Hot Shooting St. John’s Sweeps Cold Shooting DePaul

This is going to be a short post.  There will be no video highlights.  There will be no “good job by you” section.  DePaul blew it.  With all the momentum in the word, with a hungry fan base being reawakened, with national media paying attention, DePaul has blown it by losing 6 of their first 7 Big East games.  Could they rebound and win 7 or the final 11 games?  It’s possible, but unlikely because they have lost the ability to hit from 3 point range, while also losing the ability to stop their opponent from hitting from distance.

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Throw This Game, and The Conference Season in the Toilet

Quick Recap of the Game

The path to success in this game was laid out in the pregame post, limit turnovers, rebound to a draw, shoot 30% from 3 and hold the Johnnies to under 35% from 3.

Limit Turnovers?  DePaul did great!  They had 3 less Turnovers than the Red Storm!

Rebound to a Draw?  Yes!  The Demons had one more than St. John’s!

I’m loving it, tell me more.  So the Demons Only had to shoot 30% from 3 Point Land and have the Red Storm shoot under 35%?  I like our chances.

From 3, St. John’s shot 40.6% and DePaul shot 16%, and there goes the Conference season.

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When your crappy shooting opponent shoots 40% from 3 and you shoot 16%

DePaul Struggled in the first half but went to the half tied.  LJ Figueroa of St. John’s killed the Demons going 5-9 from 3 point range almost single-handedly keeping the Red Storm in the game.  After starting 2-6 from 3 point land, The Demons went 1 for their next 7 in the half to end 3-13 (23%) from 3.  Charlie Moore had 5 assists and zero turnovers. No one player shot particularly well.

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DePaul’s plan was to throw it inside and overpower the Red Storm.  This sounded great on paper, but it seemed like any time the Demons received the ball, the ball was being slapped or bumped, and the close shots ended up not being easy buckets.  From inside the arc, DePaul was 9-17 (53.%) in the half.  The Johnnies were 3-9 (33.3%) from 2, and 32% from 3, making 7 key 3 pointers.  This illustrates 3 point math.  DePaul had 18 points from 2 on 53% shooting, St. John’s had 21 points from 3 on 32% shooting.  It’s crazy!  3 is greater than 2!

The 2nd Half

Mustapha Heron started the half with a 3 pointer and began warming up.  With 17:18 left, Paul Reed hit 1 of 2 free-throws to put DePaul up for the last time in the game.  A 3 and a half minute drought by DePaul signaled their doom.  The Johnnies hit 2 layups and 2 three pointers to go up 9.

It took until 6:51 for DePaul to get back within 3.  After a couple of near steals and immediate turning the ball back over, the wheels fell off.   A dunk, a jumper, and a back breaking 3 pointer brought the score to 63-55, and the game never really felt in doubt again.  Ultimately, DePaul lost by 13.  DePaul managed to go 7-23 (30.4%) from 2 and 1-12 (8.33%) from 3 in the 2nd half.  Unbelievable.

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Blue Demons Host St. John’s: Vincentian Throw Down II

DePaul Looks to Split the Season Series

On January 11th, DePaul travelled to New York to play St. John’s.  In a hotly contested game, the Red Storm prevailed after DePaul’s Jalen Coleman-Lands failed to connect on 2 of 3 free throws that would have narrowed the gap to 2 points.  After St. John’s knocked down several free-throws, DePaul ultimately lost by 7.

 

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Creighton Extends the Streak to Eleven Against DePaul

Poor 3 Point Shooting Dooms the Blue Demons

The three game gauntlet against Villanova, Butler, and Creighton, teams that had beaten DePaul a combined 40 times, is over.  However, two of the long streaks are still alive.  A diminished Blue Demon squad, missing starter Jaylen Butz, and sixth man, Devin Gage, succumbed to Creighton’s 3 point shooting in the second half.

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18.75% from 3 will make a Demon Cry

The Blue Demons took an early lead on Nick Ongenda’s dunk.  It was the only lead of the night for DePaul.  At the ten minute mark of the 1st half, the Bluejays had taken a comfortable 8 point lead on Denzel Mahoney’s 3 point shot.  The Demons stayed within striking distance keeping the deficit under 10 for the remainder of the half, and closed the half being down only 3.

