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Rapid Reaction: DePaul 82, UIC 55 | The Catch and Shoot

Rapid Reaction: DePaul 82, UIC 55

CHICAGO — DePaul blew past crosstown rival UIC on Wednesday for a 82-55 victory, its third straight against the Flames. The Blue Demons improved to 3-3 while the Flames dropped to 1-4.

Photo: DePaul Athletics

Photo: DePaul Athletics

 

Here’s a breakdown of what happened at the UIC Pavilion:

—Myke Henry showed flashes of becoming the all-around player DePaul needs. The senior forward entered this season known for his scoring ability, and he is still one of the Blue Demons’ leaders in that regard at 13.2 points per contest this year.

Against UIC, Henry affected the game in every possible way. Not only did he lead DePaul  with 17 points, but he also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in 21 minutes of action. (Coach Dave Leitao pulled Henry with 9:03 remaining after the Blue Demons had built a 69-38 lead.)

DePaul already has one solid all-around player in junior point guard Billy Garrett Jr., and developing Henry into a second will make the Blue Demons that much more dangerous.

 

—The youth movement is on at UIC. The Flames started four freshman along with sophomore center Tai Odiase. UIC’s key players are so inexperienced that this year and possibly next year will be plenty rough. But first-year coach Steve McClain could feasibly use this same starting lineup for the next three seasons, and there’s no sign yet that recruiting will cool off as the staff already has a commitment from borderline top-100 recruit K.J. Santos.

Underclassmen scored 41 of the Flames’ 55 points Wednesday.

 

—The point totals may say otherwise, but UIC’s offense is a bigger problem than its defense.

The Flames are averaging 69 points per game. Not too bad, right?

And they’re giving up 77 points per contest. Pretty ugly, no?

Wrong and wrong.

DePaul entered Wednesday’s game with the 117th-most efficient offense in the nation. That’s not a great mark, but it’s far from terrible. UIC held DePaul to a manageable 1.05 points per possession, only a hair above the Blue Demons’ season average.

The issue was that the Flames could not score, even against a defense that ranks outside the top 200 in efficiency. They posted a dreadful 0.69 points per possession with a 38.2 effective field goal percentage.

UIC can play fast all it wants, but it will not lead to many points until the Flames start working for better shots.

 

—On the other side, even though UIC has been rough all season, this was DePaul’s best defensive effort since the season opener. The Blue Demons were active on defense. As a unit, they tallied 10 steals and six blocks.

DePaul knew UIC would want to push the ball up the floor and take quick shots, and their transition defense was exceptional, particularly in the first half.

The Blue Demons also turned 21 turnovers into 23 points and allowed just eight offensive rebounds off 39 Flames misses.

Even with a large lead in the second half, DePaul did not let up, locking down the perimeter and remaining physical at the rim.

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.


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