DePaul Travels to Providence: The Rematch Preview

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DePaul Hosts the Providence Friars

The Setup

DePaul plays the Providence Friars on Saturday, 2/10/2018 at 3:00 pm Central at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.  It will be carried on UToo (Channel 230 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).

Providence comes into the game with 16 wins and 8 losses overall, with a 7-4 record in Big East games.  Providence defeated Georgetown in a nail biter on Tuesday night in front of the donut eating home crowd.

DePaul is coming off  the excruciating one point lost against Creighton on Wednesday. Still hurts.

Eli Cain had his best all around game of the Big East part of the season, while Max Strus had another difficult night.  Tre’Darius McCallum had his worst game of his career, put up a 0 offensive rating.  Paul Reed and Marin Maric played well.  Let’s hope Reed gets more minutes.  He logged his second highest minute total with 19 minutes on Wednesday.

Gambling Corner

Vegas opened with Providence as a 9 point favorite. The over/under has not been established. Kenpom favors the Friars to win by 9.

Recent History

Earlier this year, DePaul Blew a 12 Point Lead to Providence in Chicago.   That game was defined by 2 crazy runs, one in which the Demons went on a 26-4 run, and then the Friars immediately went on a 24-1 run.  The teams split last year, with DePaul winning by 1 at home, and Providence winning by 9 in Rhode Island.   Since the forming of the new Big East in 2014, these teams have split the last 2 years, with the Friars holding a 7-2 series lead.

Fun Facts

Providence is the only college or university in the United States founded by the Dominican Friars.

Won the NIT in 1961 and 1963.

Made NCAA Final Four in 1973 and 1987.

Original member of Big East Conference.

Religious affiliation:  Dominican

 The Current Flavor of Friars

These guys take the ball to the hole creating many fouls shots; 16th best in the country.  The Friars 3 pt shooting has been declining since the last matchup.  They are now at 36.1% from 38.1%.  They are now 121st (out of 351) in the country.  Providence also defends the 3pt. shot really well.  Opponents shoot 31.5% which is 27th best in the country.  P’Town is also above average at creating steal and blocking shots.

Recent trends have shown their effective FG% going down, with games against Villanova, Seton Hall, Marquette, and Georgetown.  Maybe this bodes will for DePaul.

Who Should Scare the Blue out of Us?

Isaiah Jackson

Last time around, Jackson, a 6’6″ Junior, was the game MVP with 4-8 from the field with 5 free throws for 15 points, 3 assists, 2 steals and zero turnovers.

Image result for isaiah jackson providence
15 points, 3 assists and no turnovers, I should be game MVP.

Others

The Friars are a well balanced team.  Their point guard, Kyron Cartwright is 9th in the country in the assist rate, and shoots 41.3% from the 3pt line.  Those two stats kind of scare me.

Jalen Lindsay is shooting 45.9% from 3 point land.  6’7″ Senior.

How does DePaul Matchup?

Let’s go to the tail of the tape.

Offense

The Friars shoot the 3 real well (36.1%).  The Demons do not (32.1%).  P’Town gets to the line at an elite rate (16th best in the country), DePaul does not (278rd).  Since the last meeting, Providence has improved their ball handling.  They are now in the top 1/3 are taking care of the ball.  The Friars are slightly above average on offensive rebounds.  The Boys in Blue are nearing elite status at offensive rebounding.

Advantage:  The edge goes to Providence

Defense

Providence is the 27th best at stopping 3 pointers, while the Demons are crap (306th).  Conversely, DePaul is 82th at stopping the 2 point shot, while the Friars are crap (224th).  The clear edge comes with the fact that P’Town is in the top 20% of all teams at both blocking shots and stealing the ball.  The Demons do cause other teams to turn the ball over more often.

Advantage:  Providence

In Conclusion

Providence is beatable.  They have won their past two games by a combined 6 points.  DePaul had them on the ropes last time around.  Physically, it should be a good matchup.  These teams are similar in size.  It will come down to, who shoots 3’s better, whether the Friars keep the Demons off the offensive glass, and whether DePaul plays quality defense without fouling.  I would beat that Providence wins, but DePaul covers the spread (assuming it is 9 or above).

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