Blue Demons Look To Snap 5 game Losing Streak in Hinkle Fieldhouse
After finally ending an eleven game losing streak to Butler in January, DePaul tries to snap a 5 game losing streak at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The last victory was a memorable on in January of 2014.
DePaul and Butler met up in Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time as Big East opponents. For the first 30 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs had the game in hand, building a 12 point lead with 10 to go. At that point, the Blue Demons mounted a furious attack lead by Cleveland Melvin, Brandon Young, and Freshman, Billy Garrett Jr. When regulation was over, the Demons found themselves tied with Butler. After 28 points combined were scored in Overtime, DePaul and the Bulldogs remained tied. Finally, after 2 Overtimes, the Blue Demons won an epic game 99-94.
DePaul is coming off being swept by Xavier in a game that was there for the taking. After being down by double digits for most of the first half, the Blue Demons went on a 10-0 run between the end of the 1st half and the beginning of the 2nd half, cutting the lead to 3. With multiple changes to get to less than 3 or keep it within 5, DePaul’s offense stalled at 52-48, and did not score for over 5 minutes (9 possessions), allowing Xavier to get up by 14. From that juncture on, the game was out of reach.
DePaul takes on Butler Saturday, February 29th at 5:30 Central at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The game will be on FS1, Channel 237 on Comcast, and on Radio 670AM.
First Meeting ever? November 26th, 1977, when DePaul beat Butler 93-65.
Butler leads the all-time series 11-6 since the 1950s.
What Does Each Team Like to Do?
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.
Butler is pretty balanced and intelligent when it comes to shot selection. 37.6% of their shots come from close 2s and 36.5% come from 3-pointers. As a team they make the extra pass to get the best shot. They also control the pace of the game.
DePaul prefers an inside out approach. 43% of the Demons shots are close 2s, 30.4% are from 3s, 26.6% are long 2s, and finally 9.4% are dunks.
Butler’s opponents have shot 38.9% of their shots from 3 point range, and those opponents have been shooting hotter from that range. Coming into the first meeting, Butlet’s opponents were only shooting 26.4% of the shots from 3, while they are now making 33.7%. Their opponents are now taking more close twos than before. These factors have contributed to the Bulldogs falling off of the pace.
DePaul is better at defending close twos and are not as quality at defending the 3-point shot.
Who Can Hurt DePaul? A lot of different guys.
Butler play 4 guys for 70% or more of the game. Aaron Thompson, 6’2″ Junior Point Guard leads the way in minutes; he does not shoot 3 pointers at all and is 59% from free-throw land. Next comes Sean McDermott, 6’6″ Senior, Small Forward, then Kamar Baldwin, 6’1″ Senior Shooting guard, and finally 6’7″ Junior Power Forward, Bryce Nze who shoots exclusively from inside the paint, and is even worse from the free-throw line than Thompson.
Is a huge usage guy. He takes a third of all shots for the Bulldogs, which puts him at the 27th highest percentage of shots of any player in the country. He gets in the paint frequently taking twice as many 2 point shots as 3 point shots. Romeo Weems will have his hands full.
The sharp-shooter runs all around trying to get space. He has made 40% of his 3-point attempts and is 88.7% from the free-throw line. He has an off the charts offensive rating of 131.8. He will not take a bad shot. He is patient and waits for the right time to pull the trigger.
Tale of the Tape
This chart has changed drastically since earlier in the year. Butler still wins the tale of the tape with clear wins in 4 of the categories to 2 wins by DePaul. The Bulldogs, on paper, are clearly better than the Demons.
What’s Going to Happen?
Butler is on a 3 game losing streak losing at home to Georgetown, and then losing at Seton Hall on a last second shot, and then getting blown out by Creighton. DePaul lost a winnable game at Xavier after defeating Georgetown at home last Saturday.
If DePaul can force Butler into shots they do not want to take, they have a good chance. The Bulldogs do not shoot until they have they shot they want, even as the shot clock is winding down. It will take a team effort to keep the defensive intensity up.
The Blue Demons have not won a conference road game after being road warriors during the Non-Conference schedule. Butler is ripe for the picking, but DePaul has, once again, become the conference push-over. I expect pain.