Your DePaul, Cleveland Melvin News Update

cleveland_melvin

DePaul Senior Cleveland Melvin went out in the worst possible way. He was the Big East rookie of the year as a freshman, and had a decent shot of finishing up second to Mark Acguirre as DPU’s second leading scorer. Instead he’s kicked out of school and off the team? Maybe he left by his own accord? We still don’t know. DePaul’s communications about Cleveland Melvin were, quoting Fletch

“we’re in a bit of grey area. How grey? Charcoal.”

 

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#101 DePaul Blue Demons: College Basketball 111 in 111

depaul mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The DePaul Blue Demons have been to the Big East what the Pittsburgh Pirates have been to the NL Central in recent years.  While the Pirates have come out of nowhere to be division contenders this season, second year head coach Oliver Purnell has a lot of work to do as he continues his overhaul of the Blue Demon roster.  I give them this though, I actually have two Big East teams ranked lower than them!

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All-Big East Teams Selected, ND’s Hansbrough Only Unanimous Pick

Ben Hansbrough

The strongest college basketball conference in America named it’s best today. Six players were named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from that group. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 8.

ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 172, Bronx, N.Y.
Austin Freeman, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-3.5, 227, Mitchellville, Md.
*Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame, G, Sr., 6-3, 206, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh, G, Jr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Marshon Brooks, Providence, G-F, Sr., 6-5, 200, Stone Mountain, Ga.
Dwight Hardy, St. John’s, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Bronx, N.Y.

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DePaul Loses Cleveland Melvin for the Season

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DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell announced today that freshman Cleveland Melvin will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season with a left thumb sprain. Melvin injured the thumb in DePaul’s game at St. John’s on Feb. 23 and missed Saturday’s game against USF.

Melvin, a BIG EAST Rookie of the Year candidate, leads the Blue Demons and all BIG EAST freshmen with 14.3 points per game this season. In BIG EAST play, the Baltimore native has been ranked in the league’s top 10 all season with his scoring average of 17.4 points per outing. Melvin has recorded 19 games in double-figures this season and eight games of at least 20 points.

Included among his top performances are a 25-point, 12-rebound double-double against No. 10/9 Connecticut on Jan. 15 and a 29-point, seven-rebound outing at #9/9 Georgetown on Jan. 1. The four-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honoree has also totaled 40 blocked shots this season to rank 16th on DePaul’s season blocked shots list and has 11 games with multiple blocked shots.

In BIG EAST games only, Melvin is ranked in the top 15 in offensive rebounding (third – 3.33 orpg), scoring (sixth – 17.4 ppg), field goal percentage (ninth – .511), blocked shots (12th – 1.33 bpg) and rebounding (15th – 6.3 rpg).

There was some good news however:

Brandon Young picked up the slack with a 23-point outing against the Bulls and was rewarded Monday morning with his second BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honor this season. Young and Melvin have combined to earn the honor six times in 15 weeks during the 2010-11 campaign.

 

Since the start of the 2005-06 season that followed expansion of the BIG EAST, DePaul is the third team with six or more Rookie of the Week winners. The 2005-06 Marquette team totaled seven winners while Syracuse had six honorees during the 2007-08 season. The final 2010-11 Rookie of Week will be announced next Monday.

Young scored 23 points against the Bulls on Saturday on 10-of-17 shooting from the field. It was his third game with 20 or more points and he registered a conference-scoring high with the 23 points.

For the week, the Baltimore native averaged 14.0 points and 2.5 assists. Young totaled five points with three assists and two steals at St. John’s on Wednesday.

DePaul’s Freshmen Trio a Bright Spot in Purnell’s 1st Season

cleveland_melvin

In the narrow three point loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats Tuesday night, the DePaul Blue Demons saw their three freshmen combine for 49 of their 68 points. It was the first game this college basketball season in which all three rookies played very well at the same time.

And it’s certainly a bright spot in an otherwise dark season, as once Oliver Purnell gets his own guys in his up-and-down system, things will certainly improve. Jerry Wainwright’s players can’t play Purnell’s tempo, and once they’re gone, the Demons will have a team that will be able to close out big deficits and start winning.

They’ve playing a lot better lately, but they haven’t been able to close out anyone because they fall too far behind. With a trio of talented freshmen, and the recruits Purnell is bringing in next year, DePaul will be able to start winning Big East games again next year.

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Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/18/11)

uconn huskies cheerleader

In my most recent bracketology, 11 Big East teams made the NCAA Tournament projections.  It is not a crazy thought right now especially since nine teams are ranked in the AP Top 25.  Of course, once the season plays out and teams start to beat up on each other, a couple of those teams will struggle and take themselves out of the conversation like happens every year.  Here are my updated power rankings with Pitt holding onto the top spot after winning the battle of unbeatens last night versus Syracuse.

By: David Kay
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DePaul’s Cleveland Melvin Emerging as one of Big East’s Top Freshman

cleveland_melvin

For the third time in four weeks, DePaul freshman forward Cleveland Melvin was named Rookie of the Week by the BIG EAST Conference. Melvin is the first Blue Demons to pick up the honor three times in a season.

Melvin averaged an impressive 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in games against Seton Hall and Connecticut last week. He opened the week with 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists against the Pirates before registering his first career double-double with 25 points and a career-high 12 rebounds against the Huskies.

In addition to becoming the first DePaul player to earn BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors, Melvin is also the only Blue Demon to pick up the award in back-to-back weeks. He was also named the top newcomer on Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

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