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#14 Marquette Men’s Basketball Big East Preview Primer: at DePaul

I don’t have to take this game seriously and you can not make me.

Big East Basketball Tournament - First Round Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

#14 Marquette Golden Eagles (13-5, 4-3 Big East) at DePaul Blue Demons (3-15, 0-7 Big East)

Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Time: 8pm Central
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois

Marquette Stats Leaders

Points: Kam Jones, 15.1 ppg
Rebounds: Oso Ighodaro, 6.8 rpg
Assists: Tyler Kolek, 6.9 apg

DePaul Stats Leaders

Points: Chico Carter, 11.8 ppg
Rebounds: Da’Sean Nelson, Elijah Fisher, and Jeremiah Oden, 4.1 rpg
Assists: Chico Carter, 3.7 apg

KenPom.com Rankings

Marquette: #17
DePaul: #279
Game Projection: Marquette has a 95% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 82-65.

So Far This Season: DePaul has been straight out awful, right from the get-go.

I don’t have the time nor the inclination to go through it with a fine tooth comb, but let’s put it this way: DePaul’s 0-2 start to the season dropped them 60 spots from their preseason start on KenPom.com.... and they started out the year as a sub-100 team in the first place. Since Big East play started for the Blue Demons on December 23rd, they have been playing like the #299 team in the country, thanks to BartTorvik.com’s delightful data filtering system. Overall this season, DePaul is #309 in the NET as of Sunday morning, holding down a spot between Southeastern Louisiana and Campbell. They do not have a top 200 NET win, as their best win of the season is at home against #225 Louisville.

How about a direct comparison for Marquette fans? Remember Northern Illinois? Marquette beat them by 22 in the season opener? DePaul lost to them by 10. At home. Because they gave up a 25-3 run to the Huskies, which left them in a 24 point hole with just over 17 minutes to play.

Tempo Free Fun: No, absolutely not. I don’t have to do this, and you can’t make me.

This is the worst DePaul team in the KenPom era. The last time they were sub-200 at the end of a season was in 2008-09, the year Jerry Wainwright went 0-18 in Big East play and kept his job. That team finished the year at #206. Joey Meyer got fired for going 3-23 in 1996-97, and that team finished the year at #234 in KenPom. This is worse than that.

And I wrote every single one of the previous 280 words before DePaul terminated the contract of head coach Tony Stubblefield on Monday afternoon. The interim coach is Matt Brady who 1) was brought in this season as a special assistant to the head coach, 2) got fired by James Madison in 2016 because going 138-125 in eight seasons wasn’t good enough for the Dukes, and 3) hasn’t worked as a head coach since.

I don’t have to take this Blue Demons team seriously, and neither do you. I am not joking when I say this: DePaul is the worst team on Marquette’s schedule. Rider is the only other sub-300 team in the NET on the schedule, and they are #302. Rider is better than DePaul. This is a buy game, except Marquette has to travel down I-94 to go play it and they don’t have to write DePaul a check afterwards.

DePaul is not good at anything on either end of the court. They have no players that are outrageously amazing at one particular thing that makes you stand up and take notice of at least that guy. The most interesting thing about the Blue Demons right now is the potential of a dead cat bounce, and even then, the chances of that bounce suddenly turning this team into a competent top 150 level opponent is low.

Travel safe, don’t get hurt, win the game.

Stat Watch: Oso Ighodaro needs one block to tie and two to pass Walter Downing for the 10th most blocks in program history.

Stat Watch #2: Kam Jones needs three three-pointers to tie and four to pass Brian Wardle for the 10th most made three-pointers in program history.

Stat Watch #3: Kam Jones needs one point to break a tie with Rube Schulz for the 44th most points in program history. He needs seven to pass Chris Crawford for 43rd place and eight to pass Scott Merritt and Jae Crowder for 41st place.

Marquette Last 10 Games: 7-3, with two straight wins.

DePaul Last 10 Games: 2-8, with six straight losses.

All-Time Series: Marquette leads, 83-50.

Current Streak: Marquette took the season sweep last season as well as wins in four of the last five encounters.