The DePaul Blue Demons host the Texas A&M Aggies on Black Friday afternoon in college basketball action. The Blue Demons, of the Big East, are 3-2 while the Aggies of the SEC are also 3-2 on the season. These two teams haven't played since 2005, when Texas A&M won. Who will prevail in this one?
Texas A&M gets back on trackThe Texas A&M Aggies have jumped out to a 3-2 start this season and are coming off their best win so far. They traveled to Loyola on Sunday and won 67-51 as a 5-point favorite. It takes the sting out of back-to-back losses to Colorado and Murray State at a tournament in Myrtle Beach. They fell to Murray State last Thursday 88-79 as a 13-point favorite and then got blown out by Colorado 103-75 as a six-point favorite. So it was good to get a win on Sunday.
No. 24 Texas A&M finished the Myrtle Beach Invitational with a 16-point win over Loyola Chicago on Sunday: https://t.co/0QX1cBzZi0— TexAgs (@TexAgs) November 21, 2022
In the win over Loyola, Texas A&M did it with defense, forcing 27 Loyola turnovers, while they only coughed it up 12 times. This led to a ridiculous 13 more shots from the floor than Loyola. They also won from the foul line as they made 19 of 27 while Loyola was a terrible 13 of 24. Henry Coleman led Texas A&M with 13 points and 5 rebounds while Julius marble added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Wade Taylor added 10 points and 4 steals. Texas A&M ranks No. 58 in the country. They are 51st in offensive efficiency and 69th in defensive efficiency.
DePaul falls to Oklahoma StateThe DePaul Blue Demons got off to a 3-0 start this season but have lost the last two games. They scored wins over Loyola of Maryland, Western Illinois, and at Minnesota of the Big ten. But then they lost 69-61 at Santa Clara as a 2.5-point favorite and then fell to Oklahoma State last Sunday by the score of 82-78 at a tournament in the Bahamas. But they did cover as a 7.5-point underdog. Oklahoma State dominated in many respects, shooting 50% from the floor to 39% for DePaul and outrebounding DePaul 38-27.
DePaul falls to Santa Clara 69-61.— Road to the Garden (@Road2TheGarden) November 19, 2022
Next up: Oklahoma State at 4:30 ET on Sunday.
The Blue Demons were without Caleb Murphy, Nick Ongenda, and Yor Anei.
But DePaul made more threes and took, and made, more foul shouts, to keep this close. The Blue Demons had a balanced scoring attack led by Eral Penn, who dropped 25 points and hauled in 11 boards. Umoja Gibson added 17 points with 6 assists and 2 steals while Da'Sean Nelson had 11 points. Javan Johnson and Ahamad Bynum each scored 10 points. they did play without their two big men, Nick Ongenda and Yor Anei, but they will hopefully be back for Friday. DePaul ranks No. 84 according to KenPom. They are 79th in offensive efficiency and 93rd in defensive efficiency.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This should be a good game, but I have to go with the home team here. Both teams have had bright spots, but Texas A&M has overall been a disappointment as they started the year in the top 25 and have had some terrible losses. They did hang on to beat Loyola, but that was because they missed so many free throws. DePaul shoots 77% from the stripe, which ranks 17th in the country, so they won't gift Texas A&M the game as Loyola did. Plus, DePaul has been playing without their two big men, Ongenda and Anei, so if they are both in the lineup, they will give DePaul a big edge inside. There is really no area where Texas A&M stands out, other than steals, so in what should be a close game, I'm taking the home team. Go with the Blue Demons here to cover the spread.
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have been pretty sloppy and inefficient in their games this season. Neither team shoots well from the floor or from three point range and both turn the ball over 13.4 times per game, which ranks 123rd in the nation. Neither rank high in assists either. Texas A&M creates a lot of turnovers off steals, so that will add to the turnover count, particularly for DePaul. However, Texas A&M does not play very fast, ranking No. 225 in adjusted tempo, while DePaul ranks No. 166 in that category. These defenses have been the stronger parts of their respective teams games thus far, so, add in a little post-Thanksgiving malaise, and I see this being a low-scoring affair. Take the under.