Preview: Kansas at DePaul

First of all, enter the prediction contest if you haven't already. DePaul is 1-4 entering tomorrow's game with their one win coming at home against Eastern Illinois. The Blue Demons opened the year with road losses to Bradley and Northwestern wherein their offense averaged but 85 points per 100 possessions. After beating Eastern Illinois by 30 points, DePaul went 0-2 (against Division I opponents) in the Maui Invitational losing close games to Kentucky and Purdue. DePaul's offense performed much better outside the continental U.S., scoring 115 points per 100 possessions. They lost both games because of a continued inability to defend decent opposition. Bradley scored 122 points per 100 possessions, Kentucky scored 127, and Purdue 126. By point of comparison, Kansas scored 127 points per 100 possessions on Tuesday night against Dartmouth.

In their four losses, DePaul have let their opponents shoot over 60 eFG% from the field, attempt four free throws for every 10 field goals, and forced turnovers on just 15.6% of opponents' possessions. To their credit, the Blue Demons have dominated the defensive glass, corralling 74.5% of possible defensive rebounds.

Considering that Kansas demonstrates an intermittent proclivity for missing shots and turning the ball over and that they use their offensive rebounding prowess (43.8 OR% on the season) as something of a safety net, DePaul might not be as overmatched as they initially appear. The game tomorrow will be their first in ten days and is easily their biggest home game until Pittsburgh, UConn, and Marquette visit during conference play. A disinterested or travel-weary Kansas team could be in for a rude awakening. However, If Kansas shows up ready to play then I'd take comfort in the supposition that if Randolph Morris, Joe Crawford, and Ramel Bradley can run roughshod over DePaul's defense then Darrell Arthur, Brandon Rush, and Mario Chalmers should encounter limited resistance.

Prediction: Kansas 78 DePaul 61


Pts per 100 possesions: SO F #22 Wilson Chandler 26.2, JR G #3 Draelon Burns 25.9, SR G #11 Sammy Mejia 24.6 eFG%: SR F #21 Marcus Heard 76.3 %, Chandler 61% PPWS: Heard 1.52, Chandler 1.21 Offensive Rebounding: JR C #4 Wesley Green 18.6% Defensive Rebounding: Heard 21%, Chandler 19.6%, JR F #5 Kerron Clarke 18.2% Assists per 100 possesions: SO G #1 Jabari Currie 10.5 (7.4 TO/100), Burns 6.9 (5.7 TO/100) Blocks per 100 possesions: Heard 3.0, Chandler 2.8 Steals per 100 possesions: Green 4.1, Burns 3.8