After taking a, all things considered, bad loss to Lehigh on Wednesday night, the DePaul Blue Demons (2-1) are back in action Sunday afternoon against the Stanford Cardinal (4-1). Though Stanford isn't ranked, it'd certainly be considered an "upset" if DePaul wins. The Cardinal is favored by 7.5 points. If DePaul wants to pull off the victory, these are the three things they have to focus on the most.
Which Tommy Hamilton will show up?
As I wrote in the halftime notes of DePaul/Lehigh, we've seen two different Tommy Hamilton's this year: "Good Tommy" and "Bad Tommy". It seems as if the latter has shown up more than the former through the first three games, which is troubling for the Blue Demons. He had a very good showing against UIC, a horrible showing against Drake, and a very average showing against Lehigh. If DePaul wants to win, they need Hamilton, their second scoring option after Billy Garrett, to play better on the offensive end.
Who will stop Chasson Randle?
Stanford's senior shooting guard will be playing in his home state of Illinois for the second time in his college career. Does that mean anything? No, not really. I just thought it was something cool to point out. What does mean something, however, is Randle's prolific scoring ability. After averaging 18.8 points per game last season, Randle is right back there at 18.0 points per game already on this young campaign. If the Blue Demons can't cover him, it's going to be a long night in Rosemont.
I couldn't think of a question for this point, so instead i'll just lay it all out for you. Johnny Dawkins came from the coaching staff of a high-profile coach to take over a middling program a few years ago. Oliver Purnell started his career as a head coach by coming from the coaching staff of a high-profile coach to take over a series of middling programs. He had success at Dayton and Clemson. However, Dawkins at Stanford and Purnell at DePaul could not be more different. Dawkins got the Cardinal to the Sweet Sixteen last season and have the poised for a return. Purnell is 9-57 in conference play. There's a clear gap in coaching ability here. DePaul will need to, one way or another, make up for it if they want to have any prayer Sunday.