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Pre-Duel Pleasantries: DePaul

Talking to Dan Stack to get us off the ledge

DePaul v Butler Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

One more game in the regular season before we head to NYC for the Big East tournament. Xavier needs a win pretty bad, and DePaul might just be the game to do it. To get you ready, we talked to Dan Stack, senior writer at and college basketball columnist for Fan Rag Sports. Let’s see what he had to say.

1.) Everything sucks! Tell me a fun statistic.

Well, I don't know of a statistic that will make you go hmm, but when looking at DePaul freshman Brandon Cyrus' season numbers (6.1 points on 37.1 shooting from the field), you would suggest he is struggling.

On the whole, that would be correct, but the versatile and pesky defender is picking up his offensive production of late. Cyrus is averaging 8.5 points on 43.6 percent shooting in his last eight games. He had his breakout game in the first game at Xavier (18 points) and it has boosted his confidence ever since.

2.) What did you think of the Oscars?

Hey, it was least entertaining and a lot had to do with the comedic chops and timing of Jimmy Kimmel. At least there was some flair, albeit unintended. And the final moments, well, nobody saw that coming! That has to count for something.

The first half hour and the last half hour were ok with the good wards handed out, but otherwise, the middle two hours or so was its usual boring self.

3.) Is Dave Leitao's job safe, or do you think the school will start looking around?

I think Leitao is safe for at least one more season as we move into an a new arena. He is bringing in better talent that some in the fan base is a little excited about. (I think I went over the new talent when we first talked).

If they can't get better next year, the hope that Leitao could turn it around would be all but diminished.

That said, the school just hired a new President, who was actually Seton Hall's president, and the new president may place more of a premium on basketball. If DePaul continues to put up the same type of results under his watch, there may be a chance the new prez won't stand for much more losing.

So suffice to say, it's a make or break season for DePaul next year.

4.) What are you most excited for with this year's Big East tournament?

Well, outside of Villanova and Butler, the rest of the teams have a lot riding on the tournament when you think of it.

Creighton is trying to put the Maurice Watson distractions behind them and get back on track.

Providence, Marquette and Seton Hall are all fighting for NCAA bids.

The same could be said for your team Xavier too, I guess. They are desperately trying to find a way to gain some positive momentum.

St. John's is a wild card and with the conference in flux, maybe they can run the table. Especially if Ponds and LoVett get hot.

Georgetown is looking to play for the legacy of John Thompson III and keep his name off the hot seat.

And well, DePaul is looking for anything to build off of as they hit the 2017-18 season.

5.) Score prediction?

Again, it's the last game at Allstate Arena and with Xavier reeling, maybe the emotions will carry DePaul past the finish line. Or, Xavier will finally figure it all out just in time to crush DePaul.

I got a close game with my sentimental self giving the nod to the Blue Demons

DePaul 71

Xavier 69