This writer was ecstatic to only be down 4, because the Demons did not look right.

In my preview, I thought that Romeo Weems would draw Creighton sharpshooter, Mitch Ballock, but he ended up on point guard Marcus Zegarowski.  In general, Weems disrupted him and kept him to having an average night with 9 points, 10 assists, and 3 turnovers.

Ballock did turn into an issue as the night went on going 5 for 11 from 3 point land, ending up with 19 points.  It was the supporting cast of Creighton that did the damage.  Five Bluejays scored in double figures.  As a team, the Bluejays shot 40% from deep going 10-25.

If you watch the makes below, Ballock really had only 2 open shots.  The guy is a shot maker.

DePaul made three 3 pointers in the game, all by Jalen Coleman-Lands, who went 3-7 on the game, but that was it.  The rest of the team went 0-9.  As a team, the Demons shot 3-16 or 18.75%, which was a season low.  Simple math explained the whole game in one tweet.

If your opponent averaged 1.2 points per possession on possessions that ended in a 3-point shot, and your team averaged .56 points per possession in which you shot a 3-pointer and your opponent took 9 more 3 point shots?  You are going to lose.  The end.

It didn’t help that when Creighton wasn’t shooting 3’s they made 53.5% of their 2 point shots (1.07PPP), while DePaul made 51% (1.07PPP).

Always remember boys and girls, 3 is greater than 2, and when you have an elite group of shooters who take a ton of 3s, you are going to come out ahead a lot of the time.

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Blue Demons Try to End 10 Game Losing Streak to Creighton

Coming off of the massacre of the Butler Bulldogs, ending an eleven game losing streak to the boys from Indianapolis, DePaul tries to end a ten game losing streak to the Creighton Bluejays.  This will be the third game in a row against teams that the Demons had a combined 40 game losing streak.  At least now, DePaul have snuffed out one of them.  This game could put the Blue Demons right back on track to relevance in the Conference standings and NCAA Net ratings.

The last time, and only time, that DePaul beat the Blue Jays in Big East play was when Forrest Robinson, with lighting bolts shooting out of his fingers, made 5 three pointers in the first 5 minutes of the game and made 6 three pointers on the night at Omaha on January 7th, 2015.

Forrest Robinson Murdered The Blue Jays in January 2015

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DePaul Puts a Leash on 5th Ranked Butler

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Lead by Paul Reed’s 23 points and 9 rebounds, the DePaul Blue Demons dominated 5th ranked Butler, ending an eleven game losing streak to the Bulldogs.  The game felt like DePaul was in control throughout, with the exception of a few minutes at the end of the first half, when Reed picked up his 2nd foul with 6:05 to go.  Butler went on a 12-2 run to close the gap to 4 points with 2:17 left.  For the first time in a long time, Win Probability favored the Bulldogs.

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The Demons responded with their own 6-0 run to get back ahead by 10.  With 16 seconds left in the half, Butler’s Jordan Tucker hit a 3 pointer to get the game back to 7.  Tucker thought he had silenced the DePaul side of the crowd.  Well guess what?  Romeo Weems decided to ignite the crowd again.  Weems ended the half with an exclamation point, 3 pointer to put the Demons back up by 10.  DePaul never looked back.

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Butler Visits the Blue Demons in Chicago

Blue Demons Look To Snap 11 game Losing Streak to Bulldogs

In January, 2014, DePaul and Butler met up in Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time as Big East opponents.  For the first 30 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs had the game in hand, building a 12 point lead with 10 to go.  At that point, the Blue Demons mounted a furious attack lead by Cleveland Melvin, Brandon Young, and Freshman, Billy Garrett Jr.  When regulation was over, the Demons found themselves tied with Butler.  After 28 points combined were scored in Overtime, DePaul and the Bulldogs remained tied.  Finally, after 2 Overtimes, the Blue Demons won an epic game 99-94.  DePaul has not beaten Butler since.    Sounds like a recurring them.

Cleveland Melvin Eyes a Rebound in Last DePaul Victory against Butler.  Melvin had 30 points in the Double Overtime victory.

DePaul is coming off of a tough loss at Villanova.  AP ranked #5, Butler is coming off their 1st home loss and first Big East loss against Seton Hall.  Let’s hope the referees try to extricate themselves from deciding this game.

