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The DePaul Blue Demons will attempt to end their recent slide when they travel to the 14th-ranked Villanova Wildcats. The Blue Demons is the lone winless Big East team while the Wildcats have reeled off two straight after getting punked by Marquette on the road. VU has won 18 consecutive meetings against DePaul, and the Wildcats lead the all-time series 28-8.
Paul Reed Is The Catalyst For The Blue DemonsDePaul (12-4, 0-3 Big East) remained winless in conference action as the Blue Demons were unable to complete their comeback attempt in a 74-67 loss to St. John's. Trailing by 12 with six minutes to play, the Blue Demons dug in defensively and held the Red Storm scoreless for nearly five minutes, but the closest they were able to get was four points. DePaul shot 48% from the field, however, the Demons were only able to convert three of their 15 attempts from beyond the arc and 16 of 27 tries from the free-throw line.
The spin: The matchup with Villanova is DePaul's second consecutive road game, where they are 4-1 on the season. Leading scorer Charlie Moore nearly missed recording the program's first triple-double against the Red Storm as he finished with 14 points along with 12 assists and eight rebounds. It was the fifth time this season that the 5-11 point guard, who leads the Big East with 6.8 assists a game, has posted 10 or more assists this season. Moore has scored in double-figures in six straight games and is averaging 12.6 points, seven assists, and 4.3 rebounds during conference play. Jaylen Butz added 17 points, on six of six shooting from the floor, along with nine caroms versus St. John's for his first double-digit scoring effort in three games. Butz has scored in double-figures eight times this season and has grabbed at least eight rebounds in three of his last four outings. Paul Reed continued his masterful performance rebounding the ball and on the defensive end against the Johnnies. However, the 6-9 junior did have his double-figure scoring streak snapped at 13 as he totaled just four points on 2-for-7 shooting. Reed, who is averaging 15.4 points a game, is leading the Big East in Rebounds (11.1) and blocks (3.1). Reed has 12 games of 10 or more rebounds and has registered a block in all 16 games, including eight over the last eight. Jalen Coleman-Lands has scored in double-figures in four straight and 11 of 13 while also making a three-pointer in 10 contests in a row. Six-foot-7 forward Romeo Weems has struggled during conference play on the offensive end, but he has made an impact defensively, particularly on the boards.
Saddiq Bey Coming Off Career DayVillanova (12-3, 3-1) will play two of its next three home games at Fineran Pavillion, starting with DePaul, after opening the current four-game homestand at the Wells Fargo Center with an 80-66 win over Georgetown. Leading 39-36 at halftime, thanks largely to going 10-for-17 from long-distance, VU opened the second half on a 10-2 run and coasted the rest of the way. Nova, which finished the game 15-for-29 (51.7%) from long-distance and shot 47.4% from the field, held Georgetown to 30 points in the second half on 40.7% from the floor and 2-for-8 (25%) from the three-point line. Saddiq Bey led the way with a career-high 33 points as he made 10 of 15 shots from the field, including eight of 12 from the three-point line. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds while Collin Gillispie contributed 11 points along with five dimes, which tied Jermaine Samuels for the team's most in the game.
🎥: WIN No. 1️⃣2️⃣ pic.twitter.com/jVy3w7lCtL— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) January 12, 2020
The spin: Villanova is 7-0 at home this year. After three games of single-digit performances, Bey has pumped in 44 points over the last two contests as he has made 13 of 28 shots from the field and 10 of 18 from long-distance. The 6-8 sophomore forward has topped the 20-point plateau four times and has grabbed five or more rebounds in four of his last five outings. Gillispie continued his solid play during conference play as he has scored in double-figures in three of the four contests, averaging 16.3 points along with five rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 45.8% from the field as well as 45.8% from beyond the arc. Samuels has been a model of constancy lately for VU. Although the 6-7 junior forward had his six-game streak of 10 or more points snapped against Georgetown, he connected on a three-point field goal (2-4) for the first time in four games. Samuels has compiled 12.5 points on 47.1% shooting from the field along with 5.5 rebounds over the last seven contests. Robinson leads the team with 9.3 rebounds and is coming off his third-highest scoring output of the campaign against the Hoyas. Freshman Justin Moore, who set a personal-best with five dimes against Georgetown, has struggled with his shot while Cole Swider has been plagued by foul trouble lately.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Even though Villanova is in considerably better form and I honestly believe that the Wildcats will ultimately win the game, I am taking DePaul and the points. However, it wouldn't shock me if the Blue Demons pull off the upset. The Demons are the more experienced team, and they have yet to lose a game by double-digits. Additionally, DePaul has defended the three-point line during conference play pretty well -- permitting 7.2 treys a contest, which is the third-best in the conference. This could be an important factor as I expect DePaul to do everything to run the Wildcats, who love to shoot the three, off of the three-point line.
But more importantly, I believe that the Blue Demons matchup very well with the Wildcats overall. Moore and Reed will be the keys for DePaul, and I think that Moore can win his matchup against Gillispie as his most significant issue is turnovers. Reed has an advantage over anyone that VU sends at him defensively, and I believe that he and Butz will be able to control the boards for the Demons. Plus, Nova does not have as many offensive weapons or the depth or the defensive prowess as the recent past when the Cats were dominant. My point is that I think VU is currently very vulnerable to an upset.
Prediction: DePaul +10.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I am going with the over in this game. DePaul likes to push the pace as the Blue Demons are averaging over 71 possessions a game. While DePaul has struggled offensively in the halfcourt during Big East play, the Blue Demons are ranked in the top third of KenPom's efficiency rankings at 103.5 and they have shown the ability to get out in transition as they did against St. John's where they racked up 20 fastbreak points. Additionally, Villanova has shown that they are vulnerable in transition and the Wildcats are permitting opponents to register a 49.1% effective field goal percentage. On the other hand, VU is one of the most effective teams in the nation as the Wildcats are producing 112.7 points per 100 possessions and have recorded an effective field goal percentage of 53.1%. Moreover, the over is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings between the 'Cats in Villanova.
Prediction: Over 139.5