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GAMEDAY: Butler at DePaul

After suffering a 3 point OT loss at Providence, the Blue Demons are set up for a nice bounce back opportunity against the Bulldogs

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

TV, Times, and Lines:

TV: FS1

Date: Tuesday, February 15th

Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Spread: DePaul -3.5

Total: O/U 129.5


On Tuesday night, the (12-11, 3-10 Big East) DePaul Blue Demons are back at home to host the (12-13, 5-9 Big East) Butler Bulldogs. Despite struggling in conference play, both teams have begun to find their stride.

DePaul’s only loss in the last 3 games was on the road in overtime against previously ranked #11 Providence. Butler just pulled off an upset at home against previously ranked #18 Marquette. Before that win, the Bulldogs had lost their last 3 games by a combined 7 points.

HE’S BAAAACK...hopefully.

The headline of tonight’s game is that DePaul’s star player Javon Freeman-Liberty is likely to play tonight. After missing the last 7 games with a groin injury, JFL sent out a tweet 2 days ago, saying “See You Guys Tuesday.”

The loss of Javon has not been as devastating as predicted. The Blue Demons went 2-5 without him, but led at halftime of all 5 of the losses. The majority of the team did a great job stepping up in the senior’s absence.

With all of that being said, the re-addition of JFL is very exciting. We have seen what DePaul is capable of over the last couple weeks, and now it is adding the Big East’s leading scorer. The question now, is which role player will be impacted the most?

Courvoisier McCauley has seen an increased role since JFL’s injury. McCauley has taken full advantage of the extended playing time. Over the last 3 games, Courvoisier has averaged 15 points per game. Earlier in the season, he had shown he was a big energy guy off of the court, but, now he has proved he can bring the energy onto the court as well.

Jalen Terry is another player that has continuously grown over the season. Terry came from Oregon to DePaul this year along with Coach Stubblefield. Jalen has been another beneficiary of extended time since JFL has been out. I think that he played his best game of the season last Saturday against Providence. Terry had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He showed that he could take over games and get a basket when DePaul really needed one.

Let’s rewind to December 29, 2021. Yes, last year. An afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse, setting up for game 1 of Big East play for the 9-1 Blue Demons. With the annual narratives looming that DePaul was not competitive in Big East play, this was the perfect opportunity for the Blue Demons to come out of the gates strong and silence them. Well...Covid had other plans. DePaul would have to play without its second best player David Jones, who was averaging around 17 points at the time.

It was a sloppy game that resulted in heartbreak for fans of the blue and red.

Tonight is a chance to finish what was started on a Wednesday, December afternoon the right way — with David Jones.

Prediction:

The key tonight will be slowing down Butler guard Chuck Harris. Over the last 4 games, DePaul has given up 21.8 ppg to the opposing team’s best guard. If the Blue Demons contain Harris, I think they win this one pretty easily. Hopefully DePaul begins to ease Javon Freeman-Liberty back into the rotation in the next couple of games, so he is fully ready for Saturday’s game at Seton Hall. The Blue Demons have shown a lot of improvement over the last couple of weeks, and I do not think that it will stop tonight.

DePaul wins, 68-58