Big East Summer Capsules: DePaul Blue DemonsPosted by mlemaire on July 27th, 2012
While most relish the onset of Summer, college basketball junkies do not. Most of the news surrounding the sport is recruiting rumors and commitments or injuries and transfer news. In order to help keep folks up-to-date on what their teams are doing during the summer, we put together these summer capsules for each team in the conference. Next up is DePaul.
1. Cue the overreaction to a high school recruit’s Top 10 list.
Jabari Parker, a consensus top-five recruit in the Class of 2013, recently trimmed his list of possible destinations to 10 schools and wouldn’t you know it, but the Chicago native has his hometown Blue Demons on the list. This led to a ton of absurdly premature speculation that DePaul might have a shot at landing the precocious youngster. For starters, Parker is a teenager, whose mind is subject to change at any whim, so this list, while potentially noteworthy, is hardly set in stone. Also, look at the other schools on the list, what exactly does DePaul offer a potential one-and-done player that Kentucky or Duke or North Carolina don’t? It is understood that he has a litany of connections to the Blue Demons’ program and could be swayed by the comfort of playing near to home, but let’s try to manage our expectations here Blue Demons’ fans.
2. Finding frontcourt help for Cleveland Melvin,
Despite the presence of all-Big East performer Melvin in the frontcourt, the Blue Demons’ primary weakness was up front where an injury to Tony Freeland and general ineffectiveness of Krys Faber left Melvin to fend for himself against the rugged frontcourts of the Big East. Well now Faber has graduated and Freeland left the program, and so the Blue Demons are once again in search of someone to help Melvin on the glass and in the paint. The recruiting class offers some size on the wings in Jodan Price and DeJuan Marrero, but there just aren’t a lot of big bodies on the current roster and that should be very worrisome. It looks like Melvin will once again need to shoulder the load in the frontcourt, unless sophomore Derrell Robertson breaks out or lanky combo forward Donnovan Kirk plays more physical.
3. Brandon Young is working to put it all together.
There is no question that Melvin is the Blue Demons’ best player, but their best scorer is probably junior guard Brandon Young who averaged 14.5 points per game last season on 42% shooting. The 6’3″ shooting guard from Baltimore is now a team leader and the best way he can lead the team is by exhibiting better shot selection and decision-making. Young is a talented shooter, perhaps more talented that his numbers from behind the three-point arc (28.1%) suggest, and he is going to have the ball in his hands a lot next season. He went with Melvin to the LeBron James Skills Academy this summer where he got to play against some of the best players from around the country and word is that he held his own. Now he needs to continue that momentum and carry it over into the season.