#2 AP, Villanova is in Chicago Monday night to face DePaul - 9:00 (TV: CBSSN, Radio: 610 (WTEL AM) or VUSports Live Chat). Villanova (24-2, 11-2 Big East) can stay on course for a fourth consecutive Big East regular season championship and maintain hopes for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win over the Blue Demons (8-17, 1-11).
Kenpom predicts a 76–60 win for the Cats with a 93% chance of Villanova emerging victorious. Villanova is 23-8 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 13 games in the series. The lone Big East win for DePaul this season was a 64-63 home win against Providence. That was the only win for DePaul over a quality opponent all season.
The first meetings between the two teams this season was a surprisingly close affair at the Pavilion in December. Villanova narrowly won the rebounding war and may struggle to repeat that effort given the likely absence of Darryl Reynolds (a game time decision on Monday but unlikely to give it a go). ‘Nova did not shoot the three-ball well against DePaul in the first outing but shot the ball well from two-point range as Josh Hart led the charge down the stretch to earn the 68-65 victory. DePaul struggled mightily outside the arc (17.6%) in the December game but hit two-pointers at a 52.1% clip to stay within reach of the Wildcats. ‘Nova had turnover problems against DePaul (12/14 A/TO) and shot only 30.8% from three.
Taking a look at the Four Factors for each team:
a few things stand out:
• DePaul is not a very efficient scoring team
• … but they do a decent job on the offensive glass
• 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 …
• but creates turnovers at a high rate
• Villanova has the 3rd most efficient offense in the country
• The Cats don’t get to the free-throw line consistently
other stats of interest:
• DePaul shoots a not so great 32.6% 3PFG but a solid 75.2% at the FT line
• DePaul defends the three-point line well - but Villanova does it better
DePaul Blue Demon Player thumbnails:
Billy Garrett (6-6, 213, Senior, 29.2 MPG, 15.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.2 APG, 37.8% FG, 35.6% 3PFG,91.3% FT, 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.
Eli Cain (6-6, 204, Soph, 33.2 MPG, 16.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, 39.9% FG, 36.9% 3PFG, 70.1%FT, 100.2 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. Plays a lot of minutes and carries much of the scoring burden for the Demons. He has done a better job distributing the basketball since the Demons entered Big East play.
Tre’Darius McCallum (6-7, 209, Jr. 30.6 MPG, 10.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 44.4% FG, 101.9 ORtg) A quality defender and defensive rebounder capable of blocking shots and grabbing steals at a decent clip. McCallum is an efficient scorer when he shoots from inside the arc and has begun to shoot the three-ball better as the season has progressed. He has been somewhat of a bright spot in this dreary DePaul season.
Brandon Cyrus (6-5, 189, Fr., 25.8 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 36.9% FG, 23.8% 3PFG, 70% FT, 90.8 ORtg) The freshman is still adjusting to the pace of play at the high major level. Cyrus is not shooting the deep ball well nor scoring with efficiency from two-point range. He is earning his PT with effort and defense. He has upside and is being developed for the future of the program.
Joe Hanel (6-7, 213, Jr, 26.4 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 66.2% FG,56.8% FT, 110.5 ORtg) Does his scoring on the interior. Providing a nice blend of scoring rebounding and defense to the Demons early-season efforts. Struggles at the FT line.
Devin Gage (6-2, 207, Fr, 12.6 MPG, 3.6 PPG, 43.9% FG, 16.7% 3PFG, 66.7% FT, 87.8 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., 16.6 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 34.0% FG, 34.7% 3PFG, 97.0 ORtg) The Senior has earned some PT in the back-court … he primarily shoots three-pointers and has an average, at best, floor game. Harrison-Docks is not afraid to get shots up during his minutes.
Levi Cook (6-10, 293, Fr., 9.1 MPG, 2.6 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 57.5% FG, 75% FT, 97.9 ORtg) This rookie big man has seen his minutes diminish over the last month.
R.J. Curington (6-5, 202, Jr, 8.4 MPG, 3.1 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 43.2% FG, 86.7% FT, 11.8% 3PFG, 98.6 ORtg) Curington can’t find his range from deep and isn’t a particularly good ball-handler but has been effective from two-point range and at the stripe.
Darrick Wood (6-5, 178, Sr. 9.1 MPG, 4.0 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 42.7% FG, 33.3% 3PFG, 52.2% FT, 93.2 ORtg) This lean senior, wing has been inefficient on offense. Struggles at the FT line. His rebounding and defensive contributions have improved through the season.
Injuries: Phil Booth, Darryl Reynolds and Tim Delaney are all expected to miss the game for Villanova. Reynolds is a game-time decision but unlikely to suit up.