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Villanova - DePaul Preview

VUSports previews Villanova's Big East opener against DePaul (6:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, 28 Dec) ...

Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., #1 AP Villanova hosts DePaul at the Pavilion (TV: FS1, Radio: 610 (WTEL AM) or VUSports Live Chat).  Villanova has won eighteen straight games and the Villanova Senior class remains undefeated in games contested at the Pavilion.

Kenpom predicts an 84-58 win for Villanova with a 99% chance of the Cats grabbing a win.

The beginning to the season for DePaul has been typical DePaul mediocrity - the best win came at home to Missouri St (68-66).  Every away and neutral court game to date has been a loss.  Games against decent comp include a loss to lowly Rutgers (home), improving Northwestern (away) and Temple (Neutral).  Most recently, DePaul lost neutral court games to Wyoming and Missouri St.

Villanova is 22-8 all-time against DePaul - having lost only two games to the Blue Demons since DePaul joined the Big East.  One was a loss at the Pavilion in 2007 and the other a loss at DePaul in 2008.  The Cats have won the last 12 games in the series.

This game marks the start of the Big East regular season.  Villanova has gone 16-2 in each of the last three Big East regular seasons and looks to jump out to a positive start in league play.  The schedule gets very difficult very quickly as the Cats travel to Creighton on New Year’s Eve and then to Butler on January 4th.

Taking a look at the Four Factors for each team:

VUSports (data per

a few things stand out:

  • DePaul is not a very efficient scoring team
  • … but the do a nice job on the offensive glass
  • and getting to the free throw line with some consistency
  • however, they don’t defensive rebound at a high level and have a tendency to commit a lot of fouls
  • DePaul can be turnover prone
  • Villanova has the most efficient offense in the country - shooting the ball quite well
  • Offensive rebounding and not getting to the FT line frequently are the slight dings statistically for the ‘Nova offense

other stats of interest:

  • DePaul shoots a not so great 31.5% 3PFG but a quite good 74.4% at the FT line
  • DePaul defends the three-point line well - but Villanova does it better
  • The Demon defense does not create many turnovers.

DePaul Blue Demon Player thumbnails:

Billy Garrett (6-6, 213, Senior, 28.6 MPG, 14.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 34.8% FG, 34.2% 3PFG,101.6 ORtg)  An experienced floor leader who has been playing more off-the-ball this season than he has in the past.  He has shot the three-ball well but struggled to score with efficiency from elsewhere on the floor.  His A/TO ratio is not consistent with his experience level as a primary ball-handler against high level competition.  

Eli Cain (6-6, 204, Soph, 32.4 MPG, 18.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 45.4% FG, 40.3% 3PFG, 106.2 ORtg)  The most prolific scorer for the Demons, Cain is very effective in transition but also a capable half-court scorer.  He is shooting the three-ball well and chipping in on the glass as well.  Plays a lot of minutes a carries much of the scoring burden for the Demons.

Tre’Darius McCallum (6-7, 209, Jr. 28.1 MPG, 9.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 44.4% FG, 107.2 ORtg)  An active defender and defensive rebounder, McCallum is a highly efficient scorer when he shoots from inside the arc.  He is a woeful 22.2% from beyond the arc.

Brandon Cyrus (6-5, 189, Fr., 22.5 MPG, 5.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 37.7% FG, 82.1 ORtg) The freshman is still adjusting to the pace of play at the high major level.  He has yet to drain a trey and hasn’t been able to score the ball efficiently.  He is earning a lot of PT with his effort and to begin to develop his upside potential.  His worst games have come against the better opponents the Demons have faced.

Joe Hanel (6-7, 213, Jr, 25.5 MPG, 4.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 58.8% FG,115.7 ORtg)  Does his scoring on the interior.  Providing a nice blend of scoring rebounding and defense to the Demons early-season efforts.

Devin Gage (6-2, 207, Fr, 12.8 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 47.9% FG, 20% 3PFG, 98.5 ORtg)  The Frosh guard has been getting in the mix with some minutes but struggling to find his way offensively.  He hasn’t taken a lot of shots - he converts well from two-point range but hasn’t found his stroke from deep.

Chris Harrison-Docks (5-11, 194, Sr., 17.1 MPG, 4.4 PPG, 34.9% FG, 33.3% 3PFG, 93.8 ORtg) The Senior has earned some PT in the back-court … he primarily shoots three-pointers and has an average, at best, floor game.

Levi Cook (6-10, 293, Fr., 9.4 MPG, 2.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 61.1% FG, 99.7 ORtg) This rookie big man has earned some run.  He is a space eater in the paint that has shown some rebounding and shot-blocking ability.

R.J. Curington (6-5, 202, Jr, 12.7 MPG, 4.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 45.5% FG 102.3 ORtg) Another Demon guard that can’t find his range from deep, isn’t a particularly good ball-handler but has been effective from two-point range.

Darrick Wood (6-5, 178, Sr. 13.7 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 45% FG, 35% 3PFG, 98.8 ORtg) This lean senior, wing has been somewhat efficient on offense.  He can be turnover prone and isn’t much of a contributor off the glass.

Injury: Phil Booth is expected to miss the game for Villanova - he continues to work back against consistent pain in his left knee. Top Stories