The DePaul Blue Demons are off to their best start in decades. Led by the likes of Paul Reed and Charlie Moore, the Blue Demons are 7-0 and are on the heels of an epic comeback win over the Central Michigan Chippewas. The Blue Demons have left many an opponent in their wake, including the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes, whom they dismantled a few weeks ago as part of the 2019 Gavitt Games.
Why is this relevant? Well, the Blue Demons are facing a Big Ten team for the second time this season on Friday afternoon. That team is the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who will host DePaul for a tussle in Minneapolis.
Minnesota is ripe for the picking for DePaul at the moment. The Golden Gophers are 3-3 on the year, having lost to the Oklahoma Sooners, Butler Bulldogs and the Utah Utes this year. They are undefeated at home to be fair, having picked up wins over the Cleveland State Vikings, North Dakota and, coincidentally, Central Michigan. They’re primarily led by a trio of sophomores in Marcus Carr, Daniel Oturu and Gabe Kalscheur, while senior Alihan Demir and junior Payton Willis have both been solid, too.
That being said, the Gophers haven’t been particularly great this year. They’ve got solid marks from the perimeter on both ends, as DePaul might run into some trouble if they shoot from beyond the arc. They’ve been solid defensively too, but nothing super outrageous.
Where Minnesota has been really lacking is at the FT line. You can’t really explain the 73.2 percent mark that teams have shot against them from the stripe, but the 60 percent mark that Minnesota has shot at the line is a big blemish. They’re not really getting to the line much either, which probably makes it much worse, as they’re not taking advantage of the minuscule opportunities that they get.
But it’s not as if DePaul is fairing much better. The Blue Demons are shooting 62.1 percent from the FT line and teams have shot 75.6 percent against them. Again, hard to explain the latter, but the former is a big, big blemish on an otherwise solid resume. The key for DePaul also will be taking care of the ball. Their TO% is 245th in the nation, and that’s not exactly a spot that they want to be in. Regardless of that, DePaul has been shooting the ball very well and could give Minnesota fits if they really get it going. Especially if the likes of Reed and Moore get to it once more.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Minnesota -4
Moneyline: DePaul +155 | Minnesota -185