After winning the must-win crosstown game with UIC on Saturday, DePaul returned to a rocking, blue seat filled Wintrust Arena on Monday to face 24 point underdog, Alabama A&M. DePaul pulled out a 83-59 victory over Alabama A&M getting the push (unless you were unlucky to have them at 24.5).
On paper, this looked like it should be an easy victory for the Blue Demons, and for a pleasant change, it was.
Without Marin Maric, who hurt his knee in the UIC game, DePaul gave Freshman Jaylen Butz his first start. After Alabama A&M scored to make it 10-5 Demons, DePaul went on a massive 15-0 run to go up 20, and the rout was on.
Max Strus lead all Blue Demons scorers with 14 points, being joined in double figures by McCallum, Cyrus, and first time scorer, Austin Grandstaff.
Eli Cain had 8 assists for his 2nd straight game, as he has had much more ball handling duties with the season injury of Devin Gage.
Grandstaff entered the game shooting zero percent starting 0-7 from 3 point range. With about seven minutes remaining in the 1st half, he got his first layup, which clearly affected him emotionally. A minute and a half later he hit his 1st 3 pointer of the season, eventually finishing with 3-7 shooting for 3pt range for the night. Glad he got the gremlins off his shoulders.
The Bad: 3 Point Defense
DePaul, per normal, allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 40% from 3pt. range. So far this season, DePaul has allowed 37.7% 3 pt. shooting, which would put them as the 266th out of 351 teams in that category. No bueno. Most likely the reasoning is due to DePaul packing the lane, and not allowing easy layups or easy turnaround J’s. In the 2pt. shoot category, the Demons are allowing 43% shooting, which would put them as 32nd out of 351 teams. Great. We will see if this trend continues, as DePaul faces Northwestern who shoots 34.9% from long range.
The Improvement: 3 Point Offense
Offensively, DePaul is slowly climbing from the depths of Hell that it had inhabited during the 1st 2 weeks of the season, shooting 42.3% from 3pt land on the night. Currently, the Demons are shooting 31.2% on the year 285th in the country (Improvement!) from 3pt. range.