Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

November 23, 2009

What in the world’s gotten into DePaul?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 10:50 am

Even though the Blue Demons came up short against Tennessee 57-53 at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands yesterday, I think it’s still fair to ask what in the world is going on here. When last we saw Jerry Wainwright‘s team in 2008-09 they had a defense that was historically bad, as in allowing Big East opponents to score 1.17 points per trip.

Now look: DePaul has just wrapped up neutral-floor games against the Volunteers and Northern Iowa, two opponents that both had very good offenses last year and that both bring back the bulk of their minutes and possessions this season. And all Wainwright’s men did was hold the Vols and the Panthers to a combined 0.90 points per possession. Sure, part of that is merely the wackiness of November ball and the usual early-season process of offenses working the kinks out. Still, “DePaul” in the same sentence with “hold”ing opponents to anything? I did not see that coming.

The Blue Demons have my attention.

BONUS who-are-those-guys? note! Speaking of excellent performances against SEC teams that bring everyone back, what in the world’s gotten into Miami? Last night in the title game of the Charleston Classic, the Hurricanes beat home-state favorite South Carolina with ease, 85-70. The ‘Canes have long been defensively diffident and with the departure of featured scorer Jack McClinton they figured to take a step back this season. But this is an impressive win, even if Dominique Archie did go down with a knee injury seven minutes into the game for the Gamecocks. It looks like South Carolina’s woes on the glass may continue this season, as Miami was able to haul down 42 percent of their own misses. (Dwayne Collins posted a 17-15 double-double for the Hurricanes.) More to the point, if Darrin Horn‘s pressing style of ball can’t record a W even when the other team gives the ball away 24 times in an 81-possession game, as did the ‘Canes, there are some kinks to be worked out even for a veteran group of Gamecocks. Here’s hoping Archie’s injury is none too serious.   

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