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01 January 2008

'Nova faces DePaul to open Big East play

posted by NovaFan09
1/01/2008 05:55:00 PM

#16 Villanova Wildcats (10-1) at DePaul Blue Demons (4-7)

Date: Thursday, January 3, 2008
Location: Allstate Arena (Rosemont, Illinois)
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
Television: ESPN2

DePaul Coverage: Official Website || The Demons Den

Villanova, fresh off a solid victory versus La Salle, looks to start conference play on a winning note Thursday, when the Cats travel to Chicago to face DePaul.

It has definitely been a tale of two seasons for DePaul during the 2007-2008 campaign. Led by senior Draelon Burns (19.4 ppg) and super-freshman Dar Tucker (13.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg), the Demons are enjoying their highest point-per-game output of any season under coach Jerry Wainwright (75.0 ppg). Five-star recruit Mac Koshwal has come into his own of late, averaging 11.2 points and 8.0 rebounds. However, statistics can only say so much about the quality of an offense. Because DePaul lacks a true point guard, the offense is oriented around players taking their defenders one-on-one, leading to rushed shots and too much idling amongst the other four players on the team. Free throw shooting has also been an issue for the Demons, who shoot a combined 63 percent from the line.

Defensively, however, DePaul is allowing oppenents to shoot nearly 44 percent from the three-point line and to average 78.5 points per game. The Demons' Den Web forum points out that DePaul defenders are on their heels when defending on the ball, which makes it harder to challenge perimeter scorers and guards who flash towards the hoop.

Overall, the Blue Demons' play has been indicative of preseason predictions by major media outlets across the country. After the Blue Demons lost leading scorers Sammy Mejia and Wilson Chandler to graduation and the NBA, DePaul is very young and unproven. Although this looks to be a rebuilding year for DePaul, opponents must not take them lightly, as the Demons still have the firepower to put points on the board.

Keys to the Game

Stop DePaul's Scoring Options
'Nova limited La Salle to 5-13 shooting from behind the arc. Still, a 39 percent team three-point shooting average allowed is too high for a team of La Salle's quality. Villanova must stay diligent in defending the Demons' threats. Keeping center Mac Koshwal out of the paint will limit offensive rebounds and second chance points for DePaul.

Keep their Composure
DePaul has two fantastic on-the-ball perimeter defenders in Dar Tucker and Will Walker. Villanova's guards must run plays that call for off-the-ball screens to set free Reynolds and Fisher and pass the ball down low on the box to Cunningham. Quality possessions and shots will be very important in building a lead.

Energy Villanova must use its transition game to its advantage. Because DePaul doesn't run much of a set offense, instead relying on individual playmaking ability, key rebounds and quick outlets by Villanova can lead to transition buckets as DePaul attempts to hurry back on defense.


Who will step Up?
With the absence of Drummond, it will be imperative that Villanova remain diligent on the glass. Dante and Shane must have another superb game down low. Offensively, Fisher should be able to thread the Demons' defense with crisp passing, and Grant will bring intensity off the bench, allowing for Villanova to run DePaul out of its own building.

Bench Play In addition to Grant, Villanova's bench allows for Jay Wright to use myriad offensive and defensive combinations to counteract anything DePaul throws out on the court.

As always, continue to send in your score predictions for a chance to have your name on this Web site. In addition, please comment on what you think 'Nova needs to do to come out of Chicago with a victory, and what sort of damage you see Villanova doing in the Big East.

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At 7:49 PM, January 01, 2008, Anonymous crushpad said...


At 9:56 PM, January 01, 2008, Anonymous BOCHOWNS said...

Cats - 82
Depaul - 71

At 10:08 PM, January 01, 2008, Anonymous Bits said...

Nova- 88
Depaul- 70

At 11:47 PM, January 01, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

great job on this preview!

Nova 86
DePaul 77

At 11:18 AM, January 02, 2008, Anonymous JA said...

Nova - 81
Depaul - 74

The way Louisville has struggled thus far, if Nova can pick up even one or two wins combined against Marquette, Georgetown, and Pitt and win all its other games it should put them in contention for the Big East. Definitely a difficult task but I see it as at least a possibility.

At 1:50 PM, January 02, 2008, Anonymous Joey said...

Awesome preview..

Nova - 92
DePaul - 80

At 3:46 PM, January 02, 2008, Anonymous RyGuy said...

Great preview...
Cassiem-less Cats - 77
Down Year DePaul - 64

At 4:00 PM, January 02, 2008, Anonymous VUhoops.com said...

VU- 72
DePaul- 58

At 7:14 PM, January 02, 2008, Blogger Dewey (Yardbarker) said...

Villanova 77, DePaul 71

At 10:03 PM, January 02, 2008, Anonymous SHAWNY MACATTACK! said...

Villanova 83
Depaul 72

At 1:37 AM, January 03, 2008, Blogger Matt said...

Villanova 76
DePaul 70

At 11:49 AM, January 03, 2008, Anonymous Snig Li! said...


At 1:20 PM, January 03, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

Villanova 74
DePaul 66

At 2:49 PM, January 03, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

Villanova- 75
Depaul- 67

At 6:25 PM, January 03, 2008, Anonymous Fred Thompson said...

I think the 'Cats will hit a few speed bumps tonight.

Nova - 80
DePaul- 14

At 6:42 PM, January 03, 2008, Blogger David said...

nova - 81
depaul - 75

At 8:35 PM, January 03, 2008, Anonymous Michael said...

Villanova 91
DePaul 79

At 12:01 PM, January 04, 2008, Anonymous david said...

fred thompson was close.


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