DePaul Loses To Short-Handed Georgetown

Demons Drop 6th In a Row

In what has been a recurring theme of Big East Conference play, the DePaul Blue Demons lost a game in which they held a 2nd half lead.  In seven of DePaul’s eleven Big East games, the Blue Demons have either held a lead or been tied at the half.  For the sixth time, DePaul lost the lead and lost the game.

Before we get into this game, a little background on the Hoyas.  During this season, two scholarship players have transferred and another scholarship player has not dressed for several games in a row.  To say the Hoyas are short-handed is an understatement.  Going into this game, Georgetown had seven scholarship players on the active roster.

This loss was inexplicable, in that Georgetown started the game without their go-to playmaker, Mac McClung.  That left six scholarship players dressing for the game.  During the second half of the game, their best all around player, Omer Yurtseven, was injured with an ankle injury.  That left five scholarship players.  With 1:49 left, another starter, Jamorko Pickett, fouled out.  That left four scholarship players in the game with the Hoyas up 4.  This meant that the Georgetown had to end the game playing a walk-on.

A Walk-On Beat Us

George Muresan, son of the ex-NBA player and Hoya walk-on, came into the game with Charlie Moore going to the line.

Moore split the free-throw leaving DePaul down 3.  The Blue Demons forced a turnover setting Moore up for a shot, which he missed.  Walk-on Muresan grabbed the defensive rebound and on the ensuing possession, DePaul fouled Qudus Wahab.

One of the worries of playing this year’s Hoyas is that they are an excellent free-throw shooting team.   On the season, they have shot 77% which puts them as the 20th best in the nation. In the game preview, I mentioned the Hoyas excellence at the line.    This made this writer very concerned when the Hoyas went to the Bonus at the under 8 timeout.

Wahab, who had several awesome looking blocks in the game and was a 70% free-throw shooter, was put in a pressure situation, having to make his free-throws to make it a two possession game.  He delivered, putting the Hoyas up 5.

Romeo Weems rebounded his own missed for a layup to cut it to three, and Dave Leitao called a timeout to set up a press and potential game tying shot.  The Demons forced a turnover, kicked it to Jalen Coleman-Lands for three, and he missed.  On the ensuing fast break, Georgetown made a layup putting the Hoyas up five.

JCL missed anther 3 pointer, Butz rebounded, was fouled made one of two.  Georgetown made 2 of 2 free-throws.  Weems went 1 for 2.  Paul Reed rebounded and made a layup to get to two with 3 seconds left.

DePaul just had to get another steal, but it wasn’t to be as the Walk-on, George Muresan, received a pass, was fouled and calmly made two free-throws to seal the game.

In all, Georgetown went 18-19 from the line, making their last 14 in a row.  Contrast that with DePaul, who from the Pickett foul out to the end of the game, went 3 for 6.

…and Short-handed Georgetown came away with an unlikely victory.

The Good

Oscar Lopez Jr. Scored His First Field Goals

Freshman, Oscar Lopez Jr., has been getting more and more playing time of late.  However, coming into this game, Lopez had had one single point on the year.  He finally got his first field goal.  Later, he made a driving layup for his second.  Hopefully, this is the beginning of many, many more.

The Bad

The Coaching

How can you not game plan during the game when your opponent is physically falling apart?  Omer Yurtseven went out with about 12 minutes left.  DePaul was up seven.  This is the time you go on a run.  The Demons were intimidated by Wahab, who was awesome, so it looked like they abandoned inside shots.  The killer was Jahvon Blair.  He got fouled shooting a 3 to cut the lead to 5 with 11:44 to go.  Later, at 9:30 to go, he hit a 3 pointer to cut it to two.  From then on, it was either a timely set of free-throws or a timely jumper.  The coach has to find a way to teach defense without fouling as much.

With 12 minutes left, your opponent has 5 scholarship players available, and you cannot find a way to beat them?

Here’s a novel idea Coach Leitao. Why not press the Hoyas? The Hoyas have given up more steals than 320 other teams. The press speeds that game up, it wears players down. You mr opponent had 5 scholarship players left with 12 to go. You had the depth. Press then until the end!

The Team

How do you not buckle down and grind out that win?  Six turnovers in the last 12 minutes for one.

Jaylen Butz

Four of those turnovers in that 12 minutes stretch were assigned to Butz.  One was called a charged, when it should have been a blocking foul.  It was costly as hell, because he would have had a chance for a 3 point play.  I have to give a negative sign to Butz’s 5 turnovers.  They were costly.  He did have 14 points, but only two rebounds.  Georgetown’s big men won this battle.

Where Do We Go From Here?

On to Creighton.  It will not be pretty.  Those guys have our number.



Leave a Reply