Bruno looks for 700th career win at Butler


Josh Leff

Women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno. (Josh Leff / The DePaulia)

For what appears to be a regular two-game road trip for the Blue Demons (18-6, 10-2 Big East), a lot is at stake for the top team in the Big East.

Head Coach Doug Bruno, who’s held the position for the Blue Demons since 1988 after a two-year stint as the team’s head coach from 1976 to 1978, is one win away from reaching the milestone of getting 700 wins over his head coaching career. Also relevant, Amarah Coleman, a five-foot-11-inch senior guard who played her freshman season at the University of Illinois before transferring to DePaul, is 19 points away from scoring 1,000 total points in her collegiate career.

Riding a four game winning streak, the first team the Blue Demons will face on their road trip is the Butler Bulldogs (13-12, 5-8 Big East) for a Friday evening matchup. Even though the Bulldogs rank No.8 in the Big East standings and are sitting on a four game losing streak, they’re not a team the Blue Demons can take lightly.

Both teams defend the perimeter exceptionally well. The Blue Demons rank No. 1 in conference play in 3-point field goal percentage defense, as they hold their opponents to a 30.7 percent 3-point shooting average. Right behind them in this statistical category are the Bulldogs, a team that on average holds their opponent to shooting just 30.8 percent behind the arc, which could be troublesome for a Blue Demons team that leads the big East in 3-point field goals made.

Aside from both teams’ superb defense, they both rebound the basketball well, but on different ends on the floor. In conference play, the Blue Demons have the No. 1 rebounding offense and the Bulldogs have the No. 1 rebounding defense, so it will be important for the Blue Demons to come out aggressive, attack the paint and get second-chance opportunities on offense.

While these statistics are relevant, the Blue Demons won’t be too intimidated because they’re an unselfish team that leads the Big East in assists at 20.9 per game in conference play. And of course, having four players that have averaged more than 10.0 points per game in conference play only strengthens the Blue Demons cause, especially for their second road game on Sunday against the Xavier Wildcats (9-15, 2-11 Big East) that rank No. 9 in the Big East standings and have lost five consecutive games.  

The Wildcats’ miscues are exorbitant. Namely, they are the worst shooting team in the Big East with their 39.2 shooting percentage in comparison to the Blue Demons’ 44.7 percent shooting mark, which ranks No. 2 in the conference. As a result, the Wildcats only put up an average of 56.5 points per game, placing them as the No. 9 ranked scoring offense in conference play.

If the Blue Demons play to their style that involves sharing the basketball and taking high-percentage shots, this road trip could end up being a success.