“I kind of look at them [the freshman] just like I look at our team, it’s all brand new,” Purnell said. “It’s an advantage for ‘em [the freshman] in a way because the veterans don’t have much of a leg up on the freshman in terms of experience because it’s all new to them [the veterans]. At the same time I think the veterans can really help bring guys along.”
DePaul lost its top two minutes per game average players, Will Walker to graduation and Mac Koshwal to the NBA draft, after the 2009-10 season was over. This left DePaul with three seniors on the team, only one of which, Mike Stovall, played a significant amount of minutes last year.
However, this lack of experience on the court has not hurt the confidence of the incoming freshman.
“I’m excited,” Freshman Guard Brandon Young said today after practice. “There’s nothing to be nervous about. I knew coming in as a freshman I was going to have high expectations to come in, lead the team, play hard, and just play my role at that.”
Coach Purnell’s Blue Demons only look to get even younger next year. Purnell had five recruits sign letters of intent yesterday that range from a wide variety of places, spread rom the Chicago land area, to Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s a very athletic group, which is important when you’re talking about DePaul basketball now. I really like them,” Purnell said. “Player development is huge here at DePaul…they’re athletic and they want to be coached, they want to be good.”
Player development is not only going to be essential next year, but will also be if DePaul wishes to have a successful season currently. Many underclassmen look to get some playing time, and this lack of experience will be frustrating at times, but could be worth it in the long run.
Purnell is just anxious to get this season started.
“We’re excited about the start of the season,” Purnell said…”This is my first ever game as a head coach at DePaul. I have the pre-game jitters because you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but at the same time it’s time to get started.”
Look for that unpredictability to be a common theme throughout the year. DePaul faces Chicago State this Sunday at 5pm in the McGrath Arena on DePaul’s campus. The game can be heard on 670TheScore.