 

The Setup

DePaul takes on Butler Saturday, January 18th at high Noon at Wintrust Arena in the South Loop of Chicago.

The game will be on The UToo on Comcast and on Radio 670AM.

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Pennsylvania Screw Job: DePaul Loses in Overtime at Villanova

The Zebras Did the Demons No Favors

DePaul can play with anyone.  No one intimidates the Blue Demons.  This team has been in every game.  Tonight, the DePaul Blue Demons were screwed.  Screwed terribly.  Improbably, the Men in Blue took the 14th ranked, Villanova Wildcats, to overtime, losing after Villanova took 8 free throws in overtime.  The most egregious were the first set of ‘fouls’ called.  But alas, let’s dwell on that later, in the Bad, Bad section.

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Down eleven with 2:10 to go in regulation, Charlie Moore hits a three, Paul Reed hustles to get a jump ball, Jaylen Butz catches a tough pass and hits a two.  DePaul forces another turnover.  Egregious foul called on Reed (when I thought the game was over.)  Incredible steal by Reed and a monster dunk.  Gillespie travels horribly, but since we are in Villanova, there was a foul called on Reed.  He made one of two.  Jalen Coleman-Lands hits a 3, his first of the game to cut it to two.  DePaul traps the Wildcats who throw it away.  The Demons call a timeout and let Charlie be Charlie who delivered.  DePaul then stopped Villanova on their last gasp effort, which brought us to overtime.

Overtime

DePaul started overtime with two awful possession, while Villanova was gifted with the following possessions, which added up to 4 free points.  Compare this to the first of 2 consecutive fouls called on the first 2 possessions of the second half when DePaul hosted Seton Hall and Charlie Moore picked up two push off fouls.  Which is worse?  Maybe no calls across the board would be the answer, but instead 4 calls against the Demons.

Jalen Coleman-Lands then set up Romeo Weems for an alley-oop, which looked like Weems had been hit off the ball by Gillespie, missing the shot.  Moore stole a ball and made a layup.   ‘Nova made their first field goal of the session.  JCL hit his 2nd 3-pointer of the night to make it a one point game.  Villanova made a contested layup and after an exchange of turnovers, Charlie Moore was fouled.

Astonishingly, the Blue Demons were still in a One-and-One situation, and Moore missed the front end.  Weems blocked a dunk and Saddiq Bey turned the ball over, which set up a JCL three point shot.  JCL was short.  Reed blocked a Justin Moore shot with eleven seconds left, and ‘Nova fouled Charlie Moore to make sure that DePaul would not get a 3 off.

Moore made the front end, and intentionally missed the 2nd, and the Demons failed to get the rebound.  DePaul fouled with less than a second which brought the end game score.

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DePaul Travels To Philly To Take on Villanova

Demons Look To Snap 18 game Losing Streak to Wildcats

On January 3rd, 2008, Jerry Wainwright, Draelon Burns and the DePaul Blue Demons upset Jay Wright and Scottie Reynolds’ 17th ranked Villanova Wildcats, 84-76 to win the opening game of Big East play at the Allstate Arena.  DePaul, shockingly, went on to win 3 of their next 5 to be 4-2 in Conference play.  But then reality set in, as it has every year since, and the Demons lost 9 of their next 10 conference games, and due to a tie-breaker, failed to qualify for the Big East tournament, yet again.

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Draelon Burns, Leading Scorer for DePaul in their Last Victory over Villanova.  Also Last Blue Demon to make 2nd Team All Big East until Max Strus last Year.

A lot of stuff has happened since then.  I now have a 6th grader and 4th grader.  Neither have been alive since that last Demon victory of the Wildcats.  Will Tuesday night be any different?  We will see.  After losing to St. John’s , the Blue Demons are becoming desperate.

Villanova comes in ranked 14th in the latest AP poll, while DePaul is in a tailspin.  Twelve years later, nothing has seemed to change except the Wildcats are ranked 3 spots higher than they were in January 2008.

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Demons Downed By Johnnies

DePaul 0-3 in Big East Play, Trouble Brewing

In a game that both teams needed, the St. Johns’s Red Storm prevailed in an ugly, forgettable victory.

