Xavier Pregame

white demon

DePaul Travels to Cincinnati to take on the Kings of the Queen City

The Setup

DePaul plays the Xavier Musketeers on Saturday, 12/30 at 1:00 pm Central at the Cintas Center in front of what will most likely be a sellout crowd.  It will be carried on FS1 (Channel 237 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).

Xavier comes into the game with one loss to unbeaten Arizona St. ( former front-runner  to the DePaul job, Bobby Hurley is paying dividends.)  The Musketeers defeated Marquette in Milwaukee on Wednesday night in a tight encounter 91-87.  They have dispatched 6 top 100 teams, including 2 top 30 teams.  This game might not be pretty.

Gambling Corner

Currently no official line, but rest assured, this will be updated when we see it.  Kenpom expects Xavier to win by 15.

Recent History

Since Xavier joined the new Big East in 2014, things have not gone so well for our boys in blue.   DePaul lost to the X-men 3 times last year, with the closest loss being 11.

The Demons only win in the new series was during the inexplicable start to the 2015 Big East campaign, when DePaul won their 1st 3 games of conference play.  DePaul won on the road 71-68.  So according to my fingers, the series has gone 8-1 for XU.

Fun Facts

Jesuits

Founded in 1831, Xavier is the 6th oldest Catholic school in the US.

They Have a Rivalry with Our Old Rival Cincinnati, and it is a little more heated

https://twitter.com/FOX19Jeremy/status/937061497787813889

I side with Xavier on this, even if JP shot off a few bad words.  I still hate Cincinnati more.

You’ve Got to Love a Good Perp Photo

One of college basketball’s favorite stories, when a semi-star player uses a fake ID (6’5″ guy generally are noticeable) and then drops their pants at the bar.  Good times.  Thank you JP Macura for making us all a little happier.  Come to think of it, maybe this is why Macura wore sleeves and leg coverings last year?  Hmmmm,  maybe the overexposure lead him to cover himself from neck to toe?

JP Macura

J.P. Macura

John Boehner went there

Smoking his Camel Extra Lights

Marquette’s Coach is a Believer

Steve Wojciechowski thinks Xavier has a chance to win a national championship.

The Current Flavor of the Musketeers

Who Should Scare the Blue out of Us?

Best Player:  Trevon Bluiett

Trevon Bluiett. He is a strong all around player.  6′ 6″ 198 lb. Senior.  Shoots 42.4% from 3 point land.  He has hurt us in the past.  He had a not so fun police situation last year.

I really wish we could agree with Billy Madison at the end of this game, and say this about Bluiett.

blewit

Other Characters

JP Macura.  The aforementioned Macura, aka, JP Sleeves now Sleeveless.

Tyrique Jones, 6’9″ Sophomore, who grabs 10% of all available rebounds on the offensive side.  Block him out.  Makes 70% of his 2 pointer, layups and dunks.

Just another dunk by Jones.

Karem Kanter, a 6’10” Turkish killer.  Transferred in for his Senior year from Wisconsin-Green Bay.  Younger brother of NBA starter Enes Kanter.  Nice all around big man skills.

Quick Note

Things don’t look so good for the Demons.

Well Rounded, totally awesome team

Xavier is like another version of Villanova on the offensive side, and is in the top 17% of all defenses.   The Musketeers are the 5th best offense and 58th best defense in college basketball.  The are 9th overall in 2pt percentage (Hey! DePaul is good at defending 2s).  They are the 2nd best Free throw shooting team (don’t foul them), and they only shoot 38.7% from 3 pt. land, which is really, really good.

How does DePaul Matchup?

No bueno.  Let’s go to the tail of the tape.

Offense

Xavier has a top 5 offense.  8 of their top 9 players have an offensive rating above 100 (the gold standard.)  The X men have a quality 9 man rotation.  The Demons have 3 rotational guys who generally have a plus 100 rating.  Advantage Xavier

Defense

Xavier’s offensive strengths are many, but one of them, DePaul does well against.  XU is #9 in 2pt percentage, DePaul is 41st at preventing 2 pointers.  Of course the Musketeers also shoot 3’s well at a 38.7% rate and the Demons have been awful at preventing 3 pointers this year.  Don’t foul Xavier (even though they make teams foul them).  They shoot 80% from the line.  XU takes care of the ball (DePaul does cause steals, but still not good).   Tremendous advantage Xavier

On the other side, Xavier is great at defending the 3 and 2, while DePaul is God-Awful at shooting 3s, and below average at shooting 2s.  Advantage Xavier

Other Things

Turnovers

Weirdly enough, DePaul does not turn the ball over much.  The Demons miss a ton of shots, but they take care of the ball, usually.  Xavier does not cause many turnovers.   Slight Advantage DePaul

Rebounding

This is where it might get ugly.  Although DePaul is in the top 15% in the country at offensive rebounds, Xavier is in the top 18% of stopping them.

On the other side, Xavier is in the top 31% of getting offensive rebounds, and the Demons are in the lower half of preventing them (this doesn’t make sense, since DePaul likes to pack the lane, but oh well, that might be why we lose.)  Advantage Xavier

In Conclusion

Xavier will win.  The X-men shoot better in all facets, are taller, play better all around defense, have a deeper bench, and they are playing at home.  Unless there is something totally out of character, the Demons should lose handily. But hey, kenpom.com is giving DePaul an 8% chance of winning, so as Lloyd Christmas says….

 Image result for lloyd christmas meme

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