Creighton Extends the Streak to Eleven Against DePaul

Poor 3 Point Shooting Dooms the Blue Demons

The three game gauntlet against Villanova, Butler, and Creighton, teams that had beaten DePaul a combined 40 times, is over.  However, two of the long streaks are still alive.  A diminished Blue Demon squad, missing starter Jaylen Butz, and sixth man, Devin Gage, succumbed to Creighton’s 3 point shooting in the second half.

18.75% from 3 will make a Demon Cry

The Blue Demons took an early lead on Nick Ongenda’s dunk.  It was the only lead of the night for DePaul.  At the ten minute mark of the 1st half, the Bluejays had taken a comfortable 8 point lead on Denzel Mahoney’s 3 point shot.  The Demons stayed within striking distance keeping the deficit under 10 for the remainder of the half, and closed the half being down only 3.

This writer was ecstatic to only be down 4, because the Demons did not look right.

In my preview, I thought that Romeo Weems would draw Creighton sharpshooter, Mitch Ballock, but he ended up on point guard Marcus Zegarowski.  In general, Weems disrupted him and kept him to having an average night with 9 points, 10 assists, and 3 turnovers.

Ballock did turn into an issue as the night went on going 5 for 11 from 3 point land, ending up with 19 points.  It was the supporting cast of Creighton that did the damage.  Five Bluejays scored in double figures.  As a team, the Bluejays shot 40% from deep going 10-25.

If you watch the makes below, Ballock really had only 2 open shots.  The guy is a shot maker.

DePaul made three 3 pointers in the game, all by Jalen Coleman-Lands, who went 3-7 on the game, but that was it.  The rest of the team went 0-9.  As a team, the Demons shot 3-16 or 18.75%, which was a season low.  Simple math explained the whole game in one tweet.

If your opponent averaged 1.2 points per possession on possessions that ended in a 3-point shot, and your team averaged .56 points per possession in which you shot a 3-pointer and your opponent took 9 more 3 point shots?  You are going to lose.  The end.

It didn’t help that when Creighton wasn’t shooting 3’s they made 53.5% of their 2 point shots (1.07PPP), while DePaul made 51% (1.07PPP).

Always remember boys and girls, 3 is greater than 2, and when you have an elite group of shooters who take a ton of 3s, you are going to come out ahead a lot of the time.

The Good

Paul Reed

Reed was the Game MVP with an Offensive rating of 115.  He had 22 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, and 3 blocks.  He was not as efficient as normal and only got to the free-throw line for 2 attempts.  It was Reed’s tenth game MVP of the year, which puts him tied for 6th in the Nation.

Jalen Coleman-Lands

JCL had some positive carryover from Butler.  He had 11 points on 3-7 shooting from behind the arc.

The Bad

3-Point Shooting

After having the best 3 point shooting game of the year against Butler, DePaul posted their lowest percentage of the year from 3 point range against the Bluejays.  Just Perfect.

If DePaul had shot as well against Creighton as they had against Butler, they would have won the game by 3.

depaul 3point trend

Defense in General

As far as Effective Field Goal percentage, this was DePaul’s 2nd worst game of the year.  Only Northwestern was more efficient.  DePaul survived against NU because the Wildcats turned the ball over twice as much as the Demons, and the Demons had an insane amount of Offensive Rebounds.

Creighton won the turnover battle and kept rebounds virtually even, so the only way that the Demons would win, is if they matched the Bluejays at shooting, and that did not happen.

DePaul did miss Jaylen Butz’s defense.  He plays the defensive screen very well, and he is a physical presence inside.  Nick Ongenda will get better, but right now he gets pushed off balance in the post on both ends.

What’s Next

St. John’s is coming to Chicago for a Saturday 1PM start.  Needless to say, it is a must win.



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