DePaul and open scholarships

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 21:  Head coach Oliver Purnell of the Clemson Tigers watches the action against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game on January 21, 2009 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

All of a sudden DePaul has two open scholarships for the 2010-11 season. One was created by the Blue Demons finally releasing Walter Pitchford from his National Letter of Intent. While it was quite the saga, the Blue Demons were well within their rights to ask Pitchford to honor his commitment to the university. The other is going to be created by the transfer of 7'2" center Kene Obi.

Now, Pitchford never got on campus and it probably seems like Obi never was on campus. Well except for possibly the experience of him playing a Zombie during Midnight Madness last season. Still, it leaves the Blue Demons quite lacking in the size department heading into next season. Especially with the early departure of Mac Koshwal.
What can Oliver Purnell (right) do to make the team more competitive next season and find some players to bang in the post in the Big East?

Personally, I think one thing about Purnell that is actually working in DePaul's favor is that he's a guard oriented coach. His system lends itself to talented lead guards and wings and doesn't require a "true" center. That's a good thing, because one doesn't exist on the Blue Demons' roster. Krys Faber is probably the closest DePaul has, and he's a bit undersized. Still, he's not a terrible stop gap. After Faber though the depth disappears. Maybe incoming freshman Cleveland Melvin will be able to help on the interior. If not it'll be up to Devin Hill and Eric Wallace to hold down the front court positions.

Actually, it seems like Wallace might be on of the players that benefits the most from Purnell's system. Wallace's athleticism will be at the center of the system. He might be DePaul's best option right now as the starting power forward. Still, there is a reason the Blue Demons wanted Pitchford to come to Lincoln Park. He could've provided some more size. 
Unfortunately, it looks like all the players currently remaining on DePaul's radar for the 2010-11 freshman class are wings or guards. None of them are particularly inspiring.
So the question becomes, could Purnell bank not one, but two scholarships for what should be a loaded 2011-12 recruiting class? It'll be his first season at the school and he already convinced Jamie Crockett to sign up. In a dream scenario Crockett would be joined by five more talented freshman or transfers as Purnell begins to bring DePaul back to relevance in the city. DePaul seems to be attempting to do that by chasing a number of highly ranked players both nationally and locally. 
Still, going with 11 scholarship players in a system that requires at least 10 healthy and active ones could be absolutely brutal. One or two injuries and the Blue Demons would be in serious trouble. So keep your ears open, because my guess is DePaul will bring in at least one more recruit to help the process along. And then cross your fingers on the 2011 class.

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