TV, Times, and Lines:
Date: Thursday, January 13th
Time: 5:00 p.m. EST
Spread: Seton Hall -5.5
Total: O/U 148
On Thursday afternoon, the (9-6) (0-5) DePaul Blue Demons have the chance at home to pick up their first Big East win against the No. 20 (11-3) (2-2) Seton Hall Pirates. DePaul has played a couple close games so far in conference, but none have swung its way. The potential of securing an auto bid to March Madness is running out of time. A win for the Blue Demons can keep them above water.
DePaul’s last game action was only two days ago when they traveled to Milwaukee to play the Marquette Golden Eagles. This game was a tale of two halves. The first half being close, and the second half being a blowout. Unfortunately, the Blue Demons were on the wrong side in the second half. One positive from Tuesday’s loss was forward Yor Anei. After transferring to DePaul from SMU this year, Anei had not really found his footing with the team. There had been flashes that he could score, or get a lot of rebounds, but the two outputs never clicked together. Tuesday night was different. Anei got his first start in place of Nick Ongenda, and put up a massive 16 point 11 rebound double double. The reason that the first half was close was because Yor became a secondary scoring option and thrived on the boards.
On the opposing side of the Blue Demons, we have the Seton Hall Pirates. After starting 0-2 in conference play, the Pirates have won their last two games and entered the AP poll this week at 20. The last game action for Seton Hall was last Saturday when they hosted the UConn Huskies. The Pirates would win in an overtime thriller led by a career high 27 points from Kadary Richmond. That’s right, not Bryce Aiken, Jared Rhoden, or even Myles Cale. Their top scorer was Kadary Richmond. That is what makes this Seton Hall team dangerous. Any given day, any player can go for 25+ points. There are only a handful of teams in the Big East that have that ability, and the Seton Hall Pirates are one of them.
Henry’s Three Keys:
1. Limit the 3
- Like Marquette and Villanova, Seton Hall is an excellent three point shooting team. If the Blue Demons give up open threes today, they will get torched. Play perimeter defense and allow the bigs to step it up on the defensive end. As DePaul, you would much rather have the Pirates have to play your physical game, instead of lighting it up from behind the arc.
2. Three Scoring Options
- Javon Freeman-Liberty can’t be the only scorer. In fact, it can’t just be Javon and someone else, like David Jones or Yor Anei. At least 3 Blue Demons need to score 15+ points tonight to give them a chance at winning. There has been way too much pressure during conference play for Javon to score. He has been scoring, but there has not been another consistent guy that can do the same on this roster. Having the top 3 scorers combine for at least 45 would put DePaul in a good position to come out of this afternoon game with a win.
3. Win on the Glass
- This was one of the main reasons that DePaul kept themselves in the first half of Tuesday’s game against Marquette. The Blue Demons ended with a +15 rebounding differential. If that margin was even, DePaul would have lost by 30. This is not the most important key because the Blue Demons have lost while dominating on the glass, but it is still prevalent. More boards creates more opportunities, and that is exactly what DePaul needs in this game.
I trust Coach Stubbs and think that he is going to turn this year around. That would have to happen soon, and this is as good of a game as any to begin the turnaround. This is a big opportunity to pick up a home win against a ranked team. One win can give the Blue Demons all of the confidence that they need to go on a big run. Seton Hall is a great team, but I think that they are going to slip up in this one.
DePaul wins, 79-75