(WSCR) – Oliver Purnell was known as a good recruiter before he stepped on to the campus of DePaul University. And already in his first season, Purnell has started to see some production from his young players.
For the second straight week, DePaul freshman forward Cleveland Melvin was named Rookie of the Week by the Big East Conference. Melvin joins Wilson Chandler as the only DePaul players to pick up Rookie of the Week honors twice in a season and Melvin is the first freshman to earn the honor in back-to-back weeks.
Melvin opened his Big East career by averaging 26.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in games at Cincinnati and at #9 Georgetown last week. The Baltimore native shot a combined .625 (25-40) from the field in the two games.
He started the week on Dec. 28 with 24 points at Cincinnati and also grabbed eight rebounds and recorded a steal. At Georgetown on New Year’s Day, the freshman tallied a career-high 29 points with seven rebounds, two blocked shots, an assist and a steal.
The career high at Georgetown marked the third straight game that Melvin posted a career-high scoring total. He has scored at least 20 points in three straight games and reached double-figures in seven consecutive games.
Melvin also picked up the honor on Dec. 28 after scoring a then career-high 23 points against Florida Atlantic. He is one of four DePaul players to earn the league honor joining Brandon Young, Wilson Chandler and Dar Tucker. Chandler picked up the award twice during the 2005-06 season and Tucker received the recognition once during the 2007-08 campaign. Young was named the league’s Rookie of the Week on Dec. 6.
DePaul opens the Big East home schedule Tuesday night against West Virginia. Tipoff at Allstate Arena is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game can be seen locally in Chicago on The U Too as part of the Big East Network and heard on WSCR 670 The Score with Zach Zaidman and Laurence Holmes.
A DePaul Blue Demons press release contributed to this report.