DePaul starts 2011-12 season today

DePaul starts 2011-12 season today

Posted by Lindsey on Thu, 06/23/2011 - 12:13
So you might be wondering: “The Blue Demons’ season-opener isn’t for another four-and-a-half months. Why are they allowed to open their official practices today?” To prepare for their four-game, 10-day trip to France in August, the Blue Demons get to hold 10 days of practice. Because the month of July is pretty much a washout due to recruiting…and there’s a student break in there somewhere, too, DePaul realized it needs to start now in order to get all 10 days. The Blue Demons opened today at 9 a.m. They’re also practicing at 2 p.m. and at 6 p.m. They’re going at it again Friday, then Thursday-Friday of next week as well. They’ll spend their other six days in August. This is the first official opportunity for DePaul’s six freshmen to blend with the returnees. When I talked with Oliver Purnell on Tuesday, he said they’ll work on offense, defense and everything else just like it’s October. It's an incredibly valuable opportunity...which is why Illinois and its seven newcomers are using the same loophole to go to Italy in late August. If you haven’t been paying close attention to the Blue Demons since their 7-24 season ended on March 8 with a Big East opening-round loss to eventual NCAA champ Connecticut, then let’s review the roster. SENIORS: Jimmy Drew—done (6.4 ppg) Mike Stovall—done (5.4 ppg) Mario Stula—done (0.9 ppg) JUNIORS: G Jeremiah Kelly—Back for his senior year (7.6 ppg, 2.9 apg) C Krys Faber—Back for his senior year (7.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) PG Michael Bizoukas—lost scholarship and transferred to Missouri State. Can play immediately as a fifth-year student who graduated from DePaul. PF Devin Hill—lost scholarship and transferred to Loyola. Must sit out a transfer year. SF Eric Wallace—lost scholarship and still evaluating transfer options. SOPHOMORES: F Tony Freeland—Back for his junior year (9.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) G Joe Belcaster—Walk-on appears to be back for junior year (0.2 ppg) FRESHMEN: F Cleveland Melvin---Big East freshman of the year is back for soph year (14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) PG Brandon Young—All-Big East freshman back for soph year (12.6 ppg, 3.7 apg) F/G Moses Morgan—Back for his soph year (5.1 ppg) F/C Donnavan Kirk---Miami transfer becomes eligible shortly after Autumn Quarter ends, which means he should be good to go for the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla. INCOMING: PG Shane Larkin—When DePaul put its freshmen through a combine-style examination last week, this Top 100 recruit posted the group’s best vertical leap with a 41-inch effort. SG Macari Brooks—The Rich South product was next with a 39.5-inch leap. SF Jamee Crockett—The Crete-Monee graduate was third with a 38.8-inch effort. SG Charles McKinney—The former Maine East underclassmen leaped 38 inches. PF Montray Clemons—This Baltimore native was the last to join the recruiting class. C Derell Robertson—When I saw this 6-foot-10 Mississippi product at ATTACK Athletics on Tuesday, he looked like he had a nice build and the ability to add more muscle without a problem. As you can see, DePaul’s roster is weighted heavily toward young guys with impressive athleticism. With little chance to contend in the Big East this year --- but lots of potential down the road --- it will be interesting to see how quickly the freshmen (and how many of the freshmen) become important pieces of the rotation. MY QUESTIONS: 1. Can and will Young and Larkin play together? My guess would be yes. 2. With Melvin locked in at the 4, then that means Kelly, Brooks, Crockett and McKinney are scrapping for time at the 2 and 3 (when Young and Larkin are on the court together). Do they try to redshirt one of the freshmen? My guess is no. 3. When Kirk becomes eligible, how does he fit in? Does he get more minutes than Faber at the 5? I should mention here that Kirk gets to take part in the pre-France practices, but he’s not allowed to go on the trip. While Kirk can’t make the trip, all of the freshmen can go as long as they pass a summer school class. They’re all enrolled at this time. LW
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