If you ever ask a coach about rankings during a media scrum in the middle of the week you’re likely to get a canned response about rankings not mattering. Putting weight into rankings in November and December seems pretty silly since you’re dealing with a small sample size and a litany of poor teams and buy games littered throughout every major team’s schedule.
The coach’s rehearsed response makes sense in that regard. Yet in this circumstance, where a team that has battled and outclassed every opponent in its schedule, the team should definitely be ranked.
The team I’m referring to, of course, is DePaul.
DePaul is 9-0. They’ve got a new trio of studs that can carry the team on any given night, but it’s their defense that’s made a gigantic impact this year. They’re forcing a lot of turnovers (23) and getting their opponents to chuck up bad shots (shooting just 42% from the field so far this season). They’re gritty and tough with no real quit.
This isn’t your modern day DePaul team.
This is your new-look, Dave Leitao in-his-prime DePaul team. And they’re looking to rustle some jimmies and shake up the BIG EAST. Before they do all of that, though, they’ve got to crack the top-25 just to show they mean business.
When the time comes and DePaul has a number next to their name, don’t expect Dave Leitao to sit and praise the fact that they’re going to get recognized nationally. He’s likely going to give the same canned answer of, “We don’t really care about rankings.”
As long as he’s answering the question, good things are happening, and Depaul is finally ranked.