Will The Blue Demons Ever Win Again?
The DePaul Blue Demons are back at the Wintrust to take on long time opponent, Georgetown. This is the 40th time that these clubs have played since 1950. The two squads have split in each of the past 3 seasons. In the last meeting, DePaul Lost to a short-handed Hoyas team that clinched victory when walk-on George Muresan hit two clutch free-throws to put the game out of reach. It was a familiar defeat in that the Blue Demons found a way to lose. Since that game, DePaul has been blown out of the gym by Creighton and Villanova.
Georgetown enters the game with a 5-8 record in conference. The depleted bunch upset Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse after the DePaul game and let a half-time lead slip away against Providence at home.
DePaul hosts Georgetown Saturday, February 22nd, at 8PM Central at the Wintrust Arena in the South Loop of Chicago. The game will be on FS1, Channel 237 on Comcast in Chicago and on Radio 670AM.
Tale of the Tape
In the clear advantage department of the tale of the tape, the Hoyas lead 5 to 4. Clear tape winners are those with at least a 100 point difference in the chart. Although in overall category wins, G’town wins 9-8.
Winner of the Tape: Georgetown by a nose
So what can we derive from the Tale of the Tape. The Hoyas shoot the 3 better than DePaul. The Hoyas are an excellent free-throw shooting squad. Georgetown is a little loose with the ball as well. Since DePaul is an excellent team at stealing the ball, this might lead to some easier transition points.
In conference only statistics, DePaul’s last two games have destroyed their prior advantages over Georgetown. That happens when your team has back to back worst defensive effective field goal percentage allowed. Allowing Creighton to shoot 50% from 3 and have numerous fast break dunks and allowing Villanova to shoot 69.2% with 18 3-pointers is god-awful.
Georgetown shoots a ton of long twos. Almost 40% of their shots are from mid-range. They shoot them well. DePaul shoots more 3s than the Hoyas, which is very odd. Georgetown opponents shoot 35.2% from 3, which is pretty awful, but hey, the Hoyas are taking on the the worst shooting team in the Big East, the lucky dogs.
DePaul Has Gone from Unlucky to Truly Awful
In conference play, let’s break down what things DePaul is the Worst at in the Conference.
On the offensive end: Offensive Efficiency, Turnover Percentage, 3-Point Shooting, 2nd Worst at Free-throw percentage, and 2nd Worst at Effective Field Goal percentage.
On the defensive end: Effective Field Goal percentage, 3-Point Shooting against
Want to be truly awful in modern basketball? Yes? Then follow the pattern established by DePaul. Allow your opponents to take the most 3 pointers in the conference AND allow them to make the highest percentage. Balance that out by taking the 2nd least amount of 3 point shots and shoot the lowest percentage in the conference behind the arc. Illogical basketball.
Other Illogical Stuff
Paul Reed and Jaylen Butz, amongst the best Power Forward/Center combos in College Basketball, have been playing less minutes, while the bench has expanded.
Against Creighton, Butz played 15 minutes and took 3 shots, while Reed played 12 minutes and took 3 shots. Eleven guys played and 10 played at least 10 minutes.
Against Villanova, Butz and Reed played 26 minutes each. Reed was the 2nd most efficient player on the floor. When he left the floor, Villanova immediately went up 10 points. Eleven guys played and 9 played at least 10 minutes.
Just because you have eleven scholarship guys on your bench, does not mean you should play them all. Players play best when in a rhythm. Playing short bouts of time does not allow this to occur. It is a disservice to the best players and the bench guys.
It is clear that this team’s top 5 players are Paul Reed, Jaylen Butz, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Romeo Weems, and Charlie Moore. There are no offensive weapons on the bench, not one. There is only one player on the bench who adds defensive energy now that Devin Gage is done for the year: Darious Hall.
Unless, one of the 5 players are in foul trouble, no bench player, other than Hall, should be playing more than 10 minutes. The game log does not lie. In games in which the starters play 30 plus minutes, DePaul generally plays well. Let’s look at a few conference games as examples.
Butler Win: All starters played 30+ minutes. Devin Gage, the clear 6th man played 22 spelling Moore and Weems.
@Villanova: All Starters played 30+ minutes. Hall and Gage played 14 and 11 minutes. Loss in OT.
Seton Hall close loss at home: 4 of the 5 starters played 30+ minutes and Reed played 28 due to foul trouble. Hall and Gage played the rest of the minutes.
Providence Loss by one at home: 4 of the 5 starters played 30+ minutes. Butz got injured and his time was taken by Ongenda, while Hall and Gage played their normal load between 15 and 20 minutes.
@Marquette: All starters played 27+ minutes because of foul trouble. With Gage out for the season, Hall and Ongenda received 19 and 10 minutes.
Losing Devin Gage has been a big issue mainly because it is not clear who the 7th best player on the team is any more. It was clear before injury, that the 6th man was Gage, 7th man was Hall and Ongenda was first back up for the bigs. Now that Gage is out and the addition of DJ Williams, Leitao cannot decide who to play between Oscar Lopez, Flynn Cameron, Markese Jacobs, and DJ Williams. So what does Leitao do? He plays them all! Instead of choosing one to get in the flow of the game, none of them do and all are consistently ineffective.
Coach Leitao needs to reestablish his starters minutes to 30+ a game and depend on Hall to refresh Weems, JCL, and Reed. Use Ongenda only to rest Butz and Reed. Pick either Lopez or Cameron to back up Moore and let everyone else only come in at the end of blow out or not come in at all. There are too many not ready for prime time guys on this team and having them all play is a disservice to the team.
Georgetown has had a strange season where players were suspended or quit as the season turned to conference play. Once conference play started, they have absorbed some injuries. They have succeeded in conference play due to a shortened bench of necessity. Yes, if you play 6 to 7 guys those guys get tired, but they are truly engaged in the game and they know their roles, because there is literally no other way of playing. This spat of suspensions, defections and injuries has been a net positive to the Hoyas’ season.
Who Can Hurt the Demons?
6-4 Junior, Blair killed the Blue Demons in the last match up scoring 30 points. He shoots 35% behind the arc.
6-3 Junior, Allen has been on a tear. He went for 22 against Butler on 4-4 from 3 point land and scored 16 against Providence.
Yurtseven injured his ankle against the Demons last time around. He has not played since. However, if he plays, he is 13th in the country in Offensive Rebound percentage and 77th in the country on Defensive Rebound percentage. He will be a handful for sure. Shoots 75% from free-throw land. He generally plays the most minutes for the team.
McClung is coming back from injury and in his last game played only a few minutes. When he playes, the 6-2 Sophomore Shooting Guard has the highest usage for the Hoyas. He shoots 32% from 3 and 80% from the free-throw line.
What is Going to Happen on Saturday?
According to kenpom.com, this is the last game this year that DePaul is favored. So, the boys in blue need to finish this one off and end the 8 game losing streak before it turns into a 13 game losing streak.