January 26, 2007

This and That: DePaul

As a companion to our traditional game coverage, HoyaReport.com offers This and That - a collection of observations and happenings during the game.

Home Sweet Home: Three consecutive road games seemed to have not only the Hoyas, but also their fans, happy to be in the confines of Verizon Center Wednesday. The emotion in the gym was palpable.

"The fans were a big part of the game" Jonathan Wallace said. "Coming back to that home court advantage helps you out a lot. And them being there in our ear and the visiting team's ear helps."

Nowhere was that support more evident than after DaJuan Summers dunked the ball with 9:19 to go in the game, and blocked a shot 15 seconds later.

Coach John Thompson III said, "There's no doubt about that, especially when you are coming off three tough road games in a row. I don't know the exact term, but this is the first home game we've had where the students were back. They make a difference; we definitely feed off them."

Smaller gets it poppin': With little over half a quarter to play and the Hoyas enjoying a slim 45-41 lead, Thompson decided to field a small lineup - a relative term given a frontline still boasting heights of 6'9", 6'6", and 6"8 - by inserting Patrick Ewing for the 7'2" Roy Hibbert.

"That is true," said Thompson, addressing the switch the started his team's 19-6 run. "I just thought that one, Roy was getting tired. And two, I wanted to go with a smaller, faster team, just to try and guard their motion and movement."

"They do a good job of keeping you off balance. It's hard to play help defense because of their motion one, and two, just because of their players. Everyone can make the shot and everyone can take you off the dribble. Then you start jumping to the ball too much and everyone starts making those shots.

"I thought we just wanted to go to a little smaller, and hopefully guard them a little better. We did okay."

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