With Christmas this week and a short vacation starting tomorrow (perhaps without the internet), I'll try to make up for a lack of quantity in posting with a high-quality post today. Or just today's post will include a large quantity of words and sentences. Quantity or quality. Something like that.
Anyways, Christmas break makes for some interesting matchups on the football field, if not on the court. West Virginia takes on Ohio State today, but there really aren't any other good nonconference games on tap.
Tune in Monday. That's when the Big East season opens for Georgetown at Connecticut. Since the Hoyas' next road game after that will be in South Bend, it will be interesting to see how they match up with the top team in the league.
The Irish begin conference play on New Year's Eve at DePaul on ESPN2. Let's take a peek at the Blue Demons.
Ranked 120th by Ken Pomeroy, DePaul should finish their OOC slate with an 8-5 record after Sunday's game against Alcorn State.
Key Wins- 67-63 over Illinois-Chicago, only victory over a top 100 team
Key Losses- 79-75 to Morgan State (#200 in the country), 72-54 to UCLA, and 63-36 to Northwestern (ranked 30th by Pomeroy, but hasn't had a winning season since 2002)
This should be a good game for the Irish to start Big East play. DePaul will contend for the bottom of the standings (though everyone automatically makes the Big East Tourney this year) and has played like a .500 team against a pretty easy early schedule.
DePaul scores and allows exactly a point per possession each game (compare that to ND's 1.20 and 0.94). We shoot significantly better from the field at 46.5% to their 40.5% and control the defensive glass much better as well.
Dar Tucker- #2- 6'5", 215 lbs.- The sophomore from Tory Jackson's hometown is DePaul's leading scorer with 19.4 per game. He also grabs about six boards a contest.
Mac Koshwal- #13- 6'10", 255 lbs.- A pretty good post player, the sophomore scores 13.4 points per game and picks up 11.2 rebounds. Not a good free throw shooter, like the rest of the team, so we may want to sent him to the line a few times during the game.
Will Walker- #30- 6'0", 190 lbs.- The closest thing to a point guard on the team, Walker dishes out only two assists a contest. He is a pretty good defender, but can't shoot. Eleven points a game on 37.2% shooting.
No out side shooters on this team, so look for Coach Brey to stay in zone defense most of the game. If Hillesland can be a good enough second rebounder and beat out Tucker in the paint, this should be a pretty solid win. DePaul's best hope is to have Koshwal bang around in the post and hope Tucker shoots better than 40% from the floor. Considering the Irish have six more efficient scorers than DePaul's best, even that may not be good enough.
Happy holidays to everyone. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post over the next couple of days, but if not I'll be sure to recap next Wednesday's game when I get the opportunity.