"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, January 25, 2008

MU looks to bounce back, hosts DePaul

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
27 - DePaul's national rank at protecting the ball
  • 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
271 - DePaul's national rank at effective Field Goal Defense
  • 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)
96% - Pomeroy's prediction for Marquette to win the game
  • 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
5 - Marquette's national rank at steals
  • 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
In summary, DePaul has a decent offense but they don't fare so well on the defensive end. Look for Marquette to force a lot of turnovers, especially steals against a team that doesn't usually turn the ball over. Expect that our team will get out and run and hit open shots in front of a lively home crowd. It's time for our offense and defense to get healthy.

Above post is a joint contribution from NY and Henry Sugar


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, two bad losses, but Pomeroy still has us only losing one the rest of the way (by 1 at Notre Dame) to finish in a three way tie for secnod place with ND and Georgetown and behind only Pittsburgh. The note earlier on nobody in the Big East winning on the road yet this year is key. Let's just get a little confidence back at home tomorrow and get the momentum. If we take momentum out of Milwaukee and win the next couple on the road, we can still win the League title.