In one of the more interesting opening games in the Big East, DePaul welcomes the Western Michigan Broncos to McGrath-Phillips Arena. Here are three things to keep in mind as you watch.
New (Old?) Era
DePaul welcomes back one of the most successful coaches in program history, Dave Leitao. Leitao was the coach of the Blue Demons the last time they made the NCAA Tournament. A win would definitely get the second act of the Leitao Era off in the right direction. DePaul is 85-7 all time in season openers, and Leitao was 4-0 in such games in his time at DePaul.
Billy Garrett Show
One of the most exciting parts of watching DePaul the past two seasons has been Billy Garrett, Jr. The junior point guard came in as a highly touted recruit, hit the ground running, won the Big East Newcomer of the Year, then made a case, last season, for All-Big East First Team. If Garrett can improve upon a couple things from last season, he'll be right up there with Kris Dunn and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera as the best point guard in the conference by the end of the year.
Don't Overlook the Broncos
Although Western Michigan lost their leading scorer from last season in David Brown (15.3 PPG), they returned a bulk of their team. DePaul is the favorite, on paper, but the Blue Demons can't afford to take the Broncos lightly, as we saw last night with teams like Illinois, Wisconsin, and UCLA, the first day of college basketball season is weird.