A Post-Deadline Look at the Big East: DePaul Blue Demons

ROSEMONT IL - FEBRUARY 19: Moses Morgan #15 of the DePaul Blue Demons celebrates a foul by the Villanova Wildcats at the Allstate Arena on February 19 2011 in Rosemont Illinois. Villanova defeated DePaul 77-75 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

DePaul was one of four Big East teams that had a new coach this past year. Mired in last place for the last several years, the Blue Demons brought in Clemson's Oliver Purnell to try to rebuild the once storied program. While the product on the court did look better than under the last regime, but the results were sadly the same. This was not unexpected. It's going to take a while to get DePaul back on their feet.

What Will DePaul Look Like Next Year?

Key Loses:

Graduating: Mike Stovall (5.4pts, 1.4rbds), Jimmy Drew (6.4pts, 3.3rbds), Mario Stula (0.9pts, 0.6rbds)

Early Entry: None

Transferring: Mike Bizoukas (1.3pts, 1.5rbds)

Likely not coming back according to DePaul fans: Devin Hill (5.2pts, 2.4rbds), Eric Wallace (injured last year)

 

Key Returns:

Seniors: Jeremiah Kelly (7.6pts, 2.9 assts), Krys Faber (7.0pts, 5.3rbds) ,

Juniors:  Tony Freeland (9.6pts, 5.0 rbds)

Red Shirt Sophomore: Donnovan Kirk ( Transferred Mid Season from Miami will be available after thanksgiving due to DePaul's quarters system.)

Sophomores: Cleveland Melvin (14.3pts, 5.0rbds), Moses Morgan (5.1pts, 1.8rbds), Brandon Young (12.7pts 3.7assts)

 

Incoming Recruits:

Shane Larkin 5'11 PG #72 Rivals, NR Scout, NR ESPN

Macari Brooks 6'2" SG NR

Jamie Crocket 6'4" SF NR

Charles McKinney 6'3" SG NR

Derrell Robertson 6'9" C NR

Montray Clemons 6'8" PF NR

 

DePaul is obviously building towards the future. Their best players last year were freshman. Showing progress this year will be key for turning the program around. If Purnell is able to get even five Big East wins it would be a huge step in the right direction and will encourage local recruits to choose DePaul. They will build their team around Freshman of the Year Cleveland Melvin and dynamic PG Brandon Young. They also have some upperclassmen who showed last year they can contribute. They bring in a six-person recruiting class. The biggest name of the group is Shane Larkin. Most of the recruits are unheralded, but should provided depth for Purnell's defensive style. And remember their freshman weren't ranked highly last year, but were quite productive. They don't lose a whole lot of scoring from last year, so DePaul will be better. The problem in the Big East is sometimes that's not enough. It seems unlikely that DePaul will be able to break out from the bottom four of the league. Purnell has done a great job turning around various programs and I think he is capable of doing it for DePaul as well. Frankly, the goal for DePaul should be to just not come in last and perhaps to win three games in the Big East. Anything above that and they're playing with house money.  Baby steps, Purnell.

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