Jul 15, 2012, 7:40 PM EDT
Just last week Jabari Parker, one of the top prospects in the 2013 class, tweeted the list of ten schools still in the running for his services.
The group read off like a who’s who of college basketball royalty, including the likes of Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Michigan State with those programs having enjoyed recent success.
The one school that didn’t necessarily fit in: DePaul.
It’s easy to look at the Blue Demons of now and wonder how on Earth they could find themselves still in the running for such an outstanding player.
Since joining the Big East in 2005, DePaul has posted just one winning record (20-14 in 2006-07) and has seemingly had reservations for the Tuesday at noon match-up in the Big East Championship.
But landing Parker, while seemingly a long shot (important to note that neither Parker nor his family has given any kind of leader), would be just the boost that Oliver Purnell’s program needs according to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
The example cited in his piece: Mark Aguirre, who decided to remain home in the Windy City and play for then-coach Ray Meyer.
“I just suddenly realized Chicago was for me,” recalled Aguirre, one of the nation’s top high school players at Westinghouse in 1978. “Can’t explain it. I could have gone to any school I wanted but enjoyed the fact that rarely are you going to play in a big city where everybody knows you like that. The more I thought about it, Chicago was who I am, in my blood, comfortable. I loved it so I stayed.”
That was a time when the Blue Demon program ranked among the best in the country, and with Aguirre leading the way they even reached the top of the national polls in 1981 (but were famously upset by Saint Joseph’s in the NCAA tournament).
Adding a player of Parker’s caliber wouldn’t boost DePaul to those heights, but it could serve as the catalyst needed to get more highly-touted players to show up.
“This is a rare opportunity. I know what he’s thinking: ‘Who do I want to play with to turn it around?’ If Jabari committed to DePaul, they would start getting All-American recruits. All it takes is one. He would be the beginning of a new time.”
It would be difficult to put that kind of faith in a struggling program, but a look at DePaul reveals that better days may not be far away.
In juniors Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young, DePaul has two talented pieces as focal points, and players such as Jamee Crockett and Moses Morgan return for the 2012-13 season as well (not to mention three freshmen including DeJuan Marrero).
Those four are due to be either seniors or juniors (Crockett) in 2013 provided they all return, and talented commit Billy Garrett, Jr. comes on board in 2013 as well.
One would think, given Purnell’s track record of rebuilding programs, that DePaul will be a better outfit not just in two years but next season as well.
But to add a player of Parker’s caliber to the mix? The excitement, and expectations, would undoubtedly rise were that to happen.
May 18, 2013, 7:28 PM EDT
There has been a lot of change at Arizona over the past few months, with several players and even a coach leaving the program. Replacing assistant James Whitford, who became head coach at Ball State, was easy: Wildcat legend Damon Stoudamire came back home to round out the staff. But the personnel situation on the…
May 18, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT
Former Baylor player and current WNBA top draft pick Britney Griner made it quite clear recently that she has no problem talking about her sexuality. She spoke with Sports Illustrated shortly after her college career ended, and was candid about something that is, frankly, not really anybody’s business. We now know why she never mentioned…
May 18, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
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May 18, 2013, 3:42 PM EDT
Since he led Team USA to a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has maintained that it would, in fact, be his last run at the head of the USA Basketball program. That may be changing, however. According to a report from Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, Coach…
May 18, 2013, 2:32 PM EDT
Adreian Payne was a special guest at Dick Vitale’s celebrity gala on Friday night, but he wasn’t the star of the show. Lacey Holsworth was. If you haven’t heard the story by now, watch the video above. In short, Payne has befriended a seven-year girl, Lacey, who has been battling cancer for much of her…
May 18, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT
After appearing in only four regular season games and registering five minutes of playing time with no statistics, Georgetown forward Brandon Bolden has opted to transfer to Kansas State, the Wildcats announced on Friday. The 6-10, 210-pound Bolden will sit out the upcoming 2013-14 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of…
