Last night DePaul defeated the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils, a team that will spend the first two months of the season on the road, with trips to No. 1 North Carolina, eighth-ranked Florida, and No. 15 Wisconsin along the way.
The Delta Devils opened the season on Saturday, losing 80-67 at Notre Dame. As they embark on the long road trip, they’ll no doubt remember their game at McGrath Arena, where they encountered a DePaul team that loves to play a fast up-and-down style.
In the preseason, DePaul lost three players to injuries and eligibility issues, they really can’t afford to lose any more, if they hope to continue playing their fast-paced, always pressing style.
“We can’t afford to lose any more guys, we’ve got ten guys and that’s enough. We can’t afford to lose any more guys, but you wouldn’t expect to, we’ve lost enough,” Purnell said.
Purnell’s centerpiece and building block is Cleveland Melvin, last year’s Big East Rookie of the Year, and the leading scorer in the Demons’ season opening win. Melvin knows what he needs to improve upon
I worked on developing my wing skills, and getting stronger in the weight room, my outside game, my outside shot, and my pull up,” he said this preseason.
Melvin could be the team’s go-to-guy as they run their open court game.
“A lot of teams are going to be focused on me, and aggressive with me. It’s a big role, Coach Purnell told me to step up and be a leader to the younger guys so that’s what I’ve been doing,” he said.
Purnell recruits a certain kind of player to fit his system, and as he gets more of his guys in there; and the type of players from the previous regime are gone, expect the Blue Demons to improve
“Without question we’re much more athletic than we’ve been and we’ve got some pretty good young players,” Purnell said at this year’s preseason media luncheon.
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.