Nov. 10, 2011
BlueTube - Media Interview | Choppin It Up With Edwind
CHICAGO - The DePaul Blue Demons open the 2011-12 season at McGrath-Phillips Arena on DePaul's Lincoln Park campus with a Friday night matchup against UT-Pan American. Start time is scheduled for 8 p.m. between the Blue Demons and Broncs. The opener is the third game of a McGrath-Phillips Arena tripleheader that also features two games of the Maggie Dixon Classic hosted by the DePaul women's basketball team.
The regular-season opener can be heard on WSCR 670 The Score in Chicagoland with Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Laurence Holmes (analyst) calling all the action. Zaidman and Holmes will be simulcasting their broadcast as well online with streaming video on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com. Live stats are available online at www.depaulbluedemons.com with Gametracker and in-game scoring updates and notes can be followed as well at www.twitter.com/depaulsid.
DePaul enters the season following a 7-24 campaign in 2010-11 while UT-Pan American posted a 6-25 record. Head coach Oliver Purnell begins his second season leading the Blue Demons while UTPA head coach Ryan Marks is in his third year.
Following the UT-Pan American game, the Blue Demons have a quick turnaround with a Monday night matchup against Mississippi Valley State at McGrath-Phillips Arena. Monday's game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start and will be on 670 The Score and BlueTube.
Season-Opening Notes: Friday night serves as the start of the 89th season of DePaul basketball... with the 114-81 win over Chicago State to start last season, the Blue Demons are 77-11 all-time in the first game... DePaul has won three straight season openers after a three-game losing streak in first games from 2005-08... Friday's game is the third all-time season opener at McGrath-Phillipis Arena for the Blue Demons... DePaul also defeated Albany, 75-64, on Nov. 17, 2008.
Home-Opener Notes: DePaul is 81-7 all-time in the first home game of the season... the Blue Demons have won 22 of the last 23 and 70 of their last 72 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 Chicago State, 114-81, at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Nov. 14.
Noting the Blue Demons: The men's basketball program is 1,372-861 (.614) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 548 straight games... DePaul's last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 307-132 (.699) all-time in Rosemont... DePaul is 3-1 (.750) all-time in games at McGrath Arena... the Blue Demons have won four of their first five games in two of the last three seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10).
It Could Happen: A win would be DePaul's fourth straight in season openers... Jeremiah Kelly is playing in his 95th career game... Kelly needs one steal for sole possession of 21st all-time at DePaul... he enters Friday's game tied with Melvon Foster (119 steals, 1988-91) and Terence Greene (119 steals, 1985-89)... Kelly also needs five assists to move into a tie for 22nd with Terry Davis (255 assist, 1989-93).
McKinney Goes Top 10: Less than 20 minutes into his first action in a DePaul uniform, freshman Charles McKinney made his presence felt with a follow-up dunk that made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 plays on Saturday, Nov. 5. The rookie followed up a missed three-pointer by Cleveland Melvin.
What's Back: Entering the 2011-12 season, DePaul returns seven players including four that started at least 18 games a year ago. Headlining the returners are sophomores Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young. Other top returners include seniors Jeremiah Kelly and Krys Faber and sophomore Moses Morgan.
Melvin was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and to the league's All-Rookie Team after averaging 14.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. In BIG EAST play, he averaged 17.4 points and 6.3 boards per contest. Melvin was joined on the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team by fellow Baltimore native Young. Young was second on the team with 12.6 points per game along with a team-high 115 assists. The duo picked up BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors six times during the season with four honors for Melvin and two for Young. They also led all BIG EAST freshmen in scoring throughout the season.
Kelly led DePaul with 31.7 minutes per game last season while totaling 90 assists, 52 steals and a team-high 50 three-pointers. Kelly averaged 7.6 points per game and joined Young as the only players to start all 31 games in 2010-11. Faber returns after leading the Blue Demons with 5.3 rebounds last season. He is one of DePaul's two tallest players measuring at 6-10 along with freshman Derrell Robertson Jr. Morgan averaged 14.0 minutes per game last season and came off the bench to total 21 three-pointers during his rookie campaign.
What's New: A four-player freshmen class joins two transfers for six newcomers on the 2011-12 roster. The rookie class includes Montray Clemons (Baltimore, Md.), Jamee Crockett (Chicago, Ill.), Charles McKinney (Evanston, Ill.) and Derrell Robertson Jr. (Pinola, Miss.).
