By Adam Harris–
Their Big East losing streak is at 21 games, so there’s no logical reason to think the DePaul Blue Demons men’s basketball team will beat the 9th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish tomorrow night.
The game will be nationally televised, however, so the Blue Demons are excited to put together a good showing for the large audience.
“Obviously the Notre Dame/DePaul games for a long, long time have been important,” head coach Oliver Purnell said. “We’re playing a team that is playing as well as any team in the country…That’s the great thing about the Big East Conference, all of our games are on television, but this game is probably seen in more households than a lot of them.”
While this is a disappointing year for the Blue Demons (6-14 overall, 0-8 in the Big East), the team knows that this year is a building experience for its young players. This is done on and off the court.
“We have pretty good chemistry, and that can be a result of a lot of things,” Purnell said. “Often times part of that is the result that they [young players] hang out together and they get along with one another. So what I see is a team that has pretty good chemistry.”
Freshman guard Brandon Young has told me in the past that his best friends are on this team. He says that him, freshman forward Morgan Moses and freshman forward Cleveland Melvin are always seen together, joking and having a good time.
This translates to the court.
“We have a lot of chemistry on this court,” forward Melvin said. “We talk on the court, and when we make mistakes we talk and communicate on the court. That’s a good thing.”
Melvin is by far the story for this young Blue Demon team this year. He is not scared of the big stage, averaging 20.5 points per game in Big East play through eight games, including a 29 point performance when they visited then 9th ranked Georgetown.
“As the games go by I’m feeling more comfortable on the court, knowing the offensive sets,” Melvin said on his Big East success. “I know that I can use my quickness on the court to get by defenders and make it easier for my teammates.”
The Blue Demons are building for the future and the more experience they get the better chance they have to turn this program around. Win or lose, tomorrow night’s big stage is an important experience for these young freshman.
Tune in at 8pm to 670 The Score to hear Zach Zaidman and Laurence Holmes call the game.