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Posted at 2:45 PM EST.
8:30 PM EST. The Blue Demons of DePaul are coming off back-to-back wins over Seton Hall and St. John's and are hitting their stride, as head coach Dave Leitao tries to get his team over the hump, “We’re at the most important stage of our program in that we’re figuring out how to win, particularly late-game situations." A veteran trio of seniors are getting it done for the Blue Demons with Max Strus posting a pair of double-doubles over his last seven games. Strus is supported by Eli Cain, who is averaging 13.7 ppg and Olujobi, who is also consistently in the double digits (11.4 ppg). The Blue Demons are monsters on the glass, as they lead the Big East in defensive rebounds, are third in offensive boards and feature a big lineup with four of their starters standing 6'6" or taller. Olujobi, all 6"9" of him, is a graduate transfer who is on his third college team, but the interesting fact here is that he was also highly sought after by Butler coach LaVall Jordan with whom he met, but Olujobi decided on DePaul. It's been a big swing when it comes to the Big East, as the Bulldogs could use the big man, as they are last in the conference in defensive rebounding.
Butler beat Florida in the Bahamas during Thanksgiving week. Besides that, there’s not a lot to suggest the Bulldogs are headed for anything and it appears that Florida may have overlooked them in the first meeting. When Butler played in Gainesville a month later, they suffered an embarrassing 34-point loss when the Gators took them seriously. Butler’s half-court offense is just okay, partly because leading scorer Kamar Baldwin, a 6-1 junior guard, is only shooting 28 percent from 3-point range, down from 33 percent a year ago. The Bulldogs don’t get to the foul line enough (289th nationally in free throw rate), don’t clean up their misses (204th in offensive rebound percentage) and don’t generate much offense off their defense (257th in steal percentage). In other words, this is not a stock you want to be spotting road points with.
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#814 DEPAUL +113 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.26)