Consistency is key
Consistency play hasn’t been apparent in DePaul’s results in the final week of November. DePaul lost to a Lehigh team by 12 on Wednesday that doesn’t fall in the Top 200 schools in the nation then according to Kenpom.com. The Blue Demons turn around and beat Stanford at home by 15 that were ranked 32 in the nation. DePaul usually follows routine in the non-conference schedule beating weaker teams before the real test come Big East time. It has given Blue Demons fans promise that DePaul has the ability to out work opponents on both sides of the ball. Team offense has been their struggle since Purnell took the reigns five seasons ago. In the Stanford game, there hasn’t been a game DePaul has played that has held a candle to everyone carrying their own weight offensively. The question now is was Sunday a flash in the pan or an expectation moving forward.
Myke Henry’s emergence as a leader
No one saw back-to-back 20+ point games from the University of Illinois transfer that averaged a mere 3.2 points per game during the first half of his college career. Henry’s play has displayed the most all-around athleticism any DePaul player has brought to the table during Purnell’s time at DePaul. Coming into 2014, all attention was on Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton to carry this team out of the basement. Myke Henry is one of those players that can elevate everyone else around him. We are only four games into the regular season, keep an eye on No. 4 as he will develop into a consistent Big East nightmare on the block, hitting jumpers, and providing tenacious defense.
3-Point Shooting: The Double-Edged Sword
DePaul played an excellent drive and dish game against Stanford Sunday night that led to threats from all over the floor. Aaron Simpson went 3-3 from the perimeter and the team is currently hitting 34.9 percent of their 3-pointers. Consistent shooting across the board has either plagued or kept the Blue Demons afloat. While the offense needs to slightly improve, the significance of the three point shot does not fall on their offense but on their defense. Despite Northern coming into this game shooting 26.4 percent rom 3-point land, DePaul still needs to correct past mistakes of letting opponents constantly get clean looks. Last week against Lehigh, the mountain hawks stayed red hot from beyond the arch shooting 50 percent as a team. Lehigh shot 7-for-11 on their 3-point attempts in the first half alone. The majority of the attempts didn’t have a Blue Demon defender in the same zip code. Against Stanford however, DePaul allowed 19 attempts yet only 4 fell. Stanford also has a better shooting percentage from 3-point land then Lehigh so far this season. DePaul needs to read their opponents screens and movement better around the arch on their side of the floor. If they continue their shutdown defense like they did Sunday, then they should have no problem keeping Huskie shooters off the scoreboard.