The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

DePaul makes unwanted history, becomes first Big East team to lose 20 conference games

Will Robson
DePaul’s roster huddles together during a game against St. John’s Tuesday, March 5, at Wintrust Arena. Their 104-77 loss was the 19th of 20 conference losses the Blue Demons endured this season.

DePaul men’s basketball finds itself on the wrong side of history, being the first-ever Big East team to go 0-20 during conference play. 

This season has been particularly challenging for the Blue Demons, who finished with a 3-28 record, which has been the worst since the 1996-97 season. Not only did DePaul go 0-20 in Big East play, but 18 of the team’s losses were by double figures.

“When things go like this, it’s never one thing,” interim head coach Matt Brady said in response to the team’s worst season in over two decades. “There’s a lot that goes into this and there will be an introspection I think from the administration. There will be a coaching change and they’ll get on the same page. I think everyone will learn a lesson from this.”

The team endured its share of challenges, including head coach Tony Stubblefield’s midseason firing and a 19-game losing streak to end the regular season. These developments not only impacted the program but also weighed heavily on certain players throughout the season.

“I feel like my whole journey has been a lot of ups and downs,” senior guard Chico Carter Jr. said of the adversity the team has faced this season. “I’m just trying to come in with a positive attitude every day. Of course, it’s not ideal for us, but I just want to give thanks to coach Stubbs and coach Brady for giving me an opportunity to come play in Chicago.”

On Senior Night, the Blue Demons endured a 104-77 defeat against conference rival St. John’s, marking the third time this season that the team allowed over 100 points to its opponent. 

Three DePaul seniors — Jalen Terry, Chico Carter Jr. and K.T. Raimey — celebrate senior night with the team Tuesday, March 5, at Wintrust Arena. (Photo by Will Robson/The DePaulia)

“For about 80 percent of the game we played, that’s about as well as you can play offensively,” St. John’s head coach Rick Pitino said of the team’s performance. “I’m actually glad DePaul came back at the end. We don’t want to embarrass anybody and those guys have gone through a difficult year, so glad they came back and made some shots.”

As the game progressed and St. John’s maintained their lead, head coach Rick Pitino turned to the DePaul student section for input on which bench player to bring in. Throughout the second half, the student section persistently chanted “we want Conway” to Pitino on the sideline.

In response to the crowd’s request, Pitino actually put graduate guard Sean Conway into the game despite his average of 2.1 points per game and limited playing time of only 8.5 minutes per game this season.

DePaul forward Jeremiah Oden scores a slam dunk against St. Johns Tuesday, March 5, at Wintrust Arena. (Photo by Will Robson/The DePaulia)

DePaul’s defense struggled to contain senior guards Jordan Dingle and Chris Ledlum, who collectively scored 38 points, while shooting 16-of-21 from the field. Furthermore, the Johnnies showcased its balanced offense with six players reaching double figures in scoring.

“Energy and just play with more effort at all times,” sophomore forward Elijah Fisher said of how the team can improve defensively. “I feel like we take plays off and that really shows on the court.”

Senior night proved disappointing for senior guards Jalen Terry and KT Raimey, as they only managed to score a combined nine points. However, graduate guard Chico Carter Jr. delivered one of his best performances of the season, recording 23 points, five rebounds, and six assists while shooting 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.

“It was good to see Chico (Carter Jr.) go out on a strong individual performance,” Brady said. “I think Jalen Terry has fought through some injuries as well this year and K.T (Raimey) has been up and down I think emotionally for our team, but the three of them I thought played pretty hard tonight.”

Senior guard K.T. Raimey handles the basketball on senior night against St. John’s ,Tuesday, March 5, at Wintrust Arena. (Photo by Will Robson/The DePaulia)

DePaul lost its final regular-season game Saturday, March 9, falling to Seton Hall by a lopsided score of 86-62. While the overall outcome wasn’t favorable, one positive note was another strong performance from Carter Jr., who led the team with 16 points.

Once again, the team struggled defensively, as three Pirate starters reached double figures. Senior guard Dre Davis led the charge with 28 points. Davis also contributed seven rebounds and three assists while shooting 4-of-6 from beyond deep.

Even with the team’s struggles last season, ending the regular season on a losing streak similar to this year, the team demonstrated resilience by picking up an unexpected victory against Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Tournament dynamics reset the playing field, where every game becomes a win-or-go-home scenario, showcasing the potential for any team to win on any given day — a reality exemplified by DePaul’s performance last season.

Brady plans to have his team ready, aiming for his message to connect with the players and provide inspiration as they enter the Big East Tournament.

“I’m going to try and build this group up,” Brady said. “I’m going to try and motivate them again and tell them that we can compete physically with the team’s we’re going to play. You can’t let the game get away from you. You’ve got to play smart basketball.”

No. 11 seed DePaul will face No. 6 seed Villanova in the first round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday, March 13. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CST at Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcast on FS1.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

Comments are Closed.
All The DePaulia Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest
  • M

    MarkMar 13, 2024 at 10:40 pm

    DePaul basketball team:
    Great job tonight, you really out played Villanova- you played with ❤️ heart.