Coming off of the massacre of the Butler Bulldogs, ending an eleven game losing streak to the boys from Indianapolis, DePaul tries to end a ten game losing streak to the Creighton Bluejays. This will be the third game in a row against teams that the Demons had a combined 40 game losing streak. At least now, DePaul have snuffed out one of them. This game could put the Blue Demons right back on track to relevance in the Conference standings and NCAA Net ratings.
The last time, and only time, that DePaul beat the Blue Jays in Big East play was when Forrest Robinson, with lighting bolts shooting out of his fingers, made 5 three pointers in the first 5 minutes of the game and made 6 three pointers on the night at Omaha on January 7th, 2015.
Blue Demons Look To Snap 11 game Losing Streak to Bulldogs
In January, 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 has not beaten Butler since. Sounds like a recurring them.
DePaul is coming off of a tough loss at Villanova. AP ranked #5, Butler is coming off their 1st home loss and first Big East loss against Seton Hall. Let’s hope the referees try to extricate themselves from deciding this game.
DePaul takes on Butler Saturday, January 18th at high Noon at Wintrust Arena in the South Loop of Chicago.
The game will be on The UToo on Comcast and on Radio 670AM.
Demons Look To Snap 18 game Losing Streak to Wildcats
On January 3rd, 2008, Jerry Wainwright, Draelon Burns and the DePaul Blue Demons upset Jay Wright and Scottie Reynolds’ 17th ranked Villanova Wildcats, 84-76 to win the opening game of Big East play at the Allstate Arena. DePaul, shockingly, went on to win 3 of their next 5 to be 4-2 in Conference play. But then reality set in, as it has every year since, and the Demons lost 9 of their next 10 conference games, and due to a tie-breaker, failed to qualify for the Big East tournament, yet again.
A lot of stuff has happened since then. I now have a 6th grader and 4th grader. Neither have been alive since that last Demon victory of the Wildcats. Will Tuesday night be any different? We will see. After losing to St. John’s , the Blue Demons are becoming desperate.
Villanova comes in ranked 14th in the latest AP poll, while DePaul is in a tailspin. Twelve years later, nothing has seemed to change except the Wildcats are ranked 3 spots higher than they were in January 2008.
Let’s Start With a Little History Between These Coaches…
March 2, 2005 was a big night of truth for the DePaul Blue Demons. Firmly on the bubble, DePaul traveled to Birmingham to take on the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers. The winner of the game would have the upper hand going into the Conference USA tournament and, mostly likely, move up and off the NCAA tournament bubble.
The coaches that night were Dave Leitao, in his final year of his first term at DePaul, and St. John’s Mike Anderson, who was in his 3rd year at UAB after several years as Nolan Richardson’s top assistant at Arkansas. Anderson brought with him Richardson’s famed “40 Minutes of Hell” defense and fast paced, three point shooting and layup lined offense.
This Blue Demon team was one of the last good teams that DePaul has had. Lead by Drake Deiner, Sammy Mejia, and Quemont Greer, the Demons came into the game 18-7 with a 10-4 record in conference. A victory would seal a first round bye in the conference tournament and get them closer to being in the NCAA Tournament. UAB came into the game 8-6 with a need to win their last two games to get the important bye.
The game went back and forth. The Demons were up 2 at the half, and took their largest lead of 8 in the second half. Then the pace and the pressure took its toll on DePaul. UAB tied the game late sending it to overtime. In overtime, UAB hit a 3 pointer with 24 seconds left. DePaul set up Diener for a 3 pointer, which he missed. DePaul rebounded and set up another 3 point shot. Ultimately hitting a 2 pointer shot with a second left losing by a single point. DePaul lost their regular season finale to Louisville and UAB won theirs to secure the 4th seed and 1st round bye in the C-USA tournament.
8 days later, after DePaul won their first round game against Tulane, the Demons once again faced UAB in the quarterfinals. The winner would go to the NCAA tournament and the loser would go to the NIT.
