From the Very Beginning There Was Trouble
From the initial tip off Villanova dominated the Demons by grabbing a quick 6-0 lead. Before the game was even 7 minutes old, DePaul found itself down by 12. The Wildcats kept Max Strus from getting touches early, leaving the much preferred Brandon Cyrus open, daring him to hit shots. Cyrus obliged Nova by missing his first eight shots (all of his shots), while turning the ball over an additional 2 times. Cyrus will want all traces of this game tape destroyed. He ended with an Offensive rating of 6, the worst of his career. A 3 point play by Eli Cain just before the half allowed DePaul to limp into the locker room down by 15 (48-33).
The 2nd half started just as badly as the Demons quickly fell behind 30 after only 5 minutes of action. I can only imagine the half time pep talk by Dave Leitao.. “Guys, go out there and pour gasoline on the fire…..all hands in…..Team!” A late run by DePaul raised the heart rates of all gamblers by getting to within 17 with 3:33 left in the game, but Jay Wright, always with an eye on his shiny shoes and computer rating, left his key players in until the final 21 seconds of the game. Nova won 103-85.
Strus once again looked like a high level player. Shooting 5-7 from 2pt. land along with 2-8 from 3 pt land from 20 points. He also had 9 rebound, 6 Assists and Zero Turnovers. He was clearly the DePaul MVP, even though it was clear that Villanova game planned for him
The other starters had issues controlling the ball with 15 turnovers between themselves. 5 for Cain, 4 for Maric and McCallumn, and Cyrus with his aforementioned 2.
Other than the top level corners, the house was relatively packed, only 2,054 blue seats. The lines were incredibly long to purchase tasty beverages. Small gripe about the Wintrust, the cashier situation is an issue, it took over a minute to run Ted Underhill’s credit card when I was purchasing a Gone Away beer, which was almost finished by the time I received by receipt. All fans should make a pact to pay with cash It was painful waiting to purchase something to kill the pain of watching this dabacle.
DePaul Did not Cover, but if you had the over?
DePaul missed pushing by 3, but the over was absolutely crushed with 8 minutes remaining in the 2nd. This was a fast paced game by both team’s standards which lead to about 8 more possessions than normal.
Welcome Home Jalen Brunson
Linconshire’s own Jalen Brunson had a large contingent of fans to see him. He received a large ovation during introductions and Jay Wright was classy enough to sub him out with a couple of minutes left in order for him to receive another ovation. I asked the guy next to me whether he was Nova fan or a Brunson fan. Answer: Brunson fan. The guy had gone to high school with Brunson and told me what a positive person he was. So good for him.
Here’s a Nice Dunk
Jaylen Butz had a highly efficient game, going a perfect 3-3 from the field and 5-6 from the line. He looks like a quality D1 post man.
High-Point of the Game
Why DePaul Lost
- Villanova is an offensive machine. Averaged 1.3 points per possession.
- Every Wildcat posted over a 100 on the Offensive Rating scale. (100 is the benchmark.)
- Villanova passes the ball beautifully. Like magic.
- Brunson, Booth, and Bridges killed us on both ends of the floor.
- Cyrus’s worst game as a starter. Offensive Rating of 6. (Reminder: 100 is the benchmark).
- 17 Turnovers vs 9 by Nova.
- 3 Point defense
- Not getting back on transition (granted Villanova moves the ball really, really, really well.) This lead to a layup line.
- Crap 2pt. shooting
- Crap 3pt. shooting
Let’s talk about 3pt Defense and the Big East
It has been known that DePaul allows 3 point shots by their opponents. Pack the paint and hope your opponent misses from 3 is the Lincoln Park strategy. The problem is that Villanova shoots 3s incredibly well (9th best in the Nation), making 15 of 31. The preventing the 2 put give up the 3 strategy will most likely NOT be effective against incredible 3 pt shooting teams. The Big East has 5 teams that shoot 38% or better. The average division 1 team is shooting 35% from 3pt land. All but St. John’s, Butler, and your DePaul Blue Demons shoot above 35% percentage.
- Villanova 9th
- Marquette 26th
- Creighton 36th
- Providence 41st
- Xavier 65th
- Seton Hall 137th
- Georgetown 171st
- St. Johns 224th
- Butler 239th
- DePaul 291st
This strategy to pack the paint and give up the three seems nuts in Big East play. Hopefully, the team can adjust.
Paul Reed Sighting
Freshman Paul Reed put in an effective 13 minutes of game time. He definitely earned the minutes, scoring 5 point (including a 3 point play), 4 defensive rebounds and steal. No real negative plays. Let’s hope to see more Reed in the future. He got more playing time since Peter Rychbosch slammed his head on the floor. We all hope Big Pete is ok.
For the second game this season, Austin Grandstaff scored with 8 points in 16 minutes. He is looking more engaged each game.
Tweets of the Game
There were so many snarky choices that I have to add in a few.
First one, pretty much echoes this entire post:
2nd One: More Analysis that I agree with
3rd One: Not a lot of Love for JLP
4th One: This is beautiful snark:
Final One: I love this guy, but even Leitao had to tell him to settle down
Villanova is the #1 team in the nation. They looked it.