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Last Scholarship Player Standing Wins

Contrary to reports, tonight's Syracuse-DePaul game is not being postponed in honor of the $115 dollars that were thoughtlessly lost in the tragic events of January 13th.

When the Blue Demons and Orange tip-off tonight, there will only be fourteen active scholarship players available to step on the court. DePaul is without forward Mario Stula and 7-2 center Kene Obi, who both redshirted after some academic clearance issues.. Freshman guard Mike Bizoukas has mononucleosis, which, I can tell you from experience is not fun. Finally, sophomore forward Thijin Moses was dismissed from the team earlier this year. They could have been without center Matija Poscic as well but he looks set to return from a back injury.

Of those Blue Demons left standing, senior guard Draelon Burns is the force to be reckoned with, averaging 18.0 points per game. Freshman guard Dar Tucker has provided much off the bench (13.3 ppg.) and freshman center Mac Koshwal has emerged in his rookie campaign, scoring 11.5 and grabbing 8 boards per game.

The Orange are winless on the road in the Big East (0-3, 4-34-4 overall) and tonight should be a challenge as well. The Blue Demons are by no means Teflon at home though, having dropped four games there so far, one in Big East play. The Demons are however one of the more dangerous 9-10 teams out there with a deceiving overall record that doesn't do justice to their injuries and missed players.

If the Orange are going to gut out a road conference win, this is the place to do it. Providence and Rutgers played the Demons close in their losses so the Orange should be in this game. I'm going to remain hopeful that they can pull it together, not run out of gas too early and win a real statement game that puts the Orange back on the bubble.

Prediction: Syracuse 78, DePaul 75

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