Ebb and Flow
There's no question that DePaul plays a very fast-paced game that seems to wear down the opposition. That is exactly what they will need to do on Sunday against the Milwaukee Panthers. Milwaukee is a team that plays a much slower offensive game, working only to score about 67 points per game, despite shooting a modest 43% from the field. DePaul does an excellent job of forcing turnovers and working to get out in transition. If they can do this, they will definitely be able to fluster Milwaukee and the Panthers' offense simply won't be able to keep up with the pace.
Crashing the Boards
While the heading is a bit of a spoiler, it's incontrovertible that DePaul has to rebound better than they are currently. The Blue Demons are statistically in the upper echelon of the nation's college basketball teams in most all of the major facets of the game besides one: rebounding. The Blue Demons are lower than 300th in the nation when it comes to rebounding, a number that is extremely disconcerting, considering how well DePaul has been playing. While they have been doing well, it can be said that this team could be in a much better position if they had been able to crash the boards more effectively. Milwaukee does a bit better in that respect, so it will be interesting to see how many offensive rebounds and second-chance points that the Panthers are afforded. So far, rebounding hasn't hurt DePaul greatly because of the level of competition they've been up against. That all must change if they are to defeat the tougher teams that are right around the corner on their schedule.
Steve McWhorter Must Be Stopped
Milwaukee's senior guard Steve McWhorter is an absolute monster on the court. There's not much better competition that the Blue Demons' backcourt will face in non-conference play--or Big East play, for that matter. McWhorter essentially is the Panthers' offense. He gets them 16 points per game, dishes out 4 assists in each contest, and even manages to snag 6 rebounds in each outing, despite his 6'2" stature. He's an excellent shooter from all over the court and he can even manage to get a few steals every time he logs some minutes. DePaul is going to have their hands full trying to stop him, but I'd like to believe that Garrett and Crockett will do a solid job of working to defend him tightly, as the Blue Demons can't afford to let him do to them what Lehigh's Corey Schaefer did on November 26th.