Etown's Breakdown: DePaul

Broc Libra breaks down five key takeaways from the Villanova win over DePaul last night ...

Villanova vs. Depaul 12/28/2016

The first game of the conference season proved to be a tough one against the lowly Blue Demons of Depaul as Villanova eeked out a way too close for comfort 68-65 win, with Billy Garrett Jr. missing a wide open 3 at the buzzer. (more on that in a bit). While Villanova went on a 10-0 run to go up 12, you got the sense that Villanova lacked energy and just thought Depaul would roll over, like they had in so many previous games. But the Blue Demons fought back, took the lead multiple times, and the ‘cats were bailed out by Josh Hart in the end. 

Here are 5 takeaways from the game:

  1. Defense was OK. Not great, but not terrible either –Looking at the numbers, Depaul shot 52% from 2 point land and for the season before this game, we’ve given up 49.2% from 2 point land, so statistically speaking, that’s within range. 3 point defense was also on par as Depaul shot 3 for 17 (18%) and for the season, we give up 28% 3 point shooting (8th in the country). The issue was the lack of turnovers, as we averaged 13 a game, so far this year, but Depaul only had 7 TO’s and only 4 steals.  
  2. Depaul had 3 guys with big numbers, but only one guy we couldn’t stop – And that was JUCO transfer Tre’Darius McCallum, who had his best game of his young Div-1 career with 19 and 7 on 70% shooting. Throw in 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks, and he was a force. You’d like to see more consistent energy from McCallum and more recruits like this and the Blue Demons won’t be in the basement of the Big East anymore.  
  3. 2-3 zone just isn’t as effective – I understand that we need to play some zone to switch it up, but the 2-3 really wasn’t that effective last night. Depaul ran a beautiful play with Hamel catching the ball in the short corner and had someone at the high post. This confused the zone as Reynolds ran down to cover the short corner, Jenkins ran to cover the dive man from the high post and Hamel found a wide open Blue Demon from the wing, cutting to the hoop, for the dunk. While teams haven’t found the short corner often against the 2-3, if it’s found, it’ll likely be 2 points for the other team until Jay can get that fixed. 
  4. Where was the energy? – No energy in the building at all, from the players, the coaches, the walk-ons, the fans, nobody. This game, the American game and the Temple game are the 3 quietest games I’ve ever heard on TV, and that’s pretty sad. I know my guys in E2 were likely loud, but it’s pretty sad when the defending National Champs have had 3 times on national TV, announcers say that it’s very quiet in there.   
  5. How did Garrett get so open? –First of all, on the play before, that was great D by Paschall. He was instructed not to intentionally foul, but to be aggressive and go for the ball. The reason that’s taught is because you never know when a referee will call a shooting foul or an intentional foul, so fouling at that type of play is very similar to when Arch got Frank Mason; if he fouled, he fouled, but there was ZERO CHANCE that it would be called a shooting foul or an intentional foul. So with 3.3 seconds left, Garrett turned around Bridges, but where was the help? Why was Paschall guarding the ball? Why were we face guarding instead of just keeping the guy in front of the defender? A wall of defenders at half court would have been a better strategy than whatever that was. I don’t care that a shot was taken, but he was wide open and couldn’t have asked for a better shot. The players didn’t execute and the coach didn’t put the players in the right position.   

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