After a week to stew over ugly back-to-back road losses, the Marquette Golden Eagles (13-4, 3-3) return home on Saturday to take on the DePaul Blue Demons (9-9, 4-2). For more than a decade the Blue Demons have been a welcome opponent on the schedule -- Marquette has beaten DePaul in 26 of the last 32 meetings, though the Golden Eagles did fall short at the Bradley Center South last season.
After last year's aberration, it is time for the Golden Eagles to return to form and bludgeon the Blue Demons......if only DePaul was as rotten as most college basketball fans have come to expect. Fact is, Jerry Wainwright's crew is a major surprise these days boasting a 4-2 record in Big East play. The Blue Demons struggled early this season, but a combination of quick guards and an improved inside game is paying dividends in conference action. Coach Wainwright has one of the league's most dynamic freshman duos in center Mac Koshwal and forward Dar Tucker. The 6'10" Koshwal averages 11 points and nearly eight boards per game. Tucker is the team's second leading scorer at 13 points per game. Senior Draelon Burns, a Milwaukee native, leads the Blue Demons with 15 points per game. Good players, all.
As for MU.....we've had a week to consider the back-to-back road blowouts. Look for MU to come out with a ferocious defensive effort on Saturday night, and hope that the offense gets back on track. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST on ESPNU.
Here are the Top Five Numbers to Know about DePaul. As always, information comes from Pomeroy's Scouting Report and Game Plan.
9 - DePaul has played nine games against teams in the RPI Top 50
- DePaul has played Creighton (43), Kansas (3), Vanderbilt (14), Mississippi (12), Clemson (26), Villanova 2x (37), Providence (44), Georgetown (11)
- They are 2-7 in these games with wins against 'Nova and Providence
- PS - Marquette has played 8 games (record 4-4) against the RPI Top 50
- The Blue Demons only turn the ball over on 18.2% of all possessions (less than one in five possessions)
- On the other hand, Marquette forces opponents into a turnover rate of 23.7%
- It may not seem like a big difference, but we almost always force our opponents into more turnovers than they usually commit
- Turnovers are the matchup of the game
- DePaul allows opponents to average 52.6% at effective Field Goal Percentage against them
- Hooray! Finally an opponent that isn't in the top 20 at eFG% defense (Unlike UConn, Louisville, and WVU)
- In some bad news, Pomeroy also predicted that we'd beat Louisville (66%) and UConn (66%)
- Feel much more confident about this one, however, because we are back at home
- We have a thieving defense, averaging a steal on 14.4% of all possessions
- That's almost ten steals per game, or a steal about one out of seven defensive possessions
Above post is a joint contribution from NY and Henry Sugar
- GoMarquette.com preview.
- Todd Rosiak says MU is having trouble in the post this season. We at CS agree!
- The DePaul Rivals board has a solid preview - and recipe for a DPU win. Nice work.
- The Chicago Tribune talks up Jerel McNeal in their game preview, calling him a 'dominant defender'.
- The Sun Times looks at Milwaukee's Draelon Burns in today's preview.
- The Daily Herald preview.
- The MU Tribune.
- Chicago Tribune calls MU 'chilly' in this look around the Big East.
- Gary Parrish says MU needs DJ to get healthy fast. No kidding, Gary.