#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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DePaul Annouces Changes in Basketball Staff

oliver purnell

DePaul basketball coach Oliver Purnell announced yesetrday that Andy Farrell has been promoted to the director of basketball operations and Matt Fleming will take over as the team’s video coordinator.

“Andy has done a great job as our video coordinator and his promotion is a director reflection of his work ethic. I am pleased that Andy will continue to serve on the Blue Demon staff,” Purnell said of Farrell’s promotion.

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Oliver Purnell’s DePaul Stint Begins with Begins by Blowing Out Chicago State

oliver purnell

The first game of the Oliver Purnell era at DePaul will be described in the college basketball history books as perhaps: sloppy, uneven, foul-heavy, fast-paced, high-scoring and extremely high-energy.

DePaul beat Chicago State beat 114-81 in their opener, an excellent redemption after an embarrassing loss in their lone exhibition versus Lewis.

“It’s only the first game so I don’t want to get all that excited for it. The freshmen are all excited because it’s their first college win, and I’m happy for them but we still need to grind it out all season,” said Demons leading returning scorer Mike Stovall.

Given the fast pace of this game, I half-expected Kyle Lee Watson to get into a fist-fight with Birdie at some point.

(The shootout championship in “Above the Rim”…did that film reference not work? Should I have said Duane Martin vs. Tupac Shakur? Anyway that fictional basketball game is the only game of hoops I’ve seen which moved as fast as this one)

By Paul M. Banks

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Mike Stovall should be DePaul’s Main Scoring Weapon this Season

mike stovall

Mark it down: DePaul is 1-0 on the season.

Oliver Purnell began the post-Clemson era of his career with a 114-81 blow out of Chicago State Sunday night at McGrath Arena. This college basketball version of a track meet was about as fun to watch as pretty much any game I’ll see this year.

Even though the pace of the game resembled the MTV Rock ‘n’ Jock basketball contest and the final score indicative of three quarters of a Phoenix Suns-Golden St. Warriors NBA game, don’t think DePaul’s offensive issues are exactly solved.

The team’s leading returning scorer is Mike Stovall, a 6-4 “three” from right here in “The Chi.” He averaged just 7 points per game last season, but broke out for 30 versus Providence on January 14th of last year. In the opener, nine Blue Demons reached double-figures, Tony Freeland leading the way with 21.

But Stovall was right there with 19, and he also led the team in scoring in the exhibition.

By Paul M. Banks

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DePaul Adds 5 More to The Mix, Recruits with Chicago Roots


When he was hired in April, DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell described his college basketball recruiting philosophy as starting from the inside and working out. He followed through on the philosophy in his first full recruiting class with a group rooted in Chicago and stretching north of the border to Canada and south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Braeden Anderson, Macari Brooks, Jamee Crockett, Shane Larkin and Derrell Robertson each signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday and head to Lincoln Park starting next season. The five signees cover each position on the floor and all five are described as explosive athletes that will thrive in Purnell’s signature “high pressure defense, high pressure offense” system.

The class features five players that can play a multiple positions. Brooks and Crockett head north from Chicago’s south suburbs while Anderson, a native of Canada, joins Larkin from Orlando, Fla., and Robertson from Mendenhall, Miss.

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DePaul Tip-Off Luncheon Ushers in New Era

Oliver Purnell DePaul

Make no mistake, these are not the DePaul Blue Demons of Rod Strickland, Mark Acquirre and Ray Meyer. However, they are also not the Demons you’ve gotten used to seeing lose by 30 night in and night out for the past few years. With the hire of Oliver Purnell away from Clemson, the Demons now have a reclamation project guru in Lincoln Park.

And that’s exactly what they need in a new head coach. Purnell has revitalized programs everywhere he’s been: Clemson, Dayton, Radford, Old Dominion. You might not see a lot of noticeable progess this year, but trust me it’s coming.

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99 in 99: #62 Clemson Tigers

Clemson mascot

What does it say about your program when your head coach leaves to take the same position at DePaul? The answer: not much.  That is what happened this off-season at Clemson when Oliver Purnell bolted for the Big East bottom feeder.

The Sports Bank’s 99 team college basketball preview in 99 days breaks down the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors and will lead you right into the opening tip of the season.  Click here if you missed teams #63#99.

By: David Kay
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