It’s been a historic start to their 2019-20 campaign for the DePaul Blue Demons. This is the first time in quite a while where the team has gotten to double-digit wins this early in the season. They’ve beaten some quality teams both at home and on the road including victories over Texas Tech, Minnesota, and Iowa. DePaul has even seen itself receive votes in the AP Top 25 so far this season. Although we are less than 48 hours from the start of 2020, it might be time to start talking about DePaul as a tournament team. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi in his latest Bracketology has the Blue Demons as a nine seed in the South Region. At 12-1 and at the top of the Big East standings, DePaul’s chances of making the Big Dance look pretty good at the moment. As for getting into the Top 25, DePaul is right there. They are currently one of the top four teams on the outside looking in and a solid victory will boost their standing.
The Blue Demons earned their 12th win with a 83-78 victory against Northwestern in Wintrust Arena. Despite the Wildcats shooting 54.3 percent from the field, DePaul was still able to cause havoc defensively, forcing 16 turnovers. They also got another monster performance from Charlie Moore who scored 25 points along with 10 rebounds. Jaylen Butz came up huge with 23 of his own along with eight boards. Paul Reed continued his solid play with a double-double as DePaul won its third game in a row. It’s been a fantastic nonconference run for Dave Leitao’s squad, but now the real test begins. Conference play tips off Monday night and it will be against another team looking to get into the AP Top 25.
The Seton Hall Pirates are also on a winning streak and will be looking to get back to a .500 record on the road this season. After losing against Rutgers on December 4th, they have rebounded back with two straight wins, despite being without Myles Powell and Sandro Mamukelashvili. One of them included a victory over 13th ranked Maryland. It was a defensive struggle and the Pirates were their usual stalwart selves at making life difficult for their opponents offensively. Maryland scored just 18 points in the first half in route to the 52-48 Seton Hall victory. Then last week, the Pirates rolled over Prairie View A&M by twenty to up their record to 8-4. Although they have the second lowest win total in the conference, the Big East has proven to be a buzzsaw this season. Plus given their win over a top 15 opponent along with pushing a top team in Oregon to the brink, this Pirates team is no pushover. They will be stout defensively and make things very difficult for DePaul. After this one, Seton Hall travels back home to host Georgetown on Friday.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: 8:30PM ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: WIND 560 AM (DePaul)
Stream: Fox Sports Go (Where streaming is available)
Odds: Seton Hall enters this game as a -1 point favorite (via Oddsshark.com) so this one is essentially a pick’em.
Record ATS: DePaul (7-5-1) || Seton Hall (8-4)
O/U: The over/under opened at 137 but it’s since gone up to 139.
Last Time They Met
Seton Hall holds an 18-6 advantage in what will be the 25th meeting in the history of both schools. DePaul will be looking to make it three wins in a row against the Pirates after sweeping them last season.
By the Numbers
DePaul is ranked 63rd via KenPom’s overall metrics. They have an adjusted offensive efficiency score of 103.9 (97th in the country). Their defense has done much better this season and it reflects in the rankings. The Blue Demons defense has an adjusted defensive efficiency score of 92 (46th overall).
Sitting at 22nd overall, Seton Hall has an AdjO score of 106.4 (55th) and a AdjD score of 88.0 (12th in the country).
3 Things to Watch
A Defensive Struggle
Both of these teams are stout defensively. The Pirates have consistently been one of the better defensive teams in the conference while DePaul’s overall defense has taken a jump up this season. Points won’t be easy to come by and expect this to be a low scoring game. Don’t be surprised if there are some long stretches of no points.
More bench production from DePaul
Against Northwestern, all but eight points from the Blue Demons came from the starters. Granted Darious Hall was the only one to get serious minutes off the bench but now that we are now in conference play, more production is needed from the reserves. Even in their limited minutes, they need to create a spark and take pressure off the starters. Leitao can’t keep playing his guys heavy minutes every single conference game. They are going to need relief at some point.
The status of Myles Powell
Myles Powell, Seton Hall’s best player and one of the best returning prospects in the Big East, hasn’t had a great start to the season. He’s struggled with injuries, most recently with a concussion that has kept him out for two weeks. Seton Hall has kept afloat with him on the sidelines but he seems to be doing a lot better. In fact, according to the Ashbury Park Press, there is a chance Powell plays in this game. Even if he’s rusty and comes back for short stints, this could be a big boost for the Pirates morale wise. Getting a player of Powell’s caliber back is always a positive.