NCAA Talk

Blue Demons rout James Madison in NCAA Tournament opener

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Blue Demons rout James Madison in NCAA Tournament opener

DePaul used hot three-point shooting to rout James Madison.

The Blue Demons made 11 three-pointers to rout the 11th-seeded Dukes, 97-67, on Friday in the first round of the NCAA women's Tournament.

Jessica January led sixth-seeded DePaul with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Jacqui Grant added 15 points and nine rebounds. The Blue Demons shot an impressive 52 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 21) and 54 percent from the field (37 of 69).

DePaul (26-8) made 8-of-13 first-half threes and shot 22-of-36 (61 percent) from the field to lead 55-30 at the break. They were season highs for both points and field goal percentage in the first 20 minutes.

"I think everyone came out so focused," guard Chanise Jenkins said. "We were energized and competitive."

Ashley Perez led James Madison (27-6) with 20 points and Jazmon Gwathmey added 19. The loss ended a 20-game winning streak for the Dukes.

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James Madison entered the game leading the nation in 3-point field goal defense (23 percent).

A slow start doomed the Dukes, who hit just 4-of-18 shots in the opening quarter. DePaul used a 10-0 run in less than two minutes to take a 15-6 lead midway through the first quarter and led 27-14 after one quarter.

DePaul's eighth three-pointer capped a 9-0 run in less than two minutes that gave the Blue Demons their biggest first-half lead at 28 with 2:15 left. They made four threes in each of the first two quarters as six players connected from behind the arc.

"The system is fantastic," James Madison coach Kenny Brooks said of DePaul. "It reminds me a lot of like the LA Clippers. They set a lot of ball screens and you're one or two seconds behind and they were throwing it up. It's really hard. You pick your poison what you want to take away."

DePaul stretched their lead in the second half, with a layup from Jenkins, the Big East player of the year, extending the advantage to 35 at 8:01 left.

TIP-INS

DePaul: The Blue Demons entered as the nation's seventh-best scoring team at 81 points a game. Their previous high for first-half points (54) and field goal shooting (60 percent) this year was against Providence on Jan. 24. This is DePaul's 14th straight NCAA appearance and the team has reached the second round in six of the last seven seasons.

James Madison: The Dukes shot 31 percent (22 of 72).  DePaul's 55 points in the first half tied for the most points JMU gave up this season. Colonial Athletic Association freshman of the year Kayla Cooper-Williams added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

FOUNDATION OF SHARING

DePaul had 24 assists on 37 field goals, better than their 21 per game average.

"I think it's the foundation, the essence of what basketball is all about: sharing and sharing and sharing," Doug Bruno said. "It's really the only offensive goal we have is to lead the nation in assists."

The Blue Demons rank second behind only top-ranked Connecticut in assists per game.

EMOTIONAL EXIT

Gwathmey, the CAA's player of the year, fouled out with 5:48 left in the game. She left the game in tears, consoled on the sideline by her coach.

"To go out with these girls, I couldn't ask for a better team to go out on," said the senior who averaged more than 20 points a game.

UP NEXT

DePaul: Plays winner of Louisville-Central Arkansas on Sunday.

James Madison: Season over.

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

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USA TODAY

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."

A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."

The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17. 

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

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USA TODAY

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.

But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.

“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.

"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”

Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.

Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.

Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?

Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.

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