GAME NOTES: In the consolation matchup of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center, the Texas Longhorns will mix it up with the DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday night.
For the first time this year the Longhorns are searching for answers following a loss. In Monday night's semifinal round the Longhorns just didn't have enough to overcome BYU, as they fell in an 86-82 decision. Texas is now 4-1 on the year after beating up on some inferior competition during its first four contests, all at home.
The Blue Demons butted heads with their toughest opponent to date on Monday and came away with a loss. DePaul was unable to stun No. 12 Wichita State as it fell to 3-2 on the season. DePaul had won back-to-back games leading up to the matchup with the Shockers.
As far as the all-time series goes between these squads goes, the Longhorns are in control, with six wins in 10 matchups.
Even though Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes each had double-doubles against the Cougars, the Longhorns still couldn't pull out the victory. Javan Felix split a pair of free throws with under two minutes left to give Texas an 80-79 lead, but the Longhorns went 1-of-4 from the field in the final two minutes.
Felix took three of the team's final four shots, missing on all three. However he is definitely the player the Longhorns want shooting in those situations as he leads the team in scoring, netting 14.4 points per game. Holmes (14 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is another double-figure scorer for the Longhorns. Holmes had 10 points to match 10 rebounds against the Cougars. Demarcus Holland (10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Ridley (7.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg) team with Holmes to form an imposing frontcourt, though Holmes is the only scorer with any real polish. Texas is benefiting from a +8.8 scoring margin this season by netting just over 80 points per game.
The Blue Demons were abused on the interior in their loss to Wichita State. DePaul was outscored, 50-30, in the paint, though it did fight to even on the boards (34-34). Brandon Young scored 16 points as one of only two players in double figures, but he needed 16 shots to do so.
Young (15.8 pg) and Cleveland Melvin (16.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) have been all that has carried the Blue Demons over the last two seasons and that hasn't changed this year. Melvin was subdued against the talented Wichita State frontcourt on Monday as he netted only eight points on 3-of-9 shooting, while turning the ball over a team-high three times. Young did hand out four assists but his erratic shooting was far from ideal. Tommy Hamilton (11.0 ppg) is another double-figure scorer for the unit but the list of scorers dries up from there with no other player putting in more than seven points per game. DePaul's scoring trio has been playing well enough to keep the team averaging a healthy 79.4 points per game.
The Blue Demons are facing another powerful frontcourt on Tuesday and if Melvin struggles again, Young will be forced to try to shoot the Blue Demons into contention. That game plan didn't work on Monday and it won't work a day later either.
Game Date and Time