Another back and forth game with DePaul going up by 10 with a little under 10 minutes left in the game. The frenetic UAB defense chipped away at the lead, and with 1:28 UAB hit a 3 pointer to gain their first lead of the game. Mejia scored a game tying free-throw. DePaul got a defensive stop and got the ball to Drake Diener with the hope that he would get fouled and be the iceman that he was. Under intense pressure, UAB forced Diener into a walk. UAB then made a 3 pointer leaving .7 seconds on the clock and DePaul lost. Two brutal losses, in which DePaul had the lead with less than 2 minutes to go in both game.
UAB lost to an excellent, Final Four Louisville team in the next round but was selected to the NCAA tournament the next day. The Blazers won their 1st round game, before being knocked out by the Arizona team that almost knocked Illinois out of the tournament at Allstate Arena.
Meanwhile, DePaul was selected to the NIT, where they beat Mizzou but lost to Texas A&M. Dave Leitao left for Virginia, and a year later, Mike Anderson left for Mizzou.
The Hoyas’ star, Mac McClung, had his eye severely poked during a game versus American on December 28th and missed the Providence game. I picture McClung’s eye looking like Bob Costas’s eye during Winter Olympic coverage. The only difference is that McClung, with or without bad eye, could probably reverse dunk over tiny Costas.
Providence has been a trick-or-treat team this year, losing to such basketball luminaries as Long Beach State (303), Charlestown (120), Penn (108), and Evanston’s favorite Big 14 team, Northwestern (109), while beating Texas and Georgetown in their last two games. Before beating the Longhorns and Hoyas, the Friars’ biggest wins were against Stony Brook, Pepperdine, and Sacred Heart. On paper, they are the worst team in the Big East. However, DePaul will not be playing paper on Saturday.
Seton Hall is coming to Chicago to mark the beginning of Big East play. The Blue Demons and Pirates had two epic match-ups last year with DePaul winning both times. The Demons’ size is what put them over the top with Femi Olujobi, Paul Reed and Jaylen Butz dominating both games. In the first one, DePaul won 75-74 in Chicago as Max Strus had 21, while the 3 big men all scored double figures. The second match-up was one of the most offensively efficient games by the Demons in a 97-93 victory in New Jersey behind Olujobi’s 22, Strus’s 22, and Reed’s 21. DePaul scored at a 1.31 points per possession, one of their highest of the season. Let’s hope for an encore this season.
The Blue Demons Meet the Golden Eagles At Madison Square Garden With The Season On the Line
DePaul plays the Marquette Golden Eagles on Wednesday, 3/7/2018 at 8:30 pm Central at Madison Square Garden. It will be carried on FS1 (Channel 237 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).
Marquette comes into the game with 18 wins and 12 losses overall, with a 9-9 record in Big East games after beating Creighton in a must win game. This will also be a must win game for the Golden Eagles if they would like to keep their chances for an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
DePaul is coming off their 7th excruciating loss of the season with a 3 point loss to Xavier. . In games decided by 5 points or less, the Demons are 1-7. Not optimal.
Xavier Travels to the South Loop to Take on DePaul
DePaul plays the Xavier Musketeers on Saturday, March 3rd at 11:00 am Central at the newly renamed, Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s South Loop. It will be carried on Fox (Channel 190 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).
Xavier comes into the game with 26 wins and 4 losses ranked #3 in the AP poll. Only 3 losses in Big East play, twice to Villanova and once to Providence (their only loss of the year in a game decided by 10 points or less.)
DePaul plays the Creighton Blue Jays on Wednesday, 2/26/2018 at 8:00 pm Central in Omaha, Nebraska at the CentruryLink Center. It will be carried on FS1 (Channel 237 on Comcast) and on the WIND (Radio 560).
The Blue Jays come into the game with 20 wins and 9 losses overall, with a 9-7 record in Big East games after beating Villanova in Overtime on Saturday.