Providence and the DePaul Blue Demons had a tight affair in their first match-up on December 27th, with Providence winning in double overtime 95-90. Since that time, DePaul has fallen to the bottom of the conference. DePaul is 1-8 in conference, 3-8 overall.
Questions Heading into the Game:
- Can Providence win comfortably over a team it should beat?
- Can Providence go on a 2 game winning streak?
- Is Bynum any closer to returning?
Key Themes Heading into the Game:
1. Learn from the Georgetown Loss – We don’t have to revisit that brutal game, but hopefully the coaching staff learned a double digit lead is never safe. If Providence jumps out to an early lead, I am hopeful that Cooley keeps the majority of his starters in the game. Cooley pulled a handful of starters too early in the Hoya game and provided them with new life.
DePaul may not have the mental fortitude to battle back, so if Providence gets up early, stay ahead and keep a comfortable lead in place.
2. Continue to get Horchler opportunities – Horchler has pleasantly surprised me with his 3 point stroke. He has a nose for the basketball and adds a hustle factor that is needed on this squad.
While we know the offense revolves around Duke and Watson, Horchler is coming on strong to close the year and should continue to see more touches.
3. Don’t Let Romeo Weems Get Going – In the first match-up, Weems came off the bench and went for 21 points on 10 shots. He also made 5 three pointers on 6 attempts.
4. Watson Passing Out of Double Teams – It was a subtle thing that may not have gone noticed by most watching the UCONN game, but Watson was marvelous in kicking out the ball as soon as a double team presented itself. The players feeding the ball to Watson in the post need to be ready to bury a few open looks because they will certainly be there.
If they don’t double Watson, Watson should feast in the low post. It is a really tough scenario for the opposing team.