Preview: DePaul vs. Alabama State

DePaul plays its first game since official word came down about Mac Koshwal's injury tonight when the Blue Demons take on Alabama State. Honestly, DePaul probably won't miss Koshwal much in this game because the Hornets are one of the worst teams in NCAA Division I. Though there's still a small chance a plucky SWAC team pulls the upset.

Alabama State (1-3) has been absolutely blow away by the three Division I squads it faced this season. The only victory is a 6-point win over Columbus State.

If DePaul comes out with intensity tonight at Allstate Arena, the Hornets will struggle to score more than 50 points or so. This should be a good time for Devin Hill to get some more experience and for Tony Freeland to continue working his way into the rotation.

A few more thoughts on the game after the jump.
Alabama State is bad at offense. How bad? The Hornets rank 345th (3rd to last) in the NCAA Division I in adjusted offensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy. Alabama State doesn't shoot the ball very well and turns the ball over too much. The Hornets have an effective field goal percentage of 32.4% on the season, just unfathomably low.

On defense the Hornets are a little better, but not much. The fewest points Alabama State has allowed in a Division I game was 78 to Belmont. There are lots of open looks available against the Hornets as teams shoot 41.8% from three thus far and 56.8% inside the arc.

Accuscore is surprisingly conservative in its projection because of the absence of Koshwal. The prediction is 68.3 to 61.5. If Alabama State is going to pull the upset the points will have to come from a variety of places as just two players are averaging double-figures Tramayne Moorer (10.8 points per game) and Menji Mundadi (10.3 points per game). The Hornets come at you in waves with 11 players playing 10 minutes per game or more. The best way for Alabama State to pull the upset would be to push the tempo and create fast break opportunities before DePaul's stingy half-court defense can set up.

It should be an interesting game. I'll be at Allstate Arena tonight, so expect a full report.

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