DePaul presents challenges for Cats

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Not only do the DePaul Blue Demons have the ability to create turnovers, but their offense will create headaches as well.

By Chris Gundrum

The Bearcats will look to improve their record to 16-7 tonight when they face DePaul, but that's a task that could be easier said than done.

In fact, this one could come down to the last shot.

"Everyone knows that it's not going to be an easy game because they're a BIG EAST team and they play hard," said Sean Kilpatrick. "I mean you've got to actually play the whole 40 minutes."

One reason tonight's game will be a challenge for the Bearcats is DePaul's defense.

"We know they're a defensive team," said Kilpatrick. "They grab a lot of steals in the press that they have."

A team that can create a lot of turnovers is exactly the type of team the Bearcats aren't interested in facing right now.

That's a department they've struggled with a lot lately.

"The last two games we've had trouble with turnovers," said Mick Cronin. "It's been a big problem for us the last two games."

Not only will turnovers be a factor for the Bearcats, but their ability to corral DePaul's explosive offense will too.

"They can score I'll tell you that," said Cronin. "From an x's and o's standpoint, you've got to score to beat DePaul. They average 75 a game which means some games they get 80."

The driving force behind DePaul's offense is Cleveland Melvin. He averages 18 points per game.

But it's not just the fact that Melvin can score that impresses Cronin, it's the way he does it.

"And the tough thing about Cleveland Melvin is he makes tough shots," said Cronin. "When he is averaging 18 points a game and everybody has him on top of their scouting report as a guy to stop, and he still gets it every night, that tells you how hard he can be to stop. And it's because he doesn't need layups or wide open shots."

It's clear the Bearcats will need every minute of this one to get the W.

But they've been working hard in practice and believe they can win.

"We should be alright," said Kilpatrick. "We've been working on the little things they do in practice and we've been executing against it so we should be alright."

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