Villanova heads to the windy metropolis, because it prepares for a Tuesday evening sport with the DePaul Blue Demons.
The Wildcats have had a tricky time recently, shedding three of their final 4 video games, although the losses had been in opposition to high quality groups like UConn, Marquette and most just lately, Xavier. They may compete in all three, however the ethical victory of a fan is to “have a look at all of the misplaced alternatives to win.”
Villanova enters with an 8-8 file and a 2-3 mark in convention play.
DePaul did not have a lot luck of late, both. The Blue Demons are 7-9 total, and have misplaced 5 of their final six video games. They’re 1-4 up to now in Massive East play, and like Villanova, their convention win up to now has come in opposition to Georgetown.
Tip-off is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 9 pm ET.
After the numerous departure from the scoring machine Javon Freeman-Liberty and David Jones, who’s now in St.
Umoja Gibson (Oklahoma), Eral Penn (LIU) and Da’Sean Nelson (JUCO switch from Kilgore Faculty) have made an instantaneous affect since becoming a member of the staff this offseason.
Javan Johnson, who was a midseason addition from Iowa State throughout the 2021-22 marketing campaign, loved a profession yr and had time to settle into this system that helped him.
Johnson led the staff with 15.9 factors and 4.8 rebounds per sport. He shot 43.4% total and a team-best 41.7% from deep. He’s a three-point shooter to be revered and harmful when he will get going. He drilled 4 or extra three-pointers on 5 separate events, however he has been chilly because the daybreak of the brand new yr. Within the final two video games, he shot only a mixed 1-for-14, however within the final sport of 2022, a win over Georgetown, he was an environment friendly 5-of-7 from deep.
Gibson is a helpful two-way guard, and he contributes scoring punch and is a crucial facilitator on the ground. Gibson averaged 15.5 factors, 5.1 assists and a couple of.3 steals per sport. Gibson is one other up-and-down participant. He feasted on Georgetown, with a 31-point, five-assist and four-steal outing, however then disappeared in an unpleasant loss at Windfall. He just lately rebounded although with a stable 16 factors, eight assists, two steals and three turnovers in opposition to Butler.
At 6-foot-6, Penn is a stable rebounder and leads DePaul with 7.3 boards per sport. He did not have to hold as a lot of a scoring load at DePaul, in comparison with his time at LIU, however he chipped in 10.3 factors per sport at a 47.0% clip.
Lastly, Nelson is a 6-foot-8 ahead to look at. The Blue Demons additionally wrestle with measurement, and he is a robust man off the bench. He averaged 9.3 factors and 5.3 boards, and performed a key function as DePaul’s Yor Anei recovered from a foot harm. The Blue Demons solely have two gamers taller than 6-foot-7 of their rotation, Nelson and Anei.
Anei missed a part of the season with an harm, however has since returned for the ultimate 4 video games. Whereas he hasn’t been shut down by any means, he’s coming off his finest displaying of the season, a 14-point outing on 6-of-8 capturing. That is essentially the most factors he has scored since January 11, 2022.
Time to shoot them, or sleep on the streets
There aren’t any such ensures, however it is a winnable sport for the ‘Cats.
DePaul is permitting opponents to shoot 36.3% from deep (299th nationally). The ‘Cats have not had lights out capturing performances and have solely shot greater than 33.3% from three as a staff simply as soon as within the final 5 video games, however it is a probability to regain that capturing stroke and confidence will be rebuilt from the lengthy vary.
Whether or not that is Cam Whitmore placing collectively one other takedown sport, or Brendan Hausen sinking the Blue Demons, or one other main three-point artillery, the ‘Cats have to benefit from the Blues’ weak protection. Demons.
Even when the ‘Cats cannot capitalize from lengthy vary, an aggressive offensive fashion of play can earn quite a lot of fouls and free factors. DePaul ranks 290th in accordance with KenPom in free throw charge allowed, and sadly for the Blue Demons, the Wildcats are completely satisfied to make opponents pay for letting them get to the road.