Season's First Road Game
So far this season, the DePaul Blue Demons have either played at home in Allstate Arena or on campus at the McGrath-Phillips Arena. The matchup with the Chicago State Cougars will be the first away game of the year for the Blue Demons, although one could hardly call it a true road test, as the Jones Convocation Center is only about 30 miles down the road from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Nevertheless, being in a technically "hostile" environment will be a new experience for this DePaul team. It'll be an odd adjustment, but it shouldn't have quite the impact that the travel to Washington D.C. will come December 11th.
The Pressure's On
Chicago State is not a good shooting team. So far this season, they've managed to average 39% from the field, which is one of the key reasons why they are 2-6 and one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country. DePaul has seen much success this season when applying their pressure offense, which has worked wonders for them; it was able to help the Blue Demons lessen Stanford's shooting percentage by nearly 6 points. If DePaul is able to put the pressure on without getting into foul trouble, they will be able to enervate the Chicago State offense. Not only will the shooting percentage lessen, but DePaul's starters will be all over the Cougars, forcing an innumerable amount of turnovers.
Push It [the tempo]
In each game they have played so far, DePaul has done an excellent job of getting quick offensive possessions and forcing turnovers to give them the overwhelming edge in transition. Due to this, the Blue Demons average nearly 80 points per game, and they still shoot nearly 50% from the field. When this DePaul team controls the tempo, they are a force to be reckoned with. This is the best DePaul team, shooting-wise in many a year, and they are deadly when allowed to get quick, efficient possessions. Chicago State will have to try and slow this game down if they are to win, for God knows that they won't be able to hang with DePaul in a quick game featuring many, many possessions.