Fueled by the Blue Demons' performance versus Northwestern and Morgan State, frustration continues to grow for DePaul supporters. A solid 4-0 start has quickly vanished, with three consecutive losses bringing the team's record to 4-3 for the season.
A deeper analysis into the numbers show how the game was lost for the Blue Demons.
The secondary stats favored DePaul but the Bears' ability to execute more efficiently on offense than the Blue Demons ultimately was the deciding factor in the game.
The offensive efficiency for DePaul was good (106.5) but it was better for Morgan State (112.2). Both teams did a solid job protecting the basketball (9 turnovers for the Bears, 11 TOs for the Blue Demons) but Morgan State was able to shoot better from the field than DePaul, especially from downtown. This aspect of the game played a major factor into why the Bears were the more efficient team offensively. When Morgan State shot the three-pointer, the team made it count.
The effective field goal percentage saw a decent-sized disparity between both squads. The Blue Demons struggled shooting the ball, only netting a field goal percentage of 37.9%. The Bears were a bit better, shooting 42.9%. However, the major difference in the game was the three-point shooting. DePaul, as a team, only shot 25.9% from three (7-27). Morgan State, though, shot a blistering 45.5% from three (10-22). It's safe to say that three-point shooting played a major role in the victory for the Bears.
The offensive rebounding percentage was in the Blue Demons favor. Morgan State out-rebounded DePaul by one (39-38), however the Blue Demons carried an edge on the offensive boards (15-11) and thus, had a higher OR% than the Bears. It is interesting to note that Morgan State sophomore forward Kevin Thompson netted a season-high 12 rebounds in only 20 minutes of action. It took Thompson 35 minutes to grab 10 rebounds versus Coppin State just one game earlier.
DePaul had a higher free-throw rate than its opponent but could not capitalize more from the line, shooting only 69.2% as a team (18-26). The Bears, in comparison, were a bit better from the line, connecting on 71.4% of its free-throws (15-21). The Blue Demons' struggles from the free-throw line are well-documented so far this year, but it is worth mentioning that DePaul's disparity in free-throw percentages compared to its opponent is staggering. For the season, opponents shoot 76% from the charity stripe compared to 63% for the Blue Demons. It'll be interesting to see if this discrepancy increases or decreases as the regular season progresses.
DePaul's next game comes against the #16 UCLA Bruins in the 2008 John R. Wooden Classic on Saturday, December 13th. Although the matchup will take place in a semi-neutral site (Anaheim, California), it will pretty much be a road game for the Blue Demons. This will be the first time these two storied programs face off versus one another since 2000, when the Bruins defeated DePaul 94-88.