top 25 win under our belt."

Villanova's Alex Louin added 13 points, on 4-of-8 shooting in a team-high 37 minutes, while DePaul's Chanise Jenkins led the team with 19, on 6-of-21 from the field.


Game Recap:


Villanova opened the game on a 7-2 run, highlighted by Louin scoring the first five. Its lead would increase to as many as eight using a series of baskets in the paint.

Behind 16-8, DePaul countered with a 6-0 run of its own behind four straight points from Ashton Millender.

Jordan Dillard added a layup in the closing seconds of the first quarter to give Villanova an 18-14 advantage over DePaul.

Villanova controlled the lead and tempo for the majority of the second quarter, but the end of the session saw DePaul's Jessica January deliver a layup to take the lead at 27-26.

Moments later, Louin countered with a jump shot with 22 seconds left and defensive contact surrounding her as the Wildcats went into halftime with a 28-27 lead on the Blue Demons.

The third quarter witnessed ten lead changes between the two teams as Coyer led Villanova's offense with eight points and clung to a 43-41 lead after 30 minutes.

Coyer realized the importance of maintaining the lead and not letting the game to continue to go back and forth.

"You know a team like DePaul can turn it on at any given point and next thing you know, you are down 15," Coyer said. "Our level of awareness was so high and we knew we were still in the game if we could sustain the nip and tuck exchange."

Despite a last-second rally from DePaul, it would get no closer than 63-60, on a three-point make from Jenkins with 10 seconds left.

Villanova added a late free throw make from Katherine Coyer and walked off the floor, back in the BIG EAST conference race and plenty to still play for in terms of a potential at-large bid to the Women's NCAA Tournament.



Looking Ahead:

Both teams return to action on Jan. 15, as Villanova hosts Seton Hall and DePaul heads on the road, to take on Butler. 

Each game tips off at 6 p.m. and can be seen on the BIG EAST Digital Network and FS1, respectively.


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VIDEO- Villanova guard Caroline Coyer and coach Harry Perretta discuss Villanova's 64-60 win over DePaul


                                      Photo Credit: Geno Green


After Villanova's 64-60 upset on the road at DePaul on Sunday afternoon, guard Caroline Coyer and coach Harry Perretta talked to me exclusively about the gameplay that led to the win.


Caroline Coyer:





Harry Perretta:





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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.