DePaul Puts a Leash on 5th Ranked Butler

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Lead by Paul Reed’s 23 points and 9 rebounds, the DePaul Blue Demons dominated 5th ranked Butler, ending an eleven game losing streak to the Bulldogs.  The game felt like DePaul was in control throughout, with the exception of a few minutes at the end of the first half, when Reed picked up his 2nd foul with 6:05 to go.  Butler went on a 12-2 run to close the gap to 4 points with 2:17 left.  For the first time in a long time, Win Probability favored the Bulldogs.

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The Demons responded with their own 6-0 run to get back ahead by 10.  With 16 seconds left in the half, Butler’s Jordan Tucker hit a 3 pointer to get the game back to 7.  Tucker thought he had silenced the DePaul side of the crowd.  Well guess what?  Romeo Weems decided to ignite the crowd again.  Weems ended the half with an exclamation point, 3 pointer to put the Demons back up by 10.  DePaul never looked back.

At halftime, DePaul fans were hoping that the Demons could get off to a hot start to the second half.  Jalen Coleman-Lands and Romeo Weems took the 1st two shots of the 2nd half for the Demons and both made 3 pointers to get the lead up to 14 points.  From that point on, the Blue Demons lead was never less than 11, as DePaul cruised to their 1st Big East victory of the year, and ended their second longest losing streak in conference play.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, let’s enjoy a gif, courtesy of our favorite librarian, @DePaulBlueDemon, Jaylen Butz’s emphatic dunk to put DePaul up 16 with under 10 to go in the game.

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The Good

Paul Reed

Reed was locked in and focused.  From winning the opening tip to making 8 consecutive shots from the field and 5 consecutive shots from the free-throw line, Reed was the difference maker.  He ended with a kenpom.com Offensive Rating of 178, which is about as good as you can go.

Romeo Weems

Weems went 3-4 from 3-point land for 11 points.  He also had 3 steals and was a pain in Kamar Baldwin’s side.  Weems frustrated the hell out of Baldwin holding him to 16 points and a 97 Offensive Rating (below average.)

Jalen Coleman-Lands

JCL got back on track.  He was the 2nd leading scorer for the Blue Demons with 20 points on 3-5 shooting from behind the arc, and an insane 9-11 from the free-throw line.

3 Point Shooting and Torching Butler’s Game Score consistency

The story of the game was DePaul’s insane shooting from long distance.   The Men in Blue, well, Black today, had their best 3 point shooting night of the year making 10-17 for 58.8%.  The second best night was at Iowa when the Demons shot 55%.

This torrid shooting, plus an equally insane 32 free-throw attempts with 25 makes, torched Butler’s lovely defensive efficiency.  DePaul also forced the Bulldogs into turning the ball over at their 3rd worst rate of the season.  All of these data points messed with Butler’s Game Score.

In the Preview to this game, this writer pointed out Butler’s consistency game in and game out.  With the exception of a game with Morehead State, Butler has been playing each game like a top 25 team, putting up ‘Game Scores’ above 80 and mostly above 90.

Today, DePaul held them to a Game Score of 33, which would be like the 235th best team in the country.

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DePaul’s First Win Against a Top 5 Team Since 2006

DePaul beat Kansas at the Allstate Arena on December 2, 2006. This writer was there and it was one of those games were the Demons lurked and lurked and then when everyone thought that Kansas was going to win, Sammy Mejia went off pulling a victory from the grasp of defeat. It was to the point that KU fans were discussing whether they should start with “Rock-Jock-JayHawk”, and Sammy saved us from that awful chant.

The Bad

Darious Hall’s Eye

Hall had his eye poked by Kamar Baldwin in the first half.  It lead to Hall having to leave the game.  He came back to the bench later with an ice bag on his eye.  Let’s hope for a speeding recovery and hope that no serious damage has occurred.

Charlie Moore (but Hey, we still won)

Although Moore had a game high 8 assists, he also had a game high 6 turnovers.  4-3 assist to turnover rate is not ideal.  Moore also struggled from the field going 3-13 and finishing with 9 points.  Finally, he fouled out on a bizarre double technical.

The positive was that Moore played his opponent to a draw.  Aaron Thompson of Butler had 6 assists and 5 turnovers and ended with 7 points and 4 fouls.

At the end of the day, DePaul trounced Butler on a day when Charlie was not at his best.

The Refs

A recurring theme, the referees were absolutely awful.  In the first half, DePaul clearly benefited from some of the most egregious calls.  As mentioned before, the Demons took 32 free-throws.  The Bulldogs took 19.  The game, which is supposed to go about 2 hours, dragged on for 2:16 minutes due to all the free-throws and conferring with the replay machine.  The flow was all over the place for many stretches.  Big East officials, do better, and let the players play.

What’s Next

For the third game in a row, the Blue Demons are going against a team that they have not beaten in a long time.  This time it is Creighton, and their 10 game streak against DePaul.  The Demons host on Wednesday night at the Wintrust at 8PM.

Boys, it is time to end that streak as well.

 

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