DePaul vs. Detroit - By the Numbers's Eddy Rivera breaks down the Box Score from Wednesday's DePaul victory over Detroit Mercy.

The DePaul Blue Demons christened a new season at the Allstate Arena with a victory over the Detroit Titans, 71-62. Although the matchup was tightly-contested and the Titans put up a fight, the outcome of the game was never in doubt as the Blue Demons held the lead for most of the 40 minutes. Sophomore Dar Tucker led the way for DePaul, scoring a game-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Fellow sophomore Mac Koshwal pitched in with 18 points and nine rebounds, just one rebound shy of notching his second consecutive double-double of the season. Freshman guard Jeremiah Kelly continued his steady play, scoring eight points and dishing out four assists. In the process, the freshman may be making a case to take the starting point guard spot away from senior guard Jabari Currie. It'll be interesting to see how long head coach Jerry Wainwright sticks with Currie as the starter, considering the fact Kelly is already playing considerably more than the senior. With the win, DePaul is 3-0 for the first time since 2003.

A deeper analysis into the numbers show how the game was won for the Blue Demons.

Team Eff. eFG% TO% OR% FT Rate
DePaul 112.4 50.0 17.4 40.3 44.8
Detroit 98.2 43.4 23.8 44.9 21.3

Aside from the offensive rebounding percentage, the rest of the numbers favored DePaul. The Blue Demons won the game due to the fact they were very efficient offensively and also because the team went to the free-throw line considerably more than their opponent.

DePaul's efficiency rating of 112.4 against Detroit was excellent. Offensively, it was the team's most efficient effort so far this season. There are two reasons for this. The Blue Demons took care of the basketball (only 11 turnovers) and crashed the glass offensively (13 offensive rebounds). Because the number of offensive rebounds was greater than the number of turnovers, the team created a surplus of extra possessions on offense (+2). Defensively, DePaul did a good job of forcing the Titans into shooting a poor percentage from the field, especially from three-point range (Detroit shot 5-21, 23.8%).

The effective field goal percentage was solid for the Blue Demons. Although the team did not shoot fairly well from the field, DePaul's three-point shooting was a bright spot (7-20, 35%). After two sub-par shooting performances, especially from downtown, Dar Tucker redeemed himself as he shot 6-12 (50%) from the field, including 4-7 from three-point range. Yet for the season, the sophomore sensation is shooting only 30% from three. It remains to be seen if Tucker can improve on his long distance shot as the season progresses.

The offensive rebounding percentage was the only statistic that was not in the Blue Demons favor. However, the rebounding totals for both teams were nearly identical. Detroit pulled down 32 rebounds compared to 33 rebounds for DePaul. The reason that the OR% is tipped in the Titans favor is because the team hauled one more offensive rebound (14) than the Blue Demons (13). The fact that DePaul is struggling on the glass against inferior opponents is a disconcerting sign for the squad as the season moves along. The Blue Demons must improve on its ability to rebound, especially when Big East play arrives. If DePaul is unable to do so, then it may become a long season for coach Wainwright and his players.

Lastly, the free-throw rate. Considering the margin of victory for DePaul (nine points), it is clear that the team's ability to go to the line numerous times proved to be the difference in the ballgame. The Blue Demons attempted 21 more free throws than Detroit, but DePaul didn't punish the Titans enough from the line. As a team, the Blue Demons connected on only 65% of their free throws (22-34). Had DePaul shot better from the charity stripe, the margin of victory would have been higher. The Blue Demon's inability to thoroughly put away their opponent away didn't cost them this time, but it may in the future.

DePaul's next game comes Saturday, November 29th, against the Indiana State Sycamores. A victory would net the Blue Demons a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2002 season. DePaul is 10-1 all-time against Indiana State. The teams last met in 2003, where the Blue Demons won, 78-66.

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