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Cardiac Hill Big East Basketball Preview: DePaul Blue Demons

The Big East preview continues today with the DePaul Blue Demons

Jonathan Daniel

Returnees: DePaul brings back nearly everyone from the 2012 team. The question is, can they take a step forward? Cleveland Melvin is back, and is clearly the best player for coach Oliver Purnell. Melvin provides plenty of scoring and rebounds at forward and can be one of the best players in the Big East. He will need to continue his progression for DePaul to make any serious run this season, though. DePaul lacks a good post presence and that could hamper their success. Donovan Kirk and Derrell Robertson Jr. are the only players taller than 6-9 that have any sort of game experience. Oliver Purnell has a host of good small forwards and off guards to score the basketball, however. Even though he's struggled from three-point range, Brandon Young averaged 14 points per game last season. Moses Morgan and Jamee Crocket also will see time on the wings. The point guard spot will be filled by Worrel Clahar, who came over as a junior last season and did a nice job backing up Jeremiah Kelly.

Newcomers: Purnell added a three-man recruiting class to the mix this offseason. Jodan Price, a 6-6 win from Michigan, highlights the 2012 recruiting class as a top 150 prospect rated by Rivals. DeJuan Marrero turned down offers from the likes of Ohio State, Memphis, and Xavier to come to DePaul to play for Purnell. He is another wing that could see time as a freshman. Durrell McDonald, a 6-2 guard from Nevada, rounds out the 2012 recruiting class. In addition, Montray Clemons redshirted last season, but at 6-8, his size could help this season.

Final Outlook: Purnell is a good coach, but has a tough job at DePaul. The lack of a post presence is going to hurt against the conference's elite teams. Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young are two All Big East caliber players, but they can only take you so far. DePaul will likely find themselves near the bottom of the league.

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