Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Garrett Jr.'s unselfish play pays off for DePaul's second straight win

                                         Photo Credit: Geno Green

For the first time this season, DePaul (3-3) tallied back-to-back wins with a 82-55 road victory over the University of Illinois-Chicago (1-4) on Wednesday and Billy Garrett Jr. put together another solid all-around effort, highlighted by a game-high six assists to go along with 13 points.

DePaul coach Dave Leitao talked about Garrett asserting himself into the offense and making his teammates better in the process.

"Billy has been getting into the paint and using his size," Leitao said. "Once he gets there, he makes really good decisions with dump downs to the big guys and kicking out."

Breaking down Garrett Jr.'s performance:

Garrett Jr.'s first points of the game came on a three-point make to put DePaul ahead 5-0 on UIC.

After a Dikembe Dixson dunk to open the scoring for the Flames, Garrett Jr. would split a pair of free throws and would later spearhead an 11-2 in the game's first 4:17.

UIC would counter with a 7-2 run and then DePaul, behind Garrett Jr.'s five points scored 13 straight to go ahead 26-9.

The highlight of the 13-point run came on Garrett Jr.'s blocked shot on Paris Burns and took it the other way and pulled up for a three-point make to put the Blue Demons ahead 16-9 near the halfway mark of the first half.

Garrett's final points of the half came on a pair of free throw makes to put the Blue Demons ahead 35-11. 

DePaul would go into the half with a 41-20 lead behind Garrett's 11 points, on 2-for-2 from long distance and making five of six free throws.

Garrett Jr.'s only points of the second half came on a gliding layup to put the Blue Demons ahead by 69-38 and would not look back, but Leitao knows the key to a run in the Big East will hinge on Garrett Jr.'s ability to get his teammates more involved in the offense.

"Billy's more loose and comfortable with what he is doing and understands the offense a little bit better, so I think it is showing on the basketball floor," Leitao said. "Hopefully, Billy will continue to grow as we grow and get better because he has so much potential."

Potential, potential, potential, oh what an indulging word. Time will only tell if the bridge is crossed.

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