DePaul moved to 6-6 today after another embarrassing loss in the Diamond Head Classic. From the outset, Ohio dominated this game, giving headaches to a DePaul team that has struggled to defend in the halfcourt all season long.
One day removed from being destroyed by a scoring barrage from Colorado's Askia Booker, the Blue Demons learned about a few other offensive powerhouses: Javarez Willis and Treg Setty. Both of those players were able to shoot freely without much opposition, which is much of why Willis and Setty put up 31 and 17 points, respectively. The two were mind-boggling and it really was frustrating to watch them getting these shots with ease.
The Blue Demons, however, had their own set of issues from this game. Three of the things they need to learn from are as follows:
Defense in the halfcourt
It is widely-known that DePaul has a very respectable fullcourt press. It has given teams headaches all season long, leading to many turnovers and fast break points. This game did, however, highlight a very key problem for the Blue Demons: their defense beyond the press. They do a great job of pressuring the opposition once they inbound the ball, but they are seemingly unable to get a stop once the ball gets across halfcourt. They don't get back quick enough, leaving their defense scattered. This, of course, is what led to many a points being scored by a Bobcats team that didn't even have to work hard to find an open player somewhere on the court.
The Blue Demons have been a good shooting team this season. In their wins, they have seen high percentages of threes. In their losses, much like today, they have shot very poorly. They continue to act like they can shoot their way out of these slumps. They seem to never look for an open man or get someone like Henry or Hamilton the ball down low. Instead, DePaul continues to settle for threes that are either contested or too far out of range. It's maddening to watch.
Myke Henry has to get his game back
One thing has been sorely missed by this DePaul team: the scoring line of Myke Henry. He was crucial in all of DePaul's wins this season, providing a scoring presence not necessarily found within his teammates. He has been a relative non-factor in the Diamond Head Classic so far. He only scored 10 points against Colorado and 6 points today, a far cry from the 16 points per game we're used to seeing from him. If he isn't his usual self, DePaul has no hope to win these battles with high-octane offensive teams.