In a nice winter treat for the DePaul Blue Demons, they get to get out of the Chicago winter for a bit and head to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic. Unfortunately, however, for them, is the fact that they have to open the tournament against the supremely talented Colorado Buffaloes. The Blue Demons have lost three straight games, including a 31 point beatdown Thursday night in Corvallis. Regardless of this, if the Demons want to come out victorious in the opening round of the Classic, here are three things they have to focus on.
Struggles Against the Pac-12
DePaul is 28-30 all time against current Pac-12 teams. That's not terrible, but it's not particularly great. Their last win against a Pac-12 team came this season against Stanford at the Allstate Arena, and their last loss to a Pac-12 team came Thursday in Corvallis. It's important to beat power conferences if you want people to take you seriously, which is something Oliver Purnell and the Blue Demons undoubtedly would like to have happen.
KenPom really likes the Demons. They're 24th in the country in Effective Field Goal Percentage at .552. Effective Field Goal Percentage, explained better here, gives more credit for three pointers than two pointers, and DePaul has been very good from beyond the arc. Hitting three pointers will always be an effective strategy in beating good teams, so if you have the ability, go for it.
Containing Josh Scott
Colorado's junior forward is far and away their best player. Josh Scott is averaging 15.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season. DePaul's big men will face one of their tougher tests on the year so far in trying to stop the big Buffalo.