Also Looking to Snap 7 Game Losing Streak In Conference
Coming off of an abomination of a game at Creighton that embarrassed all alumni, made St. Vincent DePaul roll over in his grave and question all of the good he did in the world, and showed the ineptitude of the coaching staff, along with the lack of pride shown by the players, DePaul hosts Villanova.
This writer called the 1st meeting, the Pennsylvania Screw Job: DePaul Loses in Overtime at Villanova. In that game, DePaul came back from eleven down with 2:10 to go to tie the game and force overtime. In overtime, the referees gifted 8 free-throws to Villanova, the first 4 were on ‘fouls’ that should have been called on Colin Gillespie. The game was marred by a huge free-throw discrepancy, which has been the norm in Big East play for DePaul. In the end, DePaul lost by 4, because they had to foul at the very end and hope for a miss.
Where are we today? Unfortunately, the Blue Demons have been going streaking, not to the quad, not anywhere fun, but to the bottom of the Big East standings. This is the longest losing streak for DePaul since 2017, which really isn’t that long ago.
DePaul takes on Villanova Wednesday, February 19th, at 8PM Central at Wintrust Arena in the South Loop.
The game will be on Channel 232 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 first time that these two played, the Tale of the Tape was a lot closer. However, since that point, DePaul has regressed to being the DePaul of the past 15 years, while Villanova has been a below average Wildcats team, but not way off the mark. This year’s Wildcats do not force turnovers as much as some previous additions, which is good news for the Demons. ‘Nova has improved its 3 point shooting to 35.7% on the year from 34% when the team met the first time. 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. Of course, as we know, in the first game between these two team, ‘Nova was handled many free-throws in the 2nd half and overtime to win a game that they did not deserve to win.
Villanova wins the Tale of Tape, hands down.
How Do These Team Play the Game
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. The first time that this writer did this breakdown was before the first DePaul-Villanova Game. Comparing pre-game one to pre-game two shows two teams trending in opposite directions.
Villanova prefers an outside in approach. 46% of their shots come from beyond the arch, which matches up with their stats from the first meeting. Somehow, DePaul is taking less 3s and making less 3s. That is a recipe for disaster, which checks out.
Villanova had taken less far 2s than they had earlier in the season. Great Strategy.
DePaul has taken more far 2s than they had earlier in the season. Bad Strategy. Turn those 2s into 3s.
DePaul has also taken less close 2s and Dunks than they did earlier in the season. Bad Strategy
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. Their defensive stats are creepily almost exactly the same as they were the first meeting.
DePaul has allowed a higher rate of 3pt shots and a higher percentage to go in since the 1st encounter. They have also allowed more dunks. Awful strategy and execution.
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 37% from deep and 81.4% from the line. He leads the team in assists.
Bey, 6’8″ Sophomore, is the most accurate 3 point shooter at 45.1%. He is coming off a tough outing against Temple where he scored 9.
What’s Going to Happen?
Villanova is going for their 20th consecutive victory against DePaul. DePaul is on a Seven Game Losing streak, what do you think will happen?