Blue Demons Host Friars Looking for First Big East Win

DePaul hosts Providence on Saturday, January 4th at the Wintrust Arena trying to get off of the schneid in Big East play.  The Blue Demons failed to put Seton Hall away in their conference opener, whilst the men from Providence destroyed a short handed Georgetown team leading by as much as 33, before settling on a 16 point win.

The Hoyas’ star, Mac McClung, had his eye severely poked during a game versus American on December 28th and missed the Providence game.  I picture McClung’s eye looking like Bob Costas’s eye during Winter Olympic coverage.  The only difference is that McClung, with or without bad eye, could probably reverse dunk over tiny Costas.

McClung Could Reverse Dunk Over Me and My Eye.
Not Sure Which is Scarier Looking, the Costas Eye or the Friar?

Providence has been a trick-or-treat team this year, losing to such basketball luminaries as Long Beach State (303), Charlestown (120), Penn (108), and Evanston’s favorite Big 14 team, Northwestern (109), while beating Texas and Georgetown in their last two games.  Before beating the Longhorns and Hoyas, the Friars’ biggest wins were against Stony Brook, Pepperdine, and Sacred Heart.  On paper, they are the worst team in the Big East.  However, DePaul will not be playing paper on Saturday.


The Setup

DePaul takes on Providence Saturday, January 4th at 1:00PM at Wintrust Arena.

The game will be on FoxSports Channel 237 on Comcast and on Radio 670AM.

Fun Facts

This is from the RISLA fun fact page on Providence:  “When it comes to college athletics, the Friars are unique! They are the smallest school in a major athletic conference, as well as the only Division I school to have black and white as the school colors.

Total undergrad, graduate and continuing education enrollment:  4,834.  That is tiny.

20% of the Class of 2022 are students of Color.

Tale of the Tape

Under Ed Cooley, Providence has been known as a staunch defensive team that has occasionally had offensive issues.  This year’s Friars seem to fit the same bill.  Their adjusted defensive efficiency is ranked 41st in the country while their offense rates 135th.  This is similar to the Blue Demons who are ranked 48 and 102 respectively.

When you look through the Tale of the Tape chart below, the items that really stick out are that DePaul and Providence are mirror images on both the offensive and defensive ends in creating steals and turnover and giving up steals and turnovers.


DePaul is offensively superior in the paint and on 3 point shooting, while being defensively superior in the same two categories.

Providence is better on the boards.

Both teams are awful at shooting free-throws.


In regards to offensive effective field goal percentage versus defensive effective field goal percentage, DePaul ranks ahead of Providence.

Offensive Efficiency versus Defensive Efficiency

However, in the rebounding department, it goes the other way.  The Friars are better at both offensive and defensive boards.


Who Can Hurt the Demons?

Alpha Diallo

Diallo, the 6’7″ Senior, is a high usage guy, who is not very efficient.  On the season his offensive rating is below 100 (which is average.)  He has a 126 rating against the Hoyas, which garnered him as the game MVP.  Against Texas, Alpha Dog had 14 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steal getting the game MVP again.

David Duke

The Friars’ sharpshooter is shooting 48.8% from beyond the arch on 21 makes.  Duke also makes 83% from the free-throw line.

Luwane Pipkins

Pipkins is Providence’s Davide Moretti.  Pipkins has gone a perfect 27-27 from the free-throw line.  Moretti was once 23-23, and then this happened:

Let’s hope nothing that dramatic must occur for DePaul to win on Saturday.

What is Going to Happen on Saturday?

We have a game between two offensively challenged teams.  I would expect an ugly game.  I hope that DePaul can get their transition game going to get a few easy baskets, although I know that Cooley teams get back on defense.  The Blue Demons need this game badly.  If DePaul can stay even on the boards, their effective field goal percentages on both offensive and defensive should shine through.  The Demons just need to neutralize the Friars’ offensive rebounds and keep David Duke in check from the outside.  If so, it should be a victory for the Men in Blue.

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