TV, Times, and Lines:
Date: Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
Spread: DePaul -7.5
Total: O/U 144.5
(odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Late Wednesday night, the (11-10, 2-9 Big East) DePaul Blue Demons host the (6-15, 0-10 Big East) Georgetown Hoyas. Wednesday will mark the first matchup between the two programs in the 2021-2022 season.
Both teams come into this game towards the bottom of the Big East. Standings-wise, they are the bottom two. Most teams play 20 conference games (some a little less due to COVID), so if Georgetown and DePaul want to get to .500, they need to pretty much win out. Tonight is a great opportunity for a victory for both sides.
DePaul comes into this game off of its second win in Big East play. Although the Blue Demons have a mere 2-9 record against Big East teams, both of their wins have come against ranked opponents. Earlier this year, DePaul stunned then-20th-ranked Seton Hall, at Wintrust Arena in a high-scoring 96-92 barnburner. Then, just 4 days ago, DePaul traveled to the Cintas Center and beat #21 Xavier 69-65. The surprising common denominator—DePaul’s star player Javon Freeman-Liberty was sidelined for most of the second half of the Seton Hall game, and all of the Xavier game.
The hashtag that has been used throughout DePaul Twitter this year has been #FindAWay. The Blue Demons have proved that they can do just that. It has been a rocky road to say the least the last 5 games, in which DePaul has been without Javon Freeman-Liberty. On Saturday afternoon, the road was a lot smoother.
The issue for DePaul with Javon out has been scoring the basketball. With no bonafide scorer in the lineup, the Blue Demons had struggled to put points on the board...except for both games against Xavier. In DePaul’s 3 games without Javon and not against Xavier, the Blue Demons scored a combined 140 points. In its two games without Javon and against Xavier, the Blue Demons scored a combined 136 points.
Wow. Maybe DePaul just had Xavier’s number, but I think this shows the potential that the Blue Demons have, even without Javon. As a matter of fact, DePaul did something on Saturday that #16 Ohio State failed to do earlier in the season — win at the Cintas Center. This can be attributed in large part to a career-high day from Courvoisier McCauley, who scored 21 points. McCauley’s performance exactly what DePaul needs each game. It does not have to be from Courvoisier each time, but it does have to come from a role player.
Without JFL, both David Jones and Jalen Terry will score a consistent 10-15 points per game. The question has been, who else can step up? We saw McCauley do it on Saturday. Which role player will step up big today? Brandon Johnson? Nick Ongenda? Yor Anei? I think that all three of these candidates have legitimate chances of doing so.
Let’s move on to the Hoyas. After running the table last year in the Big East tournament, Georgetown has not beaten a Big East team since. The bright spot for this Hoyas team has been freshman Aminu Mohammed, who leads the team in both points (13.6 per game) and rebounds (7.7 per game). Besides Mohammed, there has not been a lot more to look forward to as a Georgetown fan. Instead of looking at the next 10 games thinking how many games can the Hoyas win, the real question is can the Hoyas win one?
Despite Javon Freeman-Liberty being questionable, Vegas expects DePaul to easily handle the Hoyas. After seeing its last game against Xavier, I am in agreement. Tonight will give us the clearest picture of what the rest of DePaul’s season will look like.
A win and the Blue Demons still have life...
...A loss and the Blue Demons’ season will not be promising whatsoever.
As I mentioned, I am picking the first option.
DePaul wins, 80-68