DePaul went wire-to-wire against their neighbors to the Near West Side, the UIC Flames, taking an inexperienced squad - including four starting freshmen - to school in a 82-55 win.
The Blue Demons outplayed them in every facet, with efficient shooting and solid play in the paint, out-muscling the Flames for 38 points inside. Five rotation players scored in double-digits, led by a 17-point 9-rebound night from Myke Henry.
Dave Leitao's defense is taking shape
An impressive defensive effort tonight from the Blue Demons, stifling a young, sloppy UIC squad. Their perimeter D made the Flames look clueless offensively, forcing 21 turnovers for 23 points. Leitao's defensive philosophy is starting to manifest in his players. They made easy work of a lesser team tonight, and should do the same with Chicago State.
UIC isn't very good
Not to take away from tonight's victory - a win is a win is a win - but the Flames aren't very good, yet. First-year head coach Steve McClain trotted out four freshman, and their only reliable option was Dominique Matthews, who finished with 17 points and 5 rebounds. UIC is young and inexperienced, and DePaul picked them apart as they should've. Chock this one up as nothing more than an early-December confidence boost.
"Do Your Job"
In honesty, I don't have a third takeaway. To call a spade a spade, this was a pretty generic ballgame. DePaul handled a substandard team rather handily, exactly what you expect out of them. Billy Garrett could've had a better shooting night (3-of-9 FG), but that's a very minor blip. Everyone produced and did their job. Pretty solid game over all for the Blue Demons. Their task now is to keep the consistency up and don't let up against Chicago State this weekend.