DePaul has played just three games this season, which is a total that 320 Division I programs have exceeded.
Yet come Saturday afternoon, when the Blue Demons are scheduled to visit St. John's in a Big East game, DePaul will be in something closer to a regular-season routine than the Red Storm.
DePaul (1-2, 0-2 Big East) has played all three of its games since the last time St. John's (6-4, 1-3) took the floor. The Blue Demons lost to league foe UConn, 82-61, on Wednesday, which marked their third game in one week after their first 10 games were either canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
DePaul finally opened the season Dec. 23 with a 91-72 win over Western Illinois before it embarked upon Big East play with a 95-90 double overtime loss to Providence on Sunday. The game against St. John's will mark the third straight road tilt for the Blue Demons, who have allowed them to get into the type of rhythm impossible to achieve the last two months.
Prior to the game against UConn, coach Dave Leitao told The Hartford Courant that DePaul had just 39 practices, including fewer than 10 of the 5-on-5 variety.
"I went back to my book on experiences and it was empty," said Leitao, who has been a Division I coach since 1986.
It's been a similarly unusual season thus far for St. John's, which hasn't played since beating visiting Georgetown, 94-83, on Dec. 20. According to the school, the 13-day break for the Red Storm is the program's longest since a 13-day span between games in December 2007.
St. John's faced Georgetown knowing it'd be the program's last game for two weeks. The Red Storm and Villanova agreed to postpone their scheduled Dec. 30 game because Wildcats coach Jay Wright wanted to give his players a holiday break.
The win over Georgetown snapped a three-game losing streak for St. John's, which sandwiched an overtime loss to the Hoyas on Dec. 13 between wire-to-wire losses to Seton Hall and Creighton.
"It was a step in the right direction," St. John's guard Greg Williams Jr. said after scoring a career-high 26 points in the win over the Hoyas. "We just played together and we played for each other. We played with a lot of trust and it led to a lot of good things."
Forward Julian Champagnie leads the Red Storm with 20.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Williams Jr. (12.9 ppg) is one of four additional players averaging in double figures for St. John's.
Darious Hall came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points for the Blue Demons against UConn. Charlie Moore leads DePaul with 16.3 points per game while Hall has pulled down eight rebounds in each of the two games in which he's played.
--Field Level Media