Scouting DePaul at Xavier
By Andy Mac Williams, 2/4/2022

Scouting DePaul (10-10)(1-9 BIG EAST-10th)( 111 NET) at Xavier(16-5)(6-4 BE-5th)(20 NET)-Saturday Feb. 5th at Cintas-2 PM-FS1. KenPom picks XU 78-67. Game #1 in Chicago was a cliffhanger. Muskies won 68-67 after trailing by 6 w/ 5:50 to play. Jack Nunge bailed XU out scoring 10 of last 12 points down the stretch including two "3s"(23 points total). X cranked up the "D" late for a couple of crucial stops. DU had the last possession and PG Jalen Terry missed a contested "3" at the buzzer. Burly DU wing David Jones poured in 26. DePaul won on the glass and forced 14 XU turnovers. Top scorer Javon Freeman-Liberty (21PPG-BE scoring leader) DNP (leg injury) so Xavier dodged a major bullet in Chicago back on 1-19.

Freeman-Liberty has missed 4 games and DU is 0 for 4 and struggling to score. They had no mid-week game. Freeman Liberty is feeling better and may be a game time decision?

DU plays hard under new coach Tony Stubblefield(long time Oregon assistant under Dana Altman-worked for Mick at UC).

Demons rebound well and play a lot of iso one on one offense. #1 Javan Johnson(6-6 Iowa State transfer) is starting lately(18 in last Saturday's 57-50 home loss to UConn-17 in 67-43 loss at Villanova). #3 Jalen Terry has been running at PG(28 in a wild 96-92 win over Seton Hall-DU's lone BE win so far). #1 played a lot of PG vs UConn though. #35 Brandon Johnson(6-8 Minnesota transfer) is solid(13 vs XU).

#32 David Jones is slumping since his huge game vs X(14 points total last 3 games-6-36 FGs-12 turnovers). He's a devastating downhill driver and effort guy, but really misses Freeman-Liberty . Jones can be controlled if he is #1 scoring option. DU 0-5 BE road games-scoring 47 and 43 last two away at tough venues(Creighton and Nova).

#14 Nick Ongenda is a springy 6-11 rim protector but DU has trouble feeding their BIGS. #10 Yor Anei (SMU transfer) starves down low but runs-rebounds and passes well.

DePaul wants to run but is turnover and not a great shooting team. They posted 9-1 in non-conference w wins over Rutgers and at Louisville. The lone loss was to crosstown rival NET Top 30 Loyola. BIG EAST has been a challenge.

They play well 1st half then fade(-10 PPG, even on the glass, turn overs in bunches). If Freeman-Liberty plays, DU is obviously harder to guard but he's sat out over 3 weeks? Jones and JFL can be hell on wheels as a dynamic duo so Muskies beware!

This would be a bad NET loss for XU(a Quad 3). So far Muskies have no bad defeats(12-0 Quads 2-4). XU's BIG line-up should cause DU a lot of problems. Zach Freemantle is playing way better now than in Chicago(23 vs Butler). Nunge schooled DePaul in G#1. Open "3s" should be available against DU. The guards gotta do better than their 3-17 vs Butler last game.

Friday in BIG EAST It's Creighton(5-4) at Seton Hall(4-6)(7 PM-FS1). CU won at UConn earlier this week. They tie XU for 5th w/ a win at SHU. Muskies play at Seton Hall Wed. Feb 9th.

Saturday in BE-UConn(6-3) at Villanova(9-2) Noon on FOX and St Johns at Butler Noon on FS1.




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