By Sean Kennedy
8:00 PM: Villanova (21-2, 9-1 Big East) @ DePaul (10-14, 2-9 Big East) – Fox Sports 1
Riding a 5-game winning streak and back to #6 in the nation, Villanova heads to the Windy City to face a freefalling DePaul club. The Wildcats crushed the Blue Demons by 26 points last month at the Pavilion, shooting 55% from the field and having 5 players in double figures. That game marked the beginning of the current 6-game losing streak for DePaul, with only one of those losses even as close as single digits.
Of course, the big news from the Blue Demons’ camp is Monday’s announcement that star player Cleveland Melvin is no longer enrolled at the school. The senior forward has been suspended the last 4 games for an unspecified violation of team rules, but apparently whatever transgression he committed required a more serious punishment. DePaul has understandably gone 0-4 without Melvin in the lineup, as any team would struggle without the team leader in points (16.7), rebounds (6.4), and blocks (1.6). In his absence, even more of the scoring burden has fallen on the shoulders of senior guard Brandon Young. Young has averaged 16.5 points over the last 4 games, but shot just 36% from the field in doing so. The Wildcats are tearing through the Big East right now and a struggling DePaul club ensconced in turmoil should provide little opposition for them.