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DePaul Hosts Grambling State to Open 2013-14 Season

Nov. 8, 2013

Grambling State article

Saturday, Nov. 9 | 3 p.m.
McGrath-Phillips Arena | Chicago, Ill.
Game Notes: DePaul Get Acrobat Reader | Grambling State
TV: FOX Sports 2
Radio: WSCR 670 AM | Online Audio: BlueTube
BlueTube: Pregame Interviews

CHICAGO - DePaul opens the 2013-14 regular season at McGrath-Phillips Arena against Grambling State. Start time is scheduled for 3 p.m. on DePaul's Lincoln Park campus and the game is the first of three at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Saturday. The final two games of the Maggie Dixon Classic follows the Blue Demons and Tigers.

Saturday's game will be televised on FOX Sports 2 with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Stephen Bardo (analyst) handling the television duties. The broadcast can also be seen on the FOX Sports Go app wherever FOX Sports 2 is available. DePaul's radio tandem of Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) can be heard on WSCR 670 AM, on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com and on DePaul's mobile app. Live stats can be found on GameTracker at www.depaulbluedemons.com while in-game scoring updates and notes can be followed at www.twitter.com/depaulsid.

DePaul enters the 2013-14 season following an 11-21 campaign a year ago while Grambling State posted a record of 0-28. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is in his fourth season at DePaul and his 26th as a head coach at the collegiate level. Grambling State is led by Joseph Price who is in his second season leading the Tigers. Tuesday's game is the first meeting between the two programs.

Following the Grambling State game, DePaul opens play in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic next week. The Blue Demons host Southern Miss on Wednesday night followed by Wright State on Saturday afternoon. Both games will be played at Allstate Arena.

Season-Opening Notes: Saturday afternoon serves as the start of the 91st recognized season of DePaul basketball... with the 91-59 win over UC Riverside a year ago, the Blue Demons are 79-11 all-time in the first game of the season... DePaul has won five straight season openers after a three-game losing streak in first games from 2005-08... the UC Riverside game was the fourth all-time season opener at McGrath-Phillips Arena for the Blue Demons.

Home-Opener Notes: DePaul is 84-7 all-time in the first home game of the season... the Blue Demons have won 25 of the last 26 and 73 of their last 75 home openers... the last loss in the home-opening game of the season was a 75-60 defeat against Bradley on Nov. 19, 2005... last season, the Blue Demons defeated UC Riverside, 91-59, at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Nov. 9.

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... DePaul is 7-1 (.875) all-time in games 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... the 2013-14 schedule features local opponents Chicago State and Northwestern... in the Purnell era, the Blue Demons are 15-3 (6-0 in 2012-13) when scoring 80 or more points.


The Opponent - Grambling State Tigers: Grambling State plays the first of two straight games against BIG EAST opponents to open the 2013-14 season... the Tigers play at Marquette on Tuesday night... Grambling State went 0-28 last season... Terry Rose is the top returner from last season... the SWAC Freshman of the Year averaged 14.1 points per game during his rookie season a year ago.

The Series: Saturday is the first meeting between the two programs.

Against the SWAC: DePaul is 8-0 all-time against the current membership of the Southwestern Athletic Conference... the Blue Demons are 3-0 against Alabama State and 1-0 against Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State... DePaul's last meeting against a SWAC opponent was an 81-62 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 17, 2011.


It Could Happen: A win extends DePaul's streak to six consecutive season-opening victories... a win improves DePaul's record in first games to 80-11... Cleveland Melvin (1,458 pts.) needs four points to pass Howie Carl (1,461 pts., 1958-61) for 11th all-time at DePaul... with six points, Melvin passes Curtis Watkins (1,463 pts., 1975-79) and moves into 10th on DePaul's all-time scoring list... a win would be No. 425 as a head coach for Oliver Purnell.

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.

Melvin and Young are the top scoring duo in the BIG EAST combining for nearly 34 points per game last season.

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 (Ranger, 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.

Melvin Named Second Team Preseason All-BIG EAST: Senior forward Cleveland Melvin was named second team preseason All-BIG EAST by the league's head coaches. The announcement was made at the league's annual media day at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Oct. 16.     The 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year was seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring last year at 16.6 points per game and 10th in rebounding at 6.8 boards per game.

Marquette was picked as the preseason favorite to win the conference. The Golden Eagles were followed by Georgetown and Creighton. DePaul was picked to finished 10th and will face the top three teams in its first three conference games this season.

Who's Next: DePaul hosts Southern Miss as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic... the Golden Eagles visit Allstate Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13... the game is the first meeting between the two sides since both were members of Conference USA... DePaul has won five of nine meetings including a 70-48 decision on Jan. 29, 2005 in the last meeting... the game can be seen on FOX Sports 2 and heard on WIND 560 AM.