May 18, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT
Lipscomb has finally replaced long time head coach Scott Sanderson, as they hired Stetson head coach Casey Alexander, according to a report. Alexander led the Hatters to a 15-16 record last season, as they finished 11-7 in the Atlantic Sun. Both records were the best for the program since the 2008-2009 season. But here’s where…
May 18, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
Oregon State picked up a late 2013 commitment when 6-2 combo guard Malcolm Duvivier opted to sign his letter of intent on Friday after previously being a member of the 2014 class. Duvivier — a native of Toronto — was previously regarded as Rivals’ No. 116 player in the 2014 national rankings before filling an…
May 18, 2013, 10:02 AM EDT
Tennessee sophomore center Yemi Makanjuola has opted to transfer to UNC-Wilmington, per a Tweet from Brian Mull of StarNews. Makanjuola — a 6-9, 250-pound native of Nigeria — will have two years of eligibility remaining after NCAA transfer rules force him to sit out next season. Makanjuola will be eligible in the 2014-15 season and saw action…
May 17, 2013, 9:02 PM EDT
One month after making the decision to return to Washington for his senior season, second team All-Pac-12 selection C.J. Wilcox underwent surgery on his left foot to stabilize a stress fracture that according to the Associated Press lingered for much of the 2012-13 season. The purpose of the surgery was to stabilize the fifth metatarsal…
May 17, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT
Last May 6-7 forward Sheldon Jeter chose to attend Vanderbilt, picking the Commodores over Penn State and Wisconsin and South Carolina with Pittsburgh showing some interest late but never offering the Beaver Falls, Pa. native. Jeter played 17.5 minutes per game as a freshman, averaging 5.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. And after one…
May 17, 2013, 6:48 PM EDT
In the immediate aftermath of Steve Alford’s decision to leave New Mexico to take over as head coach at UCLA, many wondered how much would he have to pay UNM in order to get out of his contract. While Alford and his representation argued that the coach, who led the Lobos to four Mountain West…
May 17, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
A good week on the recruiting front for the Xavier coaching staff got even better Friday afternoon. 6-4 guard Remy Abell, who spent his first two seasons at Indiana, announced his decision to transfer to Xavier as reported by multiple outlets. Abell won’t be eligible to play this season per NCAA transfer rules, but he will…
May 17, 2013, 5:23 PM EDT
With three guards, most notably leading scorer DeAndre Kane, deciding to transfer Marshall head coach Tom Herrion was in need of some extra depth for his backcourt in 2013-14. Thanks to a commitment from 2013 combo guard Jaylen Brantley, the Thundering Herd won’t go into next season shorthanded in that area. Brantley, who played at…
May 17, 2013, 4:36 PM EDT
Last month it was reported that Purdue forward Sandi Marcius was running into a major complication in regards to his decision to graduate and then transfer to another school where he would be able to play as a graduate student. That major complication was Purdue’s refusal to pay for the summer school courses Marcius needs…
May 17, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT
Florida Gulf Coast was one of the best stories of the 2013 NCAA tournament, becoming the first 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 and earning the moniker “Dunk City” (thanks to Troy Machir) with their attractive style of play and penchant for above the rim finishes. And next season the Eagles, under new head coach…
May 17, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT
After two quiet seasons at the University of Texas, sophomore Jaylen Bond made the decision to transfer. Bond, a 6-7 forward from Philadelphia, averaged just 3.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in just under 14 minutes per game during his Longhorn career. Friday, Bond announced his decision to transfer to Temple via Twitter and it’s safe…
May 17, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
In his six seasons as commissioner of the West Coast Conference, Jamie Zaninovich has helped the conference improve its brand in a variety of ways. Whether it’s been the addition of BYU (Pacific joins this summer) or the idea to move the conference basketball tournaments to Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, it’s safe to say…
May 17, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT
While in Chicago taking part in this week’s NBA Draft Combine, former Kansas shooting guard had to answer some questions regarding the allegations levied by his former AAU coach, Darius Cobb, a couple weeks ago. In a story done by USA Today in early May, Cobb stated that he accepted $10,000 from a runner in…
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