After Taking Early Lead, DePaul Goes Cold
For the 2nd game in a row, the Demons forgot to take their pregame Cialis. Additionally, DePaul was missing both big men, Marin Maric (knee injury) and Jaylen Butz (sickness.) After going up 7-4 early, DePaul went through a 7 Minutes and 30 seconds stretch without a point. During this series of basketball malpractice, the Demons missed 10 shots in a row from the field, along with 2 Turnovers and 2 missed free-throws. The Demons went from up 3 to down 11. DePaul kept it within 11 until a series of defensive lapses in the last 2:30 of the 1st half, that had the game blow up to 22. After shooting an anemic 27.6%, you could tell by the Demon’s body language and lack of effort, that essentially, the game was over at half time.
Lots of blue seats. This was ‘Pink Shirt’ day, and as such, 5000 shirts were printed for DePaul fans to wear. There were left overs, since a few thousand Butler fans showed up.
Butler and the under (just barely the under) were your bets of the night.
The Player of the Game: Kamar Baldwin
Baldwin had an almost perfect night shooting 5-6 from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line, for a sweet 18 points. He also lead all players with 9 rebounds overall.
There was Nothing Good in the 1st Half, but 2nd Half was Ok
I am not advocating silver linings from this game. There were very few if any positives. But with this format, I have to point the couple of decent things.
DePaul went to a More Mobile, Athletic Lineup in the 2nd Half
DePaul had to press, and they did cause pressure which did lead to more opportunities.
Paul Reed Got Serious Playing Time in the 2nd Half
Paul Reed played 10 minutes in the 2nd and scored all 9 of his point on perfect shooting from the field. He had 117 Offensive Rating, which is nice.
Justin Roberts Played 3 MINUTES
And that is all I have to say about that.
Goodish: Max Strus
Got 20 of this 27 in garbage time of the 2nd half. It felt like that fantasy quarterback who gets you 30 points, since he had to pass the last 3 quarters of a game, and ran his fantasy points up in garbage time. He also had 5 costly turnovers. I feel bad for the guy. He does work real hard, and the lack of depth on the team is affecting him deeply.
Maric and Butz We Unavailable
If you read my preview, I argued that the best way from the Demons to win this game was through Marin Maric. One little problem, Maric hurt his knee Friday and was unable to play. Another little problem, his main backup, Jaylen Butz, was also unavailable for the game, recovering from a sickness that has now kept him out of 2 games in a row.
Leitao Countered with the Walk-ons
Coach Dave Leitao countered with the unorthodox move of starting 6th Year walk-on Senior, Peter Rychbosch. His big man rotation was Rychbosch and Senior walk-on, Joe Hanel. Not optimal. In 23 combined minutes, they dynamic walk-on duo, went 0-3 from the field, 0-2 from the free throw line, with 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. Other than the steals, the two had nearly ZERO impact on the game. So what looked like an advantage on paper, turned into an immediate disadvantage.
In the 2nd half, Leitao came to his senses and started giving more minutes to Paul Reed (10 minutes in 2nd half after only 7 in the first), and the game got more competitive.
God-Awful Stretches in the 1st Half Essentially Ended the Game
7:30 minutes without a point, resulting in a 14 point swing. The last 2:30 minutes of the game was a clinic in players playing sloppy defense. This crap defense allowed Butler to go up 22 at the half. Granted, Butler did move the ball real well, finding the open players, but the Demons have to do better than this.
Lack of Defensive Effort Made my Boy Cry
Tears literally formed in my son’s eyes after the horrible last 2:30 of the half.
This Was a Winnable Game
Butler didn’t out athlete DePaul (other than at the 5.) DePaul just played awful in the 1st half. As a team, you cannot go stretches of 7 plus minutes without scoring. The effort just wasn’t there when it needed to be at the end of the 1st half.
Cain Actually Made Some Driving Scores
Eli Cain started off going 2 for 2 helping the Demons get to a 7-4 lead. Of course, he then missed 4 in a row and 2 free throws. So annoying. His 2nd half went better, going 2-4 from the field, and perfect from the line.
Tweets of the Game
There were a lot of unhappy DePaul fans, so we there are plenty of tweets to choose from.
Butler’s Impressions of the Wintrust
Granted, DePaul was Short-handed, but adjustments could have been made earlier.
I guess, DePaul prefers to play against ‘Good’ Defenses
And Finally, from ‘Not our Athletic Director’:
DePaul is a super thin team. When 3 of their top 8 guys are unavailable (Gage, Maric, and Butz), what do you expect? As has been said the past few years, if you have walk-ons playing starter minutes, things are probably not going well.