Last week was a good one for the DePaul Blue Demons. They ended the PK80 Invitational on a high note after a win over Portland and returned home and defeated the Youngstown State Penguins at Wintrust Arena 89-73. The Blue Demons were favored and were expected to take care of business against their Horizon League opponents. That’s exactly what happened.
This win was their third of the season and also means DePaul is now on a winning streak, their first of the year. While this doesn’t mean much in terms of their place in the Big East standings (they are still last) it will likely have a positive impact on the team.
For a program that is facing another crucial in terms of their rebuild, getting these small victories are important. Even if it’s against lower-tiered opponents. Now, DePaul has to get ready for a midweek matchup against another mid-major opponent.
The Central Connecticut State Blue Devils will be DePaul’s next opponent at Wintrust Arena. They enter this contest with a record of 5-3, and are on a roll. After dropping their first three games against Hartford, Rutgers, and St. John's respectively, they have reeled off five straight wins. Their most recent one being a 68-62 victory over Brown. The winning streak has helped the Blue Devils jump all the way up to second in the NEC standings.
Although it’s early, they have to hope the momentum keeps them going and hopefully gets them a shot, if anything, at the NCAA Tournament. In their conference, the only way to the Big Dance is through the conference championship. This isn’t the first time they have played a Big East team, but obviously the Johnnies are a way different team than DePaul. Let’s see if the winning streak gives Central Connecticut State some confidence heading into this game.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: WIND 560 AM (DePaul) || N/A (Central Connecticut State)
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Odds: DePaul enters this game as a 12-point favorite (via OddsShark.com). The line is down to 11.5, 11 and 10.5 in some spots.
Record ATS: DePaul (3-3-1) || Cent. Conn. St. (1-1)
Last Time They Met
This will be the first meeting between the two programs! Another first meeting for DePaul in their nonconference schedule.
3 Things to Watch
Max Strus isn’t the only new guy who is playing well for DePaul. Big man Marin Maric is too. He’s currently averaging 12.4 points on 48.3 shooting which is very good considering he is averaging 8.6 field goal attempts per game. He’s given DePaul a offensive big man presence they haven’t had in a long, long, time. The rebounding leaves some to be desired (averaging only 5.3 rebounds per game) but he’s been playing well.
Solid scoring from CConn
While Central Connecticut State only averages 72 points per game, it is solidly distributed through four guys. Led by junior Tyler Kohl’s 14.1 points per game, there are a ton of guys who can score the ball for them. It would be five guys, but sophomore forward Joe Hugley averages just under double digits at 9.5 per game. There are a lot of options on this Central Connecticut team.
Can’t overlook this game
After taking care of business against Youngstown, DePaul needs to have the same mentality. There is a game against UIC right after this one and it’s a matchup the Blue Demons are looking forward to. Especially after UIC beat them on their home court last year. Dropping their attention against opponents they should be blowing out is something which DePaul did a lot last year. They haven’t done it so far this year and hopefully for them, it never happens.