2013-14 College Basketball Season Preview: DePaul

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

DePaul Blue Demons (Last Year: 11-21, 2-16 in Big East)

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Sandi Marcius (Sr)/Forest Robinson (Jr)/Tommy Hamilton (Fr)

F: Cleveland Melvin (Sr)/Greg Sequele (Jr)/Peter Ryckbosch (Soph)

SF: Jamee Crockett (Jr)/DeJuan Marrero (Fr)

SG: Brandon Young (Sr)/Charles McKinney (Jr)/R.J. Curington (Fr)

PG: Billy Garrett Jr. (Fr)/Durrell McDonald (Soph)

Gone: PG-Worel Clahar, PF-Donnovan Kirk (transfer-Miami), SF-Jodan Price (transfer-Eastern Michigan), F-Montray Clemons (transfer-Pensacola JC), C-Derrell Robertson Jr. (transfer-San Francisco), SF-Moses Morgan (transfer)

2013-14 Outlook:
Celebrities picking crazy names for their kids, C.T. instigating fights on the Challenge, and the DePaul Blue Demons being the laughing stock of the Big East; all three are guarantees in life. DePaul has won just six conference games since Oliver Purnell took over three years ago and even with a new-look Big East, the Blue Demons will once again be the laughing stock of the league.

Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young have been DePaul’s best two players the past three seasons and were the second-best scoring duo in the Big East last year (fun fact: Providence’s Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Betts were the No. 1 scoring duo. How’s that for a great bar question to your college basketball buddies?) Those numbers can be deceiving though as both Melvin and Young have as many weaknesses and strengths. Neither shoots it that well from deep and each has questionable shot selection while their defense is subpar at best. With it being the senior season for both players, let’s see if they can round out their games and prove to be more than just scorers.

Young may spend more time playing off the ball as opposed to being the prime ball-handler due to the arrival of freshman point guard, Billy Garrett Jr. Coincidentally enough, Garrett’s dad is an assistant on Purnell’s staff, which is probably the only reason he decided to stay home to play his college basketball.

Jamee Crockett, Charles McKinney, and Durrell McDonald return for DePaul, but the team lost a handful of players to transfer this offseason, meaning there will be a major need for new players to fill the minutes, particularly in the middle. Purdue transfer Sandi Marcius brings size and experience to the team, but not a whole lot of skill. Junior college transfer Forrest Robinson and freshman Tommy Hamilton Jr. will compete with Marcius for playing time at center.

JUCO transfer Greg Sequele and DeJuan Marrero, who missed all of last season because of a torn ACL, will add depth at the forward position, while R.J. Currington will likely find himself lost in the shuffle at guard. Purnell also picked up a commitment from Illinois transfer forward Myke Henry, but he must sit out this season per NCAA rules.

For the Blue Demons to make any sort of strides this season, they must become a better defensive team. No power-conference team allowed more points last season than the Blue Demons. If that doesn’t change, neither will the DePaul’s success. It could cost Purnell his job as well.

Player to Watch: Billy Garrett Jr., PG
Garrett Jr. has the poise and play-making ability to step right into DePaul’s starting lineup and give them a natural floor general. Having someone like him to help set the table would take some of the pressure off Young, who too often tries to do too much. With both Garrett and Young standing at 6-4, there would be great size in the backcourt as well. If the Blue Demons have any hope of making noise in the new Big East, Garrett has to be a producer from Day 1.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/16 vs. Wright State
  • 11/25 vs. Wichita State (CBE Classic)
  • 11/26 vs. Texas/BYU (CBE Classic)
  • 12/1 vs. Oregon State
  • 12/6 vs. Arizona State
  • 12/22 at Illinois State
  • 12/27 at Northwestern

  • Predicted Big East Finish: 10th

    2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

    NFL Picks - Feb. 12