It's hard to find a reason that Pitt can lose this game. Like most years, DePaul is down.
So what can Pitt expect on Saturday?
For starters, DePaul hasn't been very competitive in Big East games this year, still winless. There was a close game against West Virginia, but other than that, the Blue Demons have struggled in conference. They haven't been within ten points in any of their other defeats, including their most recent one against Marquette where turnovers contributed to a 30-point loss:
DePaul (6-12, 0-6) committed a season-high 22 turnovers and Marquette exploited the sloppy play with 40 points.
"The thing that got us in trouble from the start was turnovers," Purnell said. "When you give up 40 points directly off turnovers, that makes it tough. We turned the ball over too many times and that led directly to baskets which you cannot defend."
But a bright spot for DePaul has been maybe the conference's best rookie - Cleveland Melvin. Melvin, a 6'8" forward is averaging 14.5 ppg and 4.7 rpg. He didn't get much playing time early, but about ten games into the season, he's taken off. Melvin has scored at least 20 points in six of DePaul's last seven games including 29 points against Georgetown on the road and 25 points in a home game against UConn.
Melvin has also been named the Big East's Rookie of the week in three of the past four weeks, including this one.
Unfortunately for DePaul, they don't have much else going for them. The Blue Demons are one of the worst teams in the nation in rebounding (299th) and haven't had much to celebrate this season as they've been 6-12 overall. And DePaul's best win this season came against Florida Atlantic of the Sun Belt. DePaul hasn't beaten Pitt since the school jonied the Big East and it simply doesn't have the players to matchup with the Panthers.
The only good thing DePaul might have to look forward to in this game is its Hall of Fame induction
featuring former athletes at halftime.
After the Syracuse game, sure the chance of a letdown exists. But I don't see Pitt losing this game.