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 can play with anyone. No one intimidates the Blue Demons. This team has been in every game. Tonight, the DePaul Blue Demons were screwed. Screwed terribly. Improbably, the Men in Blue took the 14th ranked, Villanova Wildcats, to overtime, losing after Villanova took 8 free throws in overtime. The most egregious were the first set of ‘fouls’ called. But alas, let’s dwell on that later, in the Bad, Bad section.
Down eleven with 2:10 to go in regulation, Charlie Moore hits a three, Paul Reed hustles to get a jump ball, Jaylen Butz catches a tough pass and hits a two. DePaul forces another turnover. Egregious foul called on Reed (when I thought the game was over.) Incredible steal by Reed and a monster dunk. Gillespie travels horribly, but since we are in Villanova, there was a foul called on Reed. He made one of two. Jalen Coleman-Lands hits a 3, his first of the game to cut it to two. DePaul traps the Wildcats who throw it away. The Demons call a timeout and let Charlie be Charlie who delivered. DePaul then stopped Villanova on their last gasp effort, which brought us to overtime.
DePaul started overtime with two awful possession, while Villanova was gifted with the following possessions, which added up to 4 free points. Compare this to the first of 2 consecutive fouls called on the first 2 possessions of the second half when DePaul hosted Seton Hall and Charlie Moore picked up two push off fouls. Which is worse? Maybe no calls across the board would be the answer, but instead 4 calls against the Demons.
Jalen Coleman-Lands then set up Romeo Weems for an alley-oop, which looked like Weems had been hit off the ball by Gillespie, missing the shot. Moore stole a ball and made a layup. ‘Nova made their first field goal of the session. JCL hit his 2nd 3-pointer of the night to make it a one point game. Villanova made a contested layup and after an exchange of turnovers, Charlie Moore was fouled.
Astonishingly, the Blue Demons were still in a One-and-One situation, and Moore missed the front end. Weems blocked a dunk and Saddiq Bey turned the ball over, which set up a JCL three point shot. JCL was short. Reed blocked a Justin Moore shot with eleven seconds left, and ‘Nova fouled Charlie Moore to make sure that DePaul would not get a 3 off.
Moore made the front end, and intentionally missed the 2nd, and the Demons failed to get the rebound. DePaul fouled with less than a second which brought the end game score.
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.
This is going to be a quick post, because my heart isn’t in it today. If you read my preview to this game, I stated that Villanova was a well rounded offensive machine. They were. However, for the first 10 minutes of the game, DePaul kept in reaching distance of number 3 ranked Villanova, then the wheels fell off. It took another 20 minutes for the Blue Demons to re-attach the wheels, but by that time they were down 30.
This game sucked. I was so frustrated by halftime that I went to work out to get rid of my angry energy.
I’m going to start with where things went wrong. After Tre’Darius McCallum decided to let Mikal Bridges get by him, and Marin Maric stepped in with help defense collecting his 2nd foul, creating a 3-point play, DePaul was already in a dilemma. Do you stay with Maric and his 2 fouls, or start bringing in reinforcements? Maric left the game, bringing in Paul Reed. After trading baskets, Bridges used McCallum again, but this time McCallum fouled him. Poor defensive decisions lead to massive foul trouble.
What I am trying to get out is that the game quickly devolved in Walk-ons and rarely used bench players being involved. Advantage Villanova.
DePaul Prepares to take on the Number 3 ranked Villanova Wildcats
DePaul plays the Villanova Wildcasts on Wednesday, 2/21 at 7:30pm Central at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia in front of a large crowd wishing their seniors well. It will be carried on FS1 (Channel 237 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).
Villanova comes into the game with 24 wins and 3 losses. Funny enough, DePaul has beaten 2 of the 3 teams that have been the Wildcats.