The 2012-2013 DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball team has been something to cheer about. Oliver Purnell is in his third season as the Demons' head coach. Over the course of his coaching career, Purnell has been known for making his third season the one where things turn around for the better.
That seems to be the case with DePaul this year. Currently, the Demons are 9-3 and are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. They haven't lost since November 21st. Since then they have beaten teams like Arizona State, Auburn and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
They have also been successful against other Chicago-area teams. They've already beaten Chicago State and Northern Illinois and they play Loyola on Saturday. While the first two months of the season have been fun to watch, I can only hope that the Demons keep up this momentum once their conference schedule begins.
The Big East portion of their schedule will start on January 2nd. The Demons have not been very successful as a member of the Big East.
Over the last few seasons, the Demons have done well in non-conference play, but only to fall apart when they take on conference opponents.
If DePaul is to have any chance at getting into the postseason in 2013, they need to win at least 10 conference games. That task will be easier said than done as six of their Big East opponents this season are ranked in the Top 25.
They also have to play Notre Dame and Pittsburgh twice, along with road games at Connecticut, Georgetown, St. Johns, Marquette and Syracuse.
The road to a 20-win season will not be easy, but it must be done for Oliver Purnell's squad to get postseason consideration. At the end of the day your non-conference schedule means nothing.
Conference victories are how teams raise their RPI and catch the eye of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
Blue Demons hoops may be fun to watch now, but will they still be fun to watch in January and February? Only time will tell.