99 in 99: #96 DePaul Blue Demons

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Oliver Purnell DePaul

Our 99 teams in 99 days college basketball preview continues with perhaps the most depressing major conference program of the past couple years.  For nearly all of the past decade, nobody has cared about DePaul basketball, especially in the city of Chicago.  This off-season, the university hoped they took the first step towards restoring some tradition and most importantly, winning back to the program.

By: David Kay

DePaul Blue Demons (16th, 1-17 in Big East, 8-23 overall)

Projected Depth Chart

C: Krys Faber (Jr)
F: Devin Hill (Jr)/Tony Freeland (So)/Cleveland Melvin (Fr)
G/F: Mario Stula (Sr)/Moses Morgan (Fr)
G: Mike Stovall (Sr)/Jimmy Drew (Sr)
PG: Jeremiah Kelly (Jr)/Michael Bizoukis (Jr)/Brandon Young (Fr)

Gone: F/C-Mac Koshwal, SG-Will Walker, C-Kene Obi (transfer-Young Harris College)

Jerry Wainwright DePaul2010-2011 Outlook:
There is embarrassing and then there is the DePaul basketball program the past two seasons.  One win in 36 Big East games?

I would hate to be a fan of the only team they beat.  Oh wait… The university gave the boot to Jerry “Droopy Dog” Wainwright during the season and needed to make a splash hire this off-season.  They did exactly that by throwing some serious money at Oliver Purnell and luring him away from Clemson.

Unfortunately for Purnell, he loses his two best players from a year ago and is stuck with a pretty underwhelming roster.  Mike Stovall is the top returning scorer from a year ago at a whopping seven points per game.  The Blue Demons lost in-coming freshman big man Walter Pitchford in a messy incident where the school originally refused to release him from his commitment.

Just last week, the Demons had another loss, project starter at the three Eric Wallace, who will miss the season due to a fractured tibia and fibula.

To be blunt, there is just nothing about this team that will excite you.  Unless of course your team happens to be playing DePaul, and then you will be thrilled because you are about to witness a 30-point blowout.

This season will solely serve as a transition period where Purnell puts the current product on the floor and tries to recruit the crap out of the Chicago area.  He will be given time to inch DePaul closer to respectability and shed the label of being the Big East’s doormat, but after the mess of the past couple seasons, it will be a long, arduous challenge that will often have Purnell asking himself why he left Clemson.

Player to Watch: Brandon Young, PG
On a team that is need of some fresh, new talent, Young is the best of the in-coming recruits.  He is a 6-3 point guard who was actually ranked the 22nd best at his position in the 2010 class by Scout.com.  For a Blue Demon squad that shot an abysmal 31.4% from three and 58.2 % from the free throw line, Young will likely earn every opportunity to provide a much-needed scoring boost and replace the gunning Will Walker on the wing.

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/26 vs. Oklahoma State (76 Classic)
11/28 vs. Virginia Tech/Cal State Northridge (76 Classic)
11/29 vs. Murray State/Stanford/UNLV/Tulsa (76 Classic)

Other 99 in 99’s:
#97 Iowa State
#98 Rutgers
#99 Iowa

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