Not all was bad at first.  Charlie Moore hit a 3 pointer at the 16 minute mark.  We like when Charlie finds his long-distance stroke.  DePaul took at six point lead at 13-7 with 14:31 in the half.  The players were playing loose and confident.  Of course, it rapidly changed after that.  A quick 3, a turnover leading to a layup, and it was a one point game.  From that point on, the Demons were never up by more than 4 points.  The teams exchanged the lead several times for the next few minutes until the Red Storm began to take control of the game taking a lead that they would never relinquish with 6:12 to go in the 1st half.  DePaul went over 3 minutes without a point, during which the Jonnies went on a 10-0 run getting the lead to 6 points.

With 1:24 left in the half, Paul Reed finally got on the board to cut the St. John’s lead to 3.  DePaul  played strong defense to get the ball back with the chance to tie and 1:09 left in the half.  Then badness occurred.  Moore missed a layup, DePaul played excellent defense again, getting the ball with 32 left.  After running the clock down to less then 10, Devin Gage missed a wild shot which lead to this awful sequence.

So instead of being down 1 or being tied, the Blue Demons found themselves down 5 and extremely hot-headed going into the locker room.

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Demons in New York: Vincentian Throw Down as DePaul Visits St. John’s

Let’s Start With a Little History Between These Coaches…

March 2, 2005 was a big night of truth for the DePaul Blue Demons.  Firmly on the bubble, DePaul traveled to Birmingham to take on the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.  The winner of the game would have the upper hand going into the Conference USA tournament and, mostly likely, move up and off the NCAA tournament bubble.

The coaches that night were Dave Leitao, in his final year of his first term at DePaul, and St. John’s Mike Anderson, who was in his 3rd year at UAB after several years as Nolan Richardson’s top assistant at Arkansas.  Anderson brought with him Richardson’s famed “40 Minutes of Hell” defense and fast paced, three point shooting and layup lined offense.

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Corliss, I want to point out that I, Nolan Richardson, invented the 40 Minutes of Hell, and We won a National Championship using it.

This Blue Demon team was one of the last good teams that DePaul has had.  Lead by Drake Deiner, Sammy Mejia, and Quemont Greer, the Demons came into the game 18-7 with a 10-4 record in conference.  A victory would seal a first round bye in the conference tournament and get them closer to being in the NCAA Tournament.  UAB came into the game 8-6 with a need to win their last two games to get the important bye.

The game went back and forth.  The Demons were up 2 at the half, and took their largest lead of 8 in the second half.  Then the pace and the pressure took its toll on DePaul. UAB tied the game late sending it to overtime.  In overtime, UAB hit a 3 pointer with 24 seconds left.  DePaul set up Diener for a 3 pointer, which he missed.  DePaul rebounded and set up another 3 point shot.  Ultimately hitting a 2 pointer shot with a second left losing by a single point.  DePaul lost their regular season finale to Louisville and UAB won theirs to secure the 4th seed and 1st round bye in the C-USA tournament.

8 days later, after DePaul won their first round game against Tulane, the Demons once again faced UAB in the quarterfinals.  The winner would go to the NCAA tournament and the loser would go to the NIT.

Another back and forth game with DePaul going up by 10 with a little under 10 minutes left in the game.  The frenetic UAB defense chipped away at the lead, and with 1:28 UAB hit a 3 pointer to gain their first lead of the game.  Mejia scored a game tying free-throw.  DePaul got a defensive stop and got the ball to Drake Diener with the hope that he would get fouled and be the iceman that he was.  Under intense pressure, UAB forced Diener into a walk.  UAB then made a 3 pointer leaving .7 seconds on the clock and DePaul lost.  Two brutal losses, in which DePaul had the lead with less than 2 minutes to go in both game.

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I didn’t travel.  That was a damn foul Mr. Referee.  Damn Your Eyes.

UAB lost to an excellent, Final Four Louisville team in the next round but was selected to the NCAA tournament the next day.  The Blazers won their 1st round game, before being knocked out by the Arizona team that almost knocked Illinois out of the tournament at Allstate Arena.

Meanwhile, DePaul was selected to the NIT, where they beat Mizzou but lost to Texas A&M.  Dave Leitao left for Virginia, and a year later, Mike Anderson left for Mizzou.

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