As the title implies we will be taking a look at our Big East opponents and what they will be looking like heading into the coming season.
DePaul started out in surprising fashion last season when they actually won games against good teams. A road win over Iowa was the first shock result, a game where Paul Reed outplayed Luka Garza by some distance. Another road win over Minnesota showed that DePaul might actually mean business. The very next game DePaul then beat Texas Tech in OT in yet another surprising result. DePaul did drop a game to Buffalo but still sat at 12-1 after non-con. DePaul then returned to being the team we all know and love and dropped their first 3 conference game before running Butler off the floor for their first conference win. From there it was quintessential DePaul. They got blown out, dropped close games, blew leads and finished last in the Big East. Then they made a trip to New York but I don’t recall what happened after that.
It’s no secret that Paul Reed was DePaul’s best player last season. Reed averaged a double-double and threw in 2.6 blocks per game just for good measure. Jalen Coleman-Lands also departs to Iowa State in his quest to make 4 years of eligibility last a decade.
Charlie Moore returns as one of the best point guards in the Big East. He led the team in scoring and assists last season but was pretty streaky from beyond the arc. Despite his shooting struggles, Moore was one of DePaul’s best shooters and will be at the center of DePaul’s gameplan. Jaylen Butz will also return and brings the toughness and physicality to play inside if not the skill. Romeo Weems got good playing time as a freshman but got limited usage. He will be expected to use more possessions now especially since he showed flashes quality last season.
DePaul welcomes a freshman point guard named Kobe Elvis who will likely spell Moore at the point and probably get limited minutes. Transferring in from Monmouth is Roy Salnave who put up over 14ppg and shot 36% from 3. Salnave will likely replace Coleman-Lands at the 2 guard spot. Brian Patrick also tranfers in and also shot well from 3 at IPFW and will give the Blue Demons another shooter.
DePaul has been the doormat of the Big East in recent years and kept that reputation last season despite a great start. Charlie Moore will be the lynchpin of this team. With a few more shooters around and nastiness of Butz and Weems this team could very well steal some wins but lacks the quality depth to really make it out of the basement. At least they have a fighting chance of not finishing last this year.