DePaul Blue Demons hosting Preseason WNIT this weekend

DePaul Blue Demons hosting Preseason WNIT this weekend
Coach Doug Bruno makes a last cut as the Lady Blue Demons are crowned 2014 Big East Champions, the first of two consecutive Big East championships

One of the most under-reported and under-appreciated stories in Chicago sports is the continued excellence of DePaul’s women’s basketball team, coached by NCAA basketball legend Doug Bruno, who’s now entering his 30th season as coach of the Lady DePaul Blue Demons.

Let’s take a look at their record, shall we? Consider these accomplishments:

  • NCAA Tournament picks for 13 consecutive years
  • Big East regular season and tournament champions
  • Ranked No. 22 in the Preseason USA Today/Coaches Poll
  • Picked as the favorite to win the Big East Conference for the third consecutive season
  • Bruno enters this season with 587 collegiate victories and leading the Blue Demons to 20 NCAA Tournaments.

Seniors Megan Podkowa and Chanise Jenkins were each unanimous Preseason All-Big East selections.

The Blue Demons are returning three starters, including Podkowa and Jenkins. Behind Division I’s second highest scoring offense (86.0 points per game) the Blue Demons reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Podkowa, Jenkins, and junior Jessica January will be on hand as DePaul hosts a Preseason WNIT to open the 2015-16 season. Friday, they face Southern Illinois at McGrath-Phillips Arena, and will face Sienna or St. Bonaventure in the tournament’s second round at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Coach Bruno recently spoke with me about his hopes for this season. He’s looking for big help from the bench this season to continue their streak.

Who will replace Brittany Hrynko as the leading scorer for the DePaul Blue Demons? Coach Doug Bruno is hoping for Megan Podkowa, Jessica January and Chanisse Jenkins to step up

Who will replace Brittany Hrynko as the leading scorer for the DePaul Blue Demons? Coach Doug Bruno is hoping for Megan Podkowa, Jessica January and Chanisse Jenkins to step up

In  two exhibition games, the Blue Demons outscored their opponents 222-131.  DePaul topped Saint Xavier 135-64 and Lewis 87-67.  January led the Blue Demons in scoring – recording 23 points against Saint Xavier and 26 versus Lewis. She added 6.0 assists and 5.5 steals in DePaul’s two wins.

DePaul is 31-10 all-time in its season opener and has won seven of its last eight.

Friday’s game will be carried live on DePaul’s BlueTube with Dave Bernhard and Trish Babcock McGraw calling the action courtside. GameTracker is also available while in-game news and scoring updates can be followed on Twitter — @DePaulAthletics and @DePaulWBBSID.

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