DePaul Survives Berserker Vikings



Evidently, it truly is Believeland.  The Cleveland State Vikings gave the DePaul Blue Demons quite a scare, ultimately losing 73-65.  It was a bizarre game.  DePaul turned the ball over 26 times, shot less than 50% from the field and 21% from the 3-point line, but…….DePaul made free-throws, 26 of them!


Fortunately, Cleveland State turned the ball over more than normal to the tune of 29 times.  Normally, the Vikes turn the ball over at an incredible rate of 25% of possessions, while today they turned the ball over 36% of the time.  So that’s good??

The State of Cleveland shot better than normal from 2 point land (44% normally 48.8% today) and 3 point land (23.6% normally 33.3% today), but thankfully, they shot like crap from the free-throw line 56.5% when they normally shoot 67.2%.

If you tuned in early, the game went exactly as expected, with the Demons going on a quick 9-0 run after 5 minutes.  I was already having dreams of being up forty and getting a little excited about seeing some extended time from our non-starters.  I was talking trash to my son, my dog was begging to be petted, so I was indulging her.  Everything was going great.

Although there were a plethora of turnovers, the lead kept expanding, reaching a high point of 16 with just under 1:30 left in the half.

From then on, it was a slow march to the end.  It was mildly stressful with never the thought of the Demons actually losing.

So what was the problem?  The damn diamond beserker press.  It has becoming abundantly clear, that our guards do not like pressure.   Buffalo and now Cleveland St. asked us to increase our tempo and we obliged them with a deluge of turnovers.  Even when we did break the unholy press, our big men, would make a bad pass, lose the ball, miss a layup, or charged into our old friend Big Al Eichelberger.

Jaylen Butz, Paul Reed, Romeo Weems, Charlie Moore, and Devin Gage all had 4 turnovers.  Only Jalen Coleman-Lands had more assists than turnovers.  It was an awful game to watch.  It hurt my feelings.  Best summed up by the following tweet which was inspired by a tweet by @HSS1DPU:

Alright, let’s get to the nitty-gritty.


The Good

Welcome Back Devin Gage

It was excellent to see Devin Gage back in the rotation.  Hopefully tonight and next Saturday will get him back to game speed level.  The Blue Demons and Charlie Moore have desperately needed another point guard to mix it up and provide rest.

The Free-Throw Shooting

Since DePaul is one of the worst in the country at shooting free-throws (62.5% on the season), and this game was a game where up was down and black was white, the Demons shot better than normal, and it kept them alive in the game.  The suddenly competent Men in Blue shot 26-35 from the line, which works out to 74.3%.


Free throws, our bitter enemy, saved our booties.

Paul Reed

Someone had to be the MVP of the game, and that someone was Mr. Paul Reed.  Not his best game, but he did deliver another double-double, 19 Points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist. along with 4 blocks.  Mr. Reed was the best player on the floor, and if it wasn’t for his foul trouble, and the foul trouble of the entire team, DePaul would have put the game away earlier.

Maybe Jalen Coleman-Lands

I have to give a shout out to JCL, since he was the only other Demon with an at least average offensive rating.  He got a 100, which translates to perfectly average.  That is how bad this game was, I am rewarding someone who was perfectly average.  JCL was the only Demons with a positive assist to turnover ratio.  He finished with 8 points on 2-6 shooting.

The Bad

The Damned Turnovers

The first half was bad, real bad, but there were only 11 turnovers of fun.

The 2nd half was insanely bad.  The Vikings are not good.  I cannot stress this enough.  Yet, DePaul let them stay in the game by committing 15 damn turnovers in the second half.  So let’s hate watch them.  All you players should watch as well.  Learn from the mistakes of speeding up the game when it probably wasn’t necessary.

Playing to the Level of Our Opponent

The love of our recent lives, the current DePaul Blue Demons, have had a tendency to play to the level of their opponents.  The cool thing about this is that they can play at an incredibly high level against Iowa on the Road, Minnesota on the Road, and Texas Tech at home.  The frustrating thing is that they let Boston College stick around, Buffalo take over for a 5 minute stretch and ultimately losing to them, and letting Cleveland State, a bottom 20 team in NCAA, give us a mild scare late in the second half.  The latter is not acceptable.  How do you beat Iowa on the road by 15 and win by 8 against the Vikings?  Against Iowa, Mr. Paul Reed and company put their size 15 shoes on the neck of the Hawkeyes and smashed some throats.  Against Buffalo and Cleveland State, the Blue Demons did not come with the same intensity and attention to detail.  This worries the hell out of me and other fans.

That all being said, as I said to Terry Davis, the old DePaul Sharpshooter:

In Conclusion

DePaul is 11-1.  EVLEVEN AND ONE!  We won!


Northwestern is ready to dampen our experience, but the mighty Blue Demons are poised for revenge!  Paul Reed, Jaylen Butz, Gage, and JCL will endlessly repeat what happened in Evanston to the newcomers.  DePaul controlled the action until a 3 point barrage flipped the game.  It was devastating to watch live in Evanston.  I am still scarred, and I am sure all the guys who were there are as well.    There is real skin in this game, which means that the men are going to bring it.



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