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Blue Demons Host Lewis in Exhibition Contest

Oct. 28, 2013

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CHICAGO - DePaul plays its lone exhibition game of the 2013-14 preseason Tuesday night against the Lewis Flyers. The game is the second half of a DePaul basketball exhibition doubleheader with the women’s team facing Saint Xavier at 6 p.m. Both games will be at McGrath-Phillips Arena on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus.

The Flyers posted an overall record of 19-9 last season and held a 12-6 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Saturday is the first of three exhibition game for the Flyers against NCAA Division I programs with a Nov. 2 game at Loyola and a Nov. 6 contest at Northwestern following Tuesday’s trip to Lincoln Park.

Last season saw the Blue Demons roll to a 91-74 win over the Flyers in an exhibition game that featured double-doubles from Cleveland Melvin and Donnavan Kirk. Melvin finished the night with 25 points, 11 rebounds and two steals while Jamee Crockett added 14 and Brandon Young and Charles McKinney each chipped in 10 points.

Two seasons ago, Cleveland Melvin scored 33 points to lead DePaul to a 70-63 win at McGrath-Phillips Arena over Lewis. Three seasons ago, the Flyers knocked off the Blue Demons, 70-68, in an exhibition game.

The Blue Demons open the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday, Nov. 9 against Grambling State. The opener is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at McGrath-Phillips Arena and the game can be seen on FOX Sports 2 and heard on WSCR 670 The Score in Chicago. Audio streaming will also be available online on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com.

Looking at Lewis: The Flyers posted a 19-9 overall record and 12-6 mark in GLVC action last season... Ryan Jackson is the top returning scorer after averaging a team-high 16.9 points during his sophomore campaign... Jeff Jarosz added 9.1 points last season and Kyle Nelson averaged 7.9 points with 42 blocked shots in 28 games... Jackson, Jarosz and Nelson started all 28 games last season for Lewis... head coach Scott Trost is in his eighth season leading the Lewis program.

Who’s Next: DePaul opens the regular season against Grambling State on Nov. 9 at McGrath-Phillips Arena... the Tigers went 0-28 overall and 0-18 in the SWAC last season... the game is the first meeting between the two programs.

What’s Back: Entering the 2013-14 season, DePaul returns eight players including four that started at least 19 games a year ago. Headlining the returners are seniors Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young and junior Jamee Crockett. The trio serves as the top three returning scorers as head coach Oliver Purnell begins his fourth season in Lincoln Park. Other top returners include junior Charles McKinney and sophomore Durrell McDonald.

Young and Melvin are on pace to finish their careers among the top scorers in program history. Melvin - the 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year - is No. 12 on DePaul’s all-time scoring list with 1,458 points while Young is tied for 16th with 1,378 points. Young led the Blue Demons and was sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring last season followed by Melvin in seventh in the conference scoring rankings.

Overall, the Blue Demons return nearly 70 percent of the scoring, 52 percent of the rebounding and just under 60 percent of the minutes played from last season.

What’s New: A total of eight newcomers are on the 2013-14 DePaul roster including three freshmen, two junior college transfers, a medical redshirt freshman, a transfer sitting out the 2013-14 season and a graduate student. The rookie class includes Chicago natives Billy Garrett Jr., Tommy Hamilton IV, and Chicagoland native R.J. Curington (Dyer, Ind.). Juniors Forrest Robinson (Eastland, Texas) and Greg Sequele (Sainte-Rose, Guadeloupe) head to Lincoln Park after a junior college stop while Myke Henry (Chicago, Ill.) sits out the season under NCAA transfer guidelines. Sandi Marcius (Nedelisce, Croatia) joins DePaul this season as a graduate student after playing three years at Purdue (2010-13).

Another Chicagoland native, DeJuan Marrero (Gary, Ind.), missed the entire 2012-13 campaign after suffering a knee injury in the second week of practice.

Locally Grown: The 2013-14 DePaul roster features eight players from the state of Illinois. In addition to the eight from Illinois, a total of nine players are from the Chicagoland area.

The nine Chicagoland members on the roster include Jamee Crockett (Chicago, Ill.), R.J. Curington (Dyer, Ind.), Cory Dolins (Northbrook, Ill.), Billy Garrett Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), Tommy Hamilton IV (Chicago, Ill.), Myke Henry (Chicago, Ill.), DeJuan Marrero (Gary, Ind.), Charles McKinney (Evanston, Ill.) and Peter Ryckbosch (Chicago, Ill.).

The eighth state of Illinois native is Champaign’s Edwind McGhee.

In addition to Illinois, four states and two countries are also represented on DePaul’s roster with Curington and Marrero from Indiana, Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young from Maryland, Nevada’s Durrell McDonald and Forrest Robinson from Texas. Sandi Marcius is a native of Nedelisce, Croatia and Greg Sequele is from Sainte-Rose, Guadeloupe.

Noting the Blue Demons: The men’s basketball program is 1,395-901 (.608) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 611 straight games... DePaul’s last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 317-151 (.677) all-time at Allstate Arena and 7-1 (.875) all-time at McGrath-Phillips Arena... in each of Oliver Purnell’s three seasons at DePaul, the Blue Demons have faced three Chicagoland opponents during the non-conference portion of the schedule with an 8-1 record in those games... in the Purnell era, the Blue Demons are 15-3 (6-0 in 2012-13) when scoring 80 or more points.

New Home Coming Soon: In an announcement on May 16 overlooking the future home of DePaul basketball, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled plans for a new 10,000-seat events center near McCormick Place in the South Loop area of the city. The facility is a joint project between the City of Chicago, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, and DePaul University. The Blue Demons are scheduled to begin play in the South Loop in Nov. 2016.

DePaul’s freshman class of R.J. Curington, Billy Garrett Jr., Tommy Hamilton IV and DeJuan Marrero will be seniors in the first season of play at the new facility.

New Look BIG EAST Debuted July 1: Starting July 1, the BIG EAST Conference features 10 basketball-centric institutions that will continue the tradition of one of the nation’s top basketball leagues.

The BIG EAST roster will include Butler University, Creighton University, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, St. John’s University, Seton Hall University, Villanova University and Xavier University.

The league’s conference tournament will be held at Madison Square Garden with television partner FOX Sports providing nationwide coverage of the conference year-around on FOX Sports 1.

The conference schedule will consist of 18 games with each school playing home-and-away games against the other nine teams.

DePaul opens the 2013-14 conference schedule on New Year’s Eve at Georgetown. The game is part of a five-game marathon of BIG EAST basketball on FOX Sports 1 that starts at Noon ET with St. John’s at Xavier and ends with a 10 p.m. ET game with Marquette at Creighton. DePaul and Georgetown are scheduled for 5 p.m. ET start in Washington, D.C.

Purnell in Fourth Season: DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell enters his fourth season in Lincoln Park and his 26th season overall. Known as an architect of rebuilding programs, Purnell has led three different schools to NCAA Tournament play while turning around programs at each stop of his career.

The Berlin, Md., native started his head coaching career at Radford and compiled a 44-42 mark over three seasons before accepting the head coach position at his alma mater, Old Dominion, in 1991. Purnell led the Monarchs to three postseason appearances (1 NCAA, 2 NIT) and a three-year record of 57-33.

In nine seasons at Dayton, Purnell laid the foundation for the Flyers’ success and posted 88 wins over his final four years at the Ohio school before moving on to Clemson for a seven-year stint from 2003-10. While at Clemson, the Tigers were a regular in the Top 25 polls while making six postseason appearances. After finishing with a 155-116 record at Dayton, Purnell compiled a 138-88 record at Clemson. Only North Carolina and Duke posted higher winning percentages among ACC programs over his final four seasons with the Tigers.

Now entering his 26th season, Purnell holds a career record of 424-343. In three DePaul seasons, he holds a 30-64 record.