Demons Look To Snap 18 game Losing Streak to Wildcats
On January 3rd, 2008, Jerry Wainwright, Draelon Burns and the DePaul Blue Demons upset Jay Wright and Scottie Reynolds’ 17th ranked Villanova Wildcats, 84-76 to win the opening game of Big East play at the Allstate Arena. DePaul, shockingly, went on to win 3 of their next 5 to be 4-2 in Conference play. But then reality set in, as it has every year since, and the Demons lost 9 of their next 10 conference games, and due to a tie-breaker, failed to qualify for the Big East tournament, yet again.
A lot of stuff has happened since then. I now have a 6th grader and 4th grader. Neither have been alive since that last Demon victory of the Wildcats. Will Tuesday night be any different? We will see. After losing to St. John’s , the Blue Demons are becoming desperate.
Villanova comes in ranked 14th in the latest AP poll, while DePaul is in a tailspin. Twelve years later, nothing has seemed to change except the Wildcats are ranked 3 spots higher than they were in January 2008.
DePaul takes on Villanova Tuesday, January 14th at 7:30PM at Finneran Pavilion on the Campus of Villanova.
The game will be on FoxSports Channel 237 on Comcast and on Radio 670AM.
First Meeting ever? January 21, 1939, when DePaul beat Villanova 36-29.
DePaul went the whole 2010s without beating Villanova.
DePaul is the ONLY Big East team to not beat the Wildcats since the realignment of the conference.
Tale of the Tape
The Tale of the Tape is a lot closer than other years. This year’s Wildcats do not force turnovers as much as some previous additions, which is good news for the Demons. ‘Nova is not an elite 3 point shooting team shooting 34%, but then again, every Big East team this year has shot better from 3 than expected against the Demons. However, they love to shoot a high volume from outside. ‘Nova is excellent from 2 driving to the basket after faking 3. Finally, the ‘Cats are elite from the free-throw line, but since they love shooting the 3, they do not have a very high free-throw rate.
Since the ‘Cats rebound better at both ends, and are better shooters, you have to take Villanova in the tale of the tape.
Cool Chart Alert
I have mentioned it before, but the T-Rank site is awesome. The ‘Play by Play splits’ chart below can really give you a good idea of what shots each team takes and defends, along with how well they do in each quadrant.
Villanova prefers an outside in approach. 46% of their shots come from beyond the arch, which leads to serious volatility. The ‘Cats take close 2s 35% of all shots, long 2s only 18%, and finally dunks 9% of the time.
DePaul prefers an inside out approach. 44% of the Demons shots are close 2s, 32% are from 3s, 24% are long 2s, and finally 10% are dunks.
Villanova’s opponents prefer to attack from inside out, which means the Wildcats guard the 3 point line tightly, and their opponents go where there is less pressure.
Much is the same for DePaul’s opponents, but the key different between the two squads, is that Nova’s opponents take 6% more long 2s than DePaul, while the Demons’ opponents take 6% more 3s. Advantage Nova.
DePaul defends all quadrants better, but I’d certainly would rather my opponent take a long 2 over a 3-pointer any day. Volatility from 3s have been killing the Demons in Big East play.
Who Can Hurt DePaul? A lot of different guys.
Villanova play primarily a 6 man rotation. On any given day, any one of the six can be the hero. The big guns are the following.
Gillespie, the 6’3″ Junior guard, has the highest usage rate for the ‘Cats. He shoots 36% from deep and 82.5% from the line. He leads the team in assists.
Bey, 6’8″ Sophomore, is the most accurate 3 point shooter at 44.6%. Bey just dissected Georgetown by making 8 three points on 10 tries. Just what we need to see, a hot shooting tall guy. Great.
You are not imaging it. DePaul’s Offensive efficiency and 3 point shooting have been on a downward trend. Using T-Page for DePaul it can be seen that each game that the Demons have played in Big East play has resulted in a worse Adjusted Offense.
It can also be seen that DePaul’s decent 3 point shooting has declined significantly since the start of conference play. The downward trend from behind the arch is unsettling, and the major reason as to why DePaul is 0-3 and not 3-0, 2-1, or 1-2.
What’s Going to Happen?
Villanova is going for their 19th consecutive victory against DePaul. Like I said on Saturday, it doesn’t get any easier. Hopefully, the Demons can bond on the East coast and reverse the two trends above to make it a close game.