DePaul Can Close Out Games
The Blue Demons certainly made huge strides tonight in showing their growth by managing to cope extremely well with the absence of star guard Billy Garrett, Jr. Plagued by foul trouble all night, Garrett fouled out around the 2:47 mark, as DePaul trailed Seton Hall by two points. DePaul had just managed to close the eight-point gap that they were up against with about six minutes to go, but it seemed as if all of that was for naught without Garrett on the court. His absence, however, really seemed to fire DePaul up, as they managed to grab the reins from Seton Hall and completely take over. This was a huge step in the right direction for the Blue Demons, a team that has had trouble all season long of holding solid on their leads. After all, we all witnessed the debacle that was the Illinois State game; I'm not getting into the details of that one. Gaining the ability to close out games against the top teams in the Big East is a skill that DePaul picked up tonight. Hopefully they can hone that skill.
Angel Delgado is a Force
As if you didn't know this already. Tonight's game was just another great chapter added to the anthology of Angel Delgado's short, yet phenomenal, Seton Hall career. There aren't enough adjectives to describe the play of Delgado tonight, as he simply dominated DePaul. Delgado completely owned the Blue Demons' front court on both ends of the ball, embarrassing them by pulling down nineteen(!) rebounds and putting up the same total in the points column. It was truly a marquee performance for him, but it unfortunately loses a lot of meaning since the Pirates lost the game. Nevertheless, it was a performance indicative of what we, as Big East viewers, can expect from Delgado in games to come.
Bench Points Count Too
Perhaps one of the biggest issues for a myriad of college basketball teams is the complete lack of depth exhibited by the squads. Many teams cannot afford to lose key players, which was a problem I felt DePaul would have, should Billy Garrett be absent for critical situations. Tonight, however, proved me to be wrong. When Garrett went out, I was quite fearful that DePaul may let such a key win slip through their grasp. The Blue Demons' bench, however, was not going to allow that to happen. Rashaun Stimage and Darrick Wood, two players who average roughly eight and thirteen minutes, respectively, were completely willing to stand up to the challenge before them and seal the victory for the Blue Demons. The two players came in and immediately went to work, scoring seven of the Blue Demons' final nine points in the game. It was fantastic work from the bench, who completely put Seton Hall's bench to shame, outscoring them twenty-three to five in that department. This was one of the most positive experiences I have had watching this team this season. If they can continue to utilize their depth, their Big East opponents will certainly have their work cut out for them.