Is DePaul hoops back?
With the DePaul Blue Demons taking down the Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday, the Blue Demons are now 8-0 for the first time in over three decades. As a student at the university, this is a massive achievement for the school.
DePaul has not made the NCAA tournament since 2004. They have also not been ranked in the top 25 since November, 2000. With the team's remarkable start to the season and having three power conference wins on the road, they are making an excellent case for a spot in the top 25.
Forward Paul Reed is on a tear, averaging a double-double on the season. Against Minnesota, he had 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 blocks. The man is an absolute monster. With each game, his draft stock is rising. He is an electrifying big man that anyone who loves college hoops could root for.
Charlie Moore, a junior guard and transfer from Kansas, has been a significant factor in DePaul's success early on this season, coming in the clutch when the team needs it. He is one hell of a ballplayer, a great facilitator with incredible vision, and can get to the basket with ease.
Most everything seems to be going right for the Blue Demons. However, they are struggling significantly at the free-throw line, currently 306th overall in free throw percentage, shooting a measly 67% at the line this season.
In addition to that, they are struggling with turnovers. The Blue Demons are currently ranked 273 in the country, averaging 15.3 turnovers per game. The majority of the turnovers they commit are careless mistakes, this is the one flaw I believe they need to improve through the course of the season.
The biggest test for DePaul will be Tuesday against #12 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders recently lost to Iowa. DePaul already beat Iowa back on November 11. So...if my logic is correct, DePaul may have already beaten Texas Tech.
Tuesday's game should be one of the most exciting games of the season for DePaul, this can truly put the team up to the test against an extremely talented Raid Raiders team. Texas Tech is averaging almost 83 points a game, while DePaul is averaging roughly 79 a game. So it should be a close one.
With all the success the Blue Demons are having, the players are gaining confidence by the minute. Junior guard, Pantelis Xidias is so certain DePaul is the real deal he's promising to shave his head if his team isn't playing in March.
For Pantelis' sake let's pray that DePaul isn't pretending this year. If they are truly back, it would be a shame if you hopped on the bandwagon late.