Friday, December 4, 2009

DePaul's Coming to Memorial: VSL Gets You Ready

Athlon Sports' 2009-10 Season Preview predicted the Blue Demons would finish dead last in the Big East. After going 9-24 last year, DePaul already has more than 1/2 the wins they had all last season. At 5-1, Coach Jerry Wainright's team has played every game relatively close, including taking the Tennessee Volunteers down to the wire in the St. Thomas Paradise Jam. The Blue Demons play exceptionally good defense. How good? They held UT to their season low of 57 (they've scored at least 72 in every other game this year). With the exception of Tennessee, DePaul's early opponents have been pretty good (Northern Iowa certainly comes to mind) and have a record of 22-14 (but just 11-12 outside of UT and NIU).

DePaul's 2 best players are senior 6'0 guard Will Walker and 6'10 junior Mac Koshwal who are scoring 32.3 of DePaul's 59.3 points. Walker averages 17.3 a game, and can shoot the ball. In fact, he's shooting 37.5% from downtown. Mac nets 15, but even more impressive than that are the 13 rebounds a game he is pulling down. While Mac has only played 3 games, he has certainly hit the ground running.

It doesn't appear from the stats that DePaul is particularly deep. Walker plays close to 38 minutes a game, while Koshwal plays 36. Sophomore guard Jeremiah Kelly is playing 32 minutes a game and is the team's assist leader with 19 on the year.

They clearly like to take the air out of the ball (in stark contrast to Missouri's style) and are certainly good at forcing their opponents to do the same (see the UT game). While Festus did not play against the Tigers, don't be surprised to see him get some action tomorrow. The Commodores would be well advised to take it to Koshwal and try and get the big man in foul trouble. Between A.J., Ezeli, and Steve Tchiengang, Kevin Stallings certainly has enough bodies to throw at them.

DePaul is not a great rebounding team either. In fact, they have a -.3 rebounding margin through their first 6 games. They do have a +3 turnover margin, so (as always) Vanderbilt will have to do a better job taking care of the ball than they did against Mizzou (especially down the stretch). The Blue Demons are also not a great free throw shooting team (shooting just 55% from the charity stripe thus far).

A.J. showed us the kind of dominating player he can be against Missouri, and Jermaine stepped up and hit some big shots. The lover affair with John Jenkins also shows no sign of letting up. Jeffrey Taylor's athleticism should have a change to be on display, but again, given how DePaul contained Tennessee, there is reason to be skeptical. Brad Tinsley and Lance Goulbourne have some making up to do, and tomorrow could prove to be a great opportunity to begin.

Should be fun. I will be forsaking exam preparation for a few hours to go at the game. With that in mind, if anyone in VSL Nation has an extra ticket for tomorrow's game, please email the newsroom (vanderbiltsportsline@gmail.com) and let me know. I will pay nothing to bottom dollar.

This preview was quick an dirty, but our friends Eric Adams has a great preview up on Bleacher Report that's worth a read.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Koshwal is hurt and won't play which helps

Stanimal said...

Yep, he's out 4-6 with foot injury

busey said...

If Vandy doesn't win big without Koshawl in the middle this game is a disappointment. The line right now is -17. Vegas doesn't make mistakes. Use our depth and push the ball. If nothing's there pound it inside.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Whoever wrote this preview should really do his homework

J.B., M.D. said...

Looking good early. Depaul is making everything though.

Anonymous said...

Could someone let me know when the Vandy - DePaul game starts? I'd like to watch it. Thanks.

J.B., M.D. said...

http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=vand&media=150794

You can watch online, though it's been a dreadful game thus far.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous 4:52)

Sure the game started? (tongue in cheek)

J.B., M.D. said...

Well... good thing for AJ's free throws and Andre Walker's scrappy play.

Beal will hopefully forget this performance.

A win's a win, I suppose.

Stanimal said...

We scored more than DePaul has allowed all year. But let's not spout too much sunshine after this performance. Guard play was atrocious and shooting was an issue.

Anonymous said...

Man, this is some great original content.

Pinhighs said...

Walker is the glue, no Beal.

Anonymous said...

The team who can score the most points on offense will usually win.

But american idol will always suck.
(as will Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Anonymous said...

Raise your hand if you think Jeffrey Taylor is freaking amazingly good. He just makes it look so easy. Walker so solid. The rest of the team...ehhh.

P.S. Is it just me or did Stalling kick a ball towards the student section after a DePaul bucket and not get T'ed up. Still confused about that..

Anonymous said...

Pinhighs, Every player will have an off game. Beal is no different especially since the coach has taken Beal out his game with the new offense.He's trying to please some while making others unsure of themselves.
A couple of mistakes by some will land you out of the game while others make as many as they want, Next week you will be down on someone else.Negatism breeds such and thus causes dissention which leads to failure as a team.

Stanimal said...

Basically it's far too early to start doom and gloom about anyone's play. If I wanted that I would go to the rivals or scout message boards where they're already calling Jenkins a bust after 7 games.

Let's be rational folks. The team is still very young. They are, however, MUCH better than last year, and they still have a lot of room for improvement. I would argue that no one has hit their ceiling yet. The guys are getting good experience and the areas they need to work on are showing. Those problems aren't going away overnight, but they can improve throughout the course of the season. In spite of those issues, we're 5-1 having played one of the tougher schedules in the country. Let's cut them a tiny bit of slack and start worrying when they actually hit a skid.

Anonymous said...

Staminal are you the one who degrated the team about their play in Maui and St. Mary

Stanimal said...

Probably, but when I did I have no doubt I was far from calm, as I have a tendency to get a little bit fired up during these games.

Stanimal said...

Also, "degrate" is a strong word. I believe I said that certain areas of our game were not great in Maui, and then I pointed out that we still have time to gel, which we do.

VandyGold28 said...

I must say myself that I'm happy with the team. 5and 1 isn't bad at all with our schedule. Beat Illinois on the road and we may not be challenged again til Florida.