I needed to vent. Do I regret what I said? No. Do I even regret the sentiment of my words? Also no. DePaul sucks and they always will. But right now they’re not licking the soles of the Big East’s boots like they used to. They currently have a 5-6 record in Big East play, which ties them for third along with (approximately) 873 other teams. In their 4 games since losing to Marquette at Fiserv Forum, they’ve jumped 11 spots in KenPom’s rankings to bring them up to 98 overall.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, the fact that this is considered “good” for DePaul is embarrassing. They remain a team that Marquette should have no business losing to, but they are riding a hot streak if that means anything to you. The primary reason for this has been the emergence of sophomore Paul Reed.
I mentioned Reed along with Femi Olujobi as a big that could give the defense trouble in the first game and he has only improved since then. Over the last 4 games he’s averaging 14.8 PPG with a 57.6% Effective Field Goal Percentage. He’s made 4 threes over that stretch after hitting only 3 for the entire season prior. In conference play he has improved in just about every offensive category except free throw rate. With the recent struggles of Theo John being able to stay in the game with foul trouble, I worry about Paul Reed going off.
Other than that recent development, nothing has really changed. They still rebound the ball well, there aren’t many shooters on the team even with Reed’s developments. There also isn’t much of a home court advantage to consider. The extent of the team’s travel is an easy hour and a half drive and this game’s attendance always features a heavy dose of Marquette alumni living in Chicago (also known as “Marquette alumni”). There’s no logical reason for Marquette to lose this game, but they’ve had some unnecessary close calls before and they’re riding the high off a huge Villanova win on National Marquette Day.
Just...don’t lose to DePaul. There isn’t another game after this until next Wednesday and I don’t want that bad taste in my mouth.