Game Notes & Preview: Providence (11-6, 1-3) at DePaul (7-9, 0-3) 1/10/17


Where: Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL

When: 9:00pm EST

How: FS1 (Jeff Levering & Stephen Bardo)/Fox Sports GO (Where Available)/WEEI 103.7 FM and Friars.com (John Rooke and Joe Hassett)/FriarTV

Game Notes

  • Providence and DePaul will meet for the 37th time ever on Tuesday. The Friars lead the all-time series, 27-9. Providence is 10-6 all-time on the road against DePaul. The Friars and Blue Demons split their two games last season with each team holding serve on their home court Providence is 12-4 all-time against DePaul since the Blue Demons joined the Big East in 2005.
  • Providence is 0-4 this season when playing on the road. The Friars are 1-1 when playing on a neutral court.
  • DePaul is 7-9 this season, including a 2-1 record in Big East play. The Blue Demons enter Tuesday’s contest on a 5-game losing streak, including an 0-3 start in Big East play. DePaul was picked to finish 10th in the preseason Big East Coaches’ Poll. The Blue Demons are led by Dave Leitao, who is in his 3rd season at the helm of the DePaul program in this stint to go with 3 seasons from 2002-2005. Sophomore Eli Cain leads the Blue Demons in scoring at 17.4 points/game, which ranks him ninth in the Big East. Junior Tre’Darius McCallum leads the team in rebounding, averaging 7.3 rebounds/game, which ranks him second in the Big East.
  • Opening Line: Providence -5.5 at DePaul 1/10/17

Game Preview

Providence is coming off a 1-1 home stand with a win against Georgetown on Wednesday and a loss to then 10th-ranked Creighton on Saturday. The Friars are now 1-3 in Big East play. The big story to come out of Saturday’s loss for Providence was that Kyron Cartwright was limited to just 12 minutes in the loss to Creighton and was designated as “Out” at halftime due to a sore knee. Cartwright has been dealing with knee tendinitis since the fall and sat out Providence’s closed scrimmage against Northeastern in early November. Ed Cooley relayed on a local TV coach’s show on Sunday night that Cartwright didn’t practice on Sunday and the Friars’ assist leader has a 50/50 chance of playing on Tuesday night.

DePaul returns home following a loss at Seton Hall on Saturday to drop to 0-3 in Big East play. That loss was also their 5th-straight, dating back to December 22nd. Prior to losing at home to St. John’s on New Year’s Day, DePaul was 7-1 at Allstate Arena.  The Blue Demons have been plagued by scoring droughts and poor second half showings, especially in their last two games against St. John’s and Seton Hall. In fact, DePaul surrendered 92 second half points to the Red Storm and Pirates — 46 in each game — against putting up just 58 points for themselves.

The probable starters according to the game notes are:

Providence
DePaul

The keys to victory for Providence are to slow down Eli Cain and force DePaul to play isolation offense. Cain is having a very good sophomore season for the Blue Demons. However, he’s been a bit Jekyl and Hyde in wins and losses. In DePaul’s 7 wins, Cain is averaging 21.3 points/game and shooting 56.3% from the field, including 51.5% from beyond the arc. In DePaul’s 9 losses, Cain is averaging 14.3 points/game and shooting 31.9% from the field, including 24.4% from beyond the arc. It’s clear that as Cain goes, so go the DePaul Blue Demons. DePaul has more than twice as many possessions that involve isolation offense as Providence. The Blue Demons have the 322nd ranked Assist Rate at 45.1%. That is largely because their offense routinely comes down to one-on-one isolation. When that happens and the assist totals plummet, DePaul loses. In their 7 wins, DePaul is averaging 15.3 assists/game. In their 9 losses, DePaul is averaging 8.2 assists/game.

Prediction: Providence 69 DePaul 67

Follow me on Twitter @pcbb1917

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