The four rookies are now in Lincoln Park along with transfers Worrel Clahar and Donnavan Kirk. Kirk joined the Blue Demons in January at the start of the Winter Quarter and will be eligible to play following the conclusion of 2011 Autumn Quarter exams just before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Pontiac, Mich. native was a redshirt freshman at Miami (Fla.) at the start of the 2010-11 season. Clahar is a junior college transfer that played the last two seasons at Lawson State CC in Birmingham, Ala. The Brooklyn native ranked among the nation's top junior college players in steals and assists last season.
Injury Bug Bites Early: DePaul junior Tony Freeland and freshman Montray Clemons will both miss the 2011-12 season after suffering injuries in the preseason. Freeland underwent shoulder surgery on Nov. 2 that will force him to sit out this season while Clemons ruptured his patella tendon in his left knee in warm-ups at DePaul's Blue Madness.
Locally Grown: The 2011-12 DePaul roster features five players from the state of Illinois. Among those five are Chicagoland natives Joe Belcaster, Jamee Crockett, Jeremiah Kelly and Charles McKinney. The fifth Illinois native is Champaign's Edwind McGhee.
Six states are represented on DePaul's active roster with California (Krys Faber), Maryland (Cleveland Melvin, Brandon Young), Michigan (Donnavan Kirk), Mississippi (Derrell Robertson Jr.), Nevada (Moses Morgan) and New York (Worrel Clahar) joining DePaul's home state of Illinois.
Following St. Vincent de Paul: The DePaul men's basketball team headed overseas in August for a 10-day excursion in France titled "In the Footsteps of St. Vincent." While in France, the Blue Demons visited Paris, Toulouse and Nice and finished the trip with a perfect 4-0 record.
Unlike other college basketball overseas experiences, the DePaul men's program was immersed in the history of St. Vincent de Paul - the namesake of DePaul University - and also used the opportunity to integrate the incoming recruiting class on and off the court. The student-athletes took a course titled "The Life and Times of Vincent de Paul" to prepare for the trip and after crossing the Atlantic Ocean they walked in the footsteps of St. Vincent de Paul.
Three Decades in Rosemont: DePaul enters its 32nd season in 2011-12 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. The Blue Demons are 307-132 (.699) all-time in Rosemont. DePaul played its first season at the then-named Rosemont Horizon in 1980. The Blue Demons debuted in Rosemont with a 74-56 win over Gonzaga and John Stockton on Dec. 1, 1980.
Pre-Conference Action: DePaul is scheduled to play in the Old Spice Classic and BIG EAST/SEC Challenge during the non-conference portion of the schedule.
The Blue Demons head to Orlando for the 2011 Old Spice Classic. The event will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 24, 25 & 27, at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Joining DePaul in the field for the sixth annual event is Arizona State, Dayton, Fairfield, Indiana State, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Wake Forest.
DePaul is facing Ole Miss in the 2011 BIG EAST/SEC Challenge on Dec. 1. The Blue Demons and Rebels square-off at Allstate Arena on the first day of the three-day event that features 12 games between BIG EAST and SEC programs.
BIG EAST Preseason Picks: DePaul was picked to finish 16th in the BIG EAST Conference in a vote conducted by league coaches in October. Syracuse and Connecticut were tabbed a co-favorites with each school getting 209 points. They were followed by Louisville with 201 points and Pittsburgh with 188 points.
Pittsburgh's Ashton Gibbs was named the Preseason Player of the Year and joined on the league's preseason first team by Jeremy Lamb Kemba Walker of Connecticut, Darius Johnson-Odom from Marquette, Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis, Syracuse's Kris Joseph and Kevin Jones from West Virginia.
DePaul's Cleveland Melvin - the 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year - was a preseason honorable mention All-BIG EAST selection.
One of Six: In May 2011, the NCAA released the latest Academic Progress Rate report with the DePaul men's basketball program as the lone BIG EAST member with a perfect score of 1,000. The Blue Demons are just one of six in the country with an APR of 1,000. DePaul is joined on the short list by Butler, Holy Cross, Columbia, Kansas and Texas.
Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below 925 can face penalties, such as scholarship losses and restrictions on practice and competition. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.