During the first 10 minutes of the DePaul/University of Illinois-Chicago game, many were having flashbacks to the Buffalo game. The Blue Demons physically looked like the better team, but a lack of execution, and awful 1-9 shooting felt a lot like last Sunday’s debacle.
Thankfully, UIC did an equally terrible job of making shots and as a bonus, they also did not take care of the ball. With 10:14 left in the 1st half, Darious Hall made a layup with an assist by the resurgent Charlie Moore for DePaul to take a 15-14 lead, which they never relinquished. Lovely.
The Blue Demons slowly choked the Flames to death, expanding their lead in each 10 minute increment for the rest of the game.
After it was all said and done, DePaul finished with an 86-65 win.
Moore rebounded from two subpar games against Texas Tech and Buffalo to put up 26 points with 5 assists and 2 steals, while only committing 2 turnovers. For this effort, he received the kenpom.com player of the game. with an offensive rating of 126 (100 is average.)
The great Paul Reed had another excellent outing throwing another double-double on 16 points and 12 rebounds, along with a block and 2 steals.
Weems is consistently excellent. He usually locks up the the top offensive player of the opposition. On the offensive side, he generally has a very low usage rate, meaning, he doesn’t take a lot of shots, but when he does shoot, he takes makable shots.
3-4 from the field for 9 points, with 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block.
He also had this nifty, And-1.
Nick Ongenda received some quality playing time, only being limited by his propensity to foul. In his extended time, he made a last second shot, a steal and dunk, and a very athletic close range shot, going 3 for 3 in the game. Can’t be more efficient than that!
The Blue Demons closed out well. In my preview, I highlighted a couple of Flames who had recently gone off. Jamie Ahale, the 3 point specialist, who had been on a hot streak, was held to 2 points on 0-6 shooting from 3 point land. Mr. Paul Reed blocked one of the attempts, but it could be seen that the Demons were well aware of him.
Michael Diggins was also held in check only getting 6 points on 7 attempts.
I was a little worried, when UIC started Marcus Ottey for his first game of the year coming back from injury. Sometimes it is the guys that you are not prepared for that cause the most problems. Ottey only ended up with 12 points.
DePaul has fallen into the cycle of letting their opponents get offensive rebounds. UIC corralled 13 offensive rebounds, which worked out to 36% of the rebounds on that side of court. For comparison, Texas Tech, 3rd best in the country at defensive rebounding, has allowed their opponents only 20.5% of all rebounds on their defensive end. On the season, the Blue Demons’ defense have allowed their offensive opponents 31% of the rebounds. Buffalo got 36%, Tech got 31%, Minnesota got 45.7%, which was why the Gophers were in the game to the end. Even Alcorn St. retrieved 36% of the rebounds in their offensive zone.
Obviously, when your team is contesting 3 pointers, there are going to be some long rebounds, but allowing teams extra possessions is a recipe for disaster. The median number for this stat is 28%. If the Demons could get to the the median number, it would result in 1 to 2 less possessions per game for their opponents. In the UIC game, if the Demons would have trended towards the median instead of their average, it would have resulted in 3 less possessions. On average, each possession equals an additional point per possession for most teams. Using Texas Tech as a comparison, this difference in rebounding percentage would result in 4 additional points to a Demons opponent versus a Tech opponent. Clean it up Demons!
Another trend over the past 2 games, is that the Demons have not done as well on their offensive end against lesser opponents in the rebounding department. On the season, DePaul has averaged an offensive rebound at the rate of 32% of all shots. The past two games, they have come in at 21.7% and 22.2%. Doing the math again, this could lead to 4 to 5 additional possessions if they rebound at their season rate, which would translate to 4 to 5 additional points.
Buffalo got smoked by Army
What an embarrassment for the Demons to lose to Bulls, but an even bigger embarrassment for the Bulls to lose to the Cadets. Bulls should’ve been ready for their own trap game. Sorry, not sorry.
Cleveland State is Next
DePaul travels to Cleveland on Wednesday, December 18th to face the Cleveland State Vikings. The Vikings are currently 4-6.
I am going to leave you with these awesome pictures from @Xavier_Sanchez4
Hall’s celebration is on point during Ongenda